The Gambia community is tired of older European women coming to the nation to satisfy their sexual pleasures.
According to Travel Noire, the African nation became a top destination among UK middle-aged women seeking sexual pleasure from African “toy” boys. Evidently, it has been a “thing” since the 1990s, after international travel agencies from the UK launched cheap package tours to the tiny West African country.
Three decades later, thousands of middle-aged women have visited with sex tourism intentions, causing the Gambia government to speak out on the issue. The country, a former British colony, is currently working to attract “quality” visitors and reverse its reputation as a sex tourism destination.
“What we want is quality tourists. Tourists that come to enjoy the country and the culture, but not tourists that come just for sex”, Abubacarr Camara, the director of the Gambia Tourism Board, said to The Sun UK.
The country has a population of 2.5 million and grapples with high unemployment rates and low wages. So it’s not hard to see why a relationship with a wealthy older Western woman is seen as a financial opportunity for young Gambian men.
The phenomenon has picked up a name for itself, ‘bumsters.’ The term is used to describe impoverished young Gambian men who seek out Western women with whom they can develop a relationship-typically arranged online.
While some use the beaches to locate older women who visit from Holland, Sweden, and Germany, The Sun previously reported that the ‘Senegambia strip,’ situated near the capital city, Banjul, has become a hotspot for British pensioners.
The Gambia government has chosen to focus its attention on Gambia’s wildlife and cultural attractions. The destination has over 300 species of tropical birds and two Unesco World Heritage sites that could boost its ‘quality’ tourism.
Over the summer, the Gambia’s tourist officials traveled to the United Kingdom to meet with British Airways and tour operators to discuss increasing flights between London and Banjul to attract younger and wealthier tourists who would like a higher-class winter holiday.
Tourism is currently the fastest growing sector in the country’s economy and makes up nearly 20 percent of GDP.