Are you a high-quality tourist? That’s currently the question on many politicians’ lips, with countries around the world rushing to stipulate that they no longer want riff-raff crossing their borders. The edict isn’t only being handed out to stags in lobster costumes at Luton Wetherspoons, but to all entrants to The Gambia.
“What we want is quality tourists,” Abubacarr Camara, director of its tourism board, explained this week. “Tourists that come to enjoy the country and the culture, but not just tourists that come for sex.”
With the greatest of respect to Mr Camara, I can attest that there’s not an abundance of riches for visitors to enjoy in his country – and watching pairs of disturbingly age-gapped couples walk down its streets is one of fairly few things to look at. It’s unseemly, certainly, but so common as to have become a fixture in souvenir shops, with wooden figurines depicting wrinkled incomers hand-in-hand with smoothly carved young locals.
Not that I’m an expert in sex tourism you understand but isn’t The Gambia a place where it’s our ladies of and age who go to share their young men?