Though tourism can bring many advantages to developing nations, there are also a number of downsides.
Each nation has its own unique set of challenges, but the problems experienced in The Gambia’s flagship industry involve UK grannies and their insatiable appetites.
Since the late 1990s, The Gambia has been the destination of choice for older British women seeking sun, sea, and saucy shenanigans. These tourists made a habit of visiting the West African country to pay young adult males for sex, creating a very seedy ‘market-within-a-market’.
The men who take part in these arrangements have come to be known as ‘bumsters’.
This has carried on for the past two decades. A cohort UK grannies are now regular visitors here – and it’s not necessarily because they enjoy the vast tapestry of Gambian culture. The country is small in size, and provides a home to roughly 2.5 million citizens.
However, it’s coastal location and year-round hot temperatures laid the foundations to exploit an economic goldmine. Sadly, for some visitors, this has turned into full-blown sex tourism – and the government is now ready to take a stand against these lustful travelers.
Abubacarr Camara, the director of The Gambia Tourism Board, told a local publication earlier this week that they are now seeking ‘quality tourists only’.
The top official says that tourists must now come ‘to enjoy the culture’, rather than to indulge in seedy sexual arrangements:
“What we want is quality tourists. Tourists that come to enjoy the country and the culture, but not tourists that come just for sex. The government would welcome tourists interested in the positive side of the country, and not those who came just for sex.”