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The STI Gambia Pilot Project A report to the UK Sustainable Tourism Initiative

The Gambia STI project built on previous work done in The Gambia in a DFID Tourism Challenge Fund initiative. This 18-month project, which ran from August 2000 to March 2002, explored through a multi-stakeholder process the barriers that make it difficult for informal sector entrepreneurs (e.g. juice pressers, fruit sellers, local guides and craft workers) to engage in the industry. The Association of Small Scale Enterprises in Tourism (ASSET), was established as a result of a previous British High Commission sponsored Gambian Tourism Concern Workshop on Private Small Scale and Community –Based Tourism Enterprises held in The Gambia in October 1999. The Tourism Challenge Fund project made a significant contribution to developing ASSET as a membership organisation of small-scale enterprises in tourism, which is developing trade association functions for the informal sector. By the informal sector is meant all those individuals and micro enterprises, which engage with tourists and the tourism industry but which are not members of the Gambian Hotel Association or the Ground Handlers and Equipment Hirers Association. The aims of the Tourism Challenge Fund project were • to increase sustainable employment opportunities and earnings for the informal sector in The Gambia by improving access for the informal sector to the tourism industry and to tourists. • to identify and disseminate Best Practise for implementation through the Federation of Tour Operators, ABTA and AITO.

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