Kevin Constant, the country manager for The Gambia offices of Belgium's national carrier, Brussels Airlines, has said that the African continent is still a safe place to visit despite the Ebola epidemic.
Speaking at a news conference at the Ministry of Health on Tuesday, Mr Constant, said: “Although Ebola virus is present in only three out of fifty six African countries, tourists, investors, and consumers still avoid regions that were never actually affected by it.The Gambia being a perfect example of this as we have all seen and felt this current tourist season. Given the importance of tourism to The Gambia's economy, it is time to convince tourists and investors all over the world to give the country another chance. For The Gambia to flourish again, it is time to remind the whole world of the beauty and economic potentials Africa has to offer.”
Constant said Brussels Airlines has set out to change current perception of Ebola. “People from all over the world can help by posting their most beautiful Africa pictures on the website, highlighting that travelling to The Gambia or other regions in Africa involves no risk.”
He continued: “People were and are still scared. The Ebola crisis has to be solved by Africans supported by Americans and Europe. Africans, both at home and in the Diaspora, and people passionate about Africa can show the world that Africa is still a safe place to visit, with a melting pot of cultures unknown to any other continent.
“I want to highlight that Brussels Airlines remains committed to the African continent bringing people and communities together. We have a tradition. Our predecessors at Sabena never stopped operating in Africa countries through difficult times and we at Brussels Airlines will not do so now.”
He went on to give thumbs up to Gambian authorities for maintaining the country's Ebola-free status, while welcoming the lift of the travel ban on Ebola affected countries.