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Last Updated:[23-09-2010 05:07:45 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Senegal Pitches for Tourism Impetus via Atlanta

tradenews El Hadji Aziz Gueye, the tourism director of Senegal while surprising the Atlanta's mayor Kasim Reed by informing about the shifting of its office to Atlanta from New York two weeks ago has evoked the Atlanta mayor to initiate steps in favour of Senegal. The tourism director reminded at a luncheon address at the World Trade Center Atlanta on Sept. 15 that despite Delta Air Lines suspended nonstop flight from Atlanta to Dakar, the capital of the former French colony, his country moved its office to Atlanta.

The West African nation of Senegal shifted its North American tourism promotion office in March this year to Atlanta after three decades in New York since making an announcement of such a move two years ago. Although the move to Atlanta was to attract the second largest Senegalese community in the US behind New York and a large Afro-American community, the cancellation of the Delta flights has dampened the spirits.

Non-stop flights are extremely important to lure visitors for long distance destinations as, particularly the US vacationers, at the maximum, prefer 7 to 9 hour travel time to tourist spots. Delta maintains flights three times per week to Dakar from New York, the Senegal officials hope that flights from Atlanta will be re-operational soon.

Senegal is a democratic country predominantly with Muslim population, over 90 percent. Tourism is the second largest industry after fishing, and the country has a major mining industry. Unlike many of its neighbors, the nation has never seen a coup d'├ętat, and takes pride in its democratic identity in Africa.

Senegal's minister of tourism and handicrafts, Thierno Lo while he visited Atlanta last month had said Senegal was looking at young travelers and entrepreneurs, whom were more adventurous than traditional tourists. He further added plans were afoot for eco-tourism, religious tourism, and more importantly "solidarity tourism" for the descendants of the African Diaspora who want to trace the history of their forefathers.

Senegal is home to six national game parks and the world's third largest bird sanctuary. Dakar was the capital of all of France's colonies in West Africa and maintains its old-world charm. Saint-Louis, another former French city north of Dakar, is known as the New Orleans of Africa.

By Jose Roy

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