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World Bank approves $68M to support tourism diversification in Gambia

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WASHINGTON, June 13, 2022– The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved on June 9, a $68 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA)* to support the diversification and climate resilience of the tourism sector in The Gambia.

The Tourism Diversification and Resilience in The Gambia project aims to assist the country by strengthening the institutional and policy framework, improve capabilities and access to funds for tourism related Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSME) suppliers, and enhance the attractiveness of selected existing but underdeveloped destinations. The project will also strengthen the sustainability of the coastal areas.

“The Gambia’s tourism sector is a key contributor to GDP and employment generation, but it is prone to both, endogenous and exogenous risks that limit the sector’s potential for inclusive and resilient growth,” said Feyi Boroffice, World Bank Resident Representative for The Gambia.

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The five-year project will take a targeted approach to integrate gender and climate actions across components and leverage significant global knowledge and experience in tourism recovery, particularly related to building back better in post COVID-19 situations.

The project goal would be achieved through the following main interventions:

1.Policy framework and MSME participation which aims to address selected/identified key bottlenecks in the tourism ecosystem in The Gambia, to ensure the sector realizes its potential as a source of sustainable and inclusive growth. The activities under this will focus on: (a) strengthening capacity for collecting relevant tourism data to inform policy decision-making; (b) enhancing marketing to promote recovery and diversification beyond traditional source markets and segments; and (c) promoting the diversification of the destination and products beyond ‘sun and sea’. (d) promoting tourism MSMEs’ sustainable integration into value chains with established end markets

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2.Infrastructure support for the diversification and resilience of the tourism sector.  This component will focus on strengthening and upgrading infrastructure to better preserve existing assets by being more resilient to the impacts of hazards and climate change as well as enhance the attractiveness of tourism sites and promote economic development.

“The project takes a holistic approach to tourism development by focusing on tourism infrastructure, enablers, attractors and promoters to support the tourism ecosystem, provide opportunities for women and build climate resilience,” said Rafael Pardo, Financial Sector Specialist and Project Task Team Leader

*The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 74 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has provided $458 billion to 114 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $29 billion over the last three years (FY19-FY21), with about 70 percent going to Africa.

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