Janjanbureh and Sustainable Tourism

As the name implies  'Janjanbureh Uniting Sustainable Tourism And Community Training’ has always seen Janjanbureh's potential to develop sustainable tourism. The earliest aim of Just Act Gambia was to train young people as Local Tour Guides, achieved with great difficulty and expense to the charity.  However, we were unable to develop the necessary connection with appropriate organisations to make their work really effective.

 We are therefore delighted at the following professional developments

Sustainable CBT (Community Based Tourism)
is currently (Late 2017) being developed in Janjanbureh, surrounding satellite villages and elsewhere in the country and is a great focus of training for youths through

  •  YEP (Youth Empowerment Project) NYC (National Youth Council)

  • GTB (Gambia Tourism Board)

  • ITTOG (Institute of Travel and Tourism of The Gambia )

  • NCAC (National  Centre for Arts and Culture)

  • is funded within the country through successful application for grants

What is Sustainable Tourism?
 
What is Sustainable Tourism?

Principles of Ecotourism/Sustainable Tourism 

From The International Eco Tourism Society 

Ecotourism is about uniting conservation, communities, and sustainable travel. This means that those who implement, participate in and market ecotourism activities should adopt the following ecotourism principles:

  • Minimize physical, social, behavioural, and psychological impacts.

  • Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect.

  • Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts.

  • Provide direct financial benefits for conservation.

  • Generate financial benefits for both local people and private industry.

  • Deliver memorable interpretative experiences to visitors that help raise sensitivity to host countries' political, environmental, and social climates.

  • Design, construct and operate low-impact facilities.

  • Recognize the rights and spiritual beliefs of the Indigenous People in your community and work in partnership with them to create empowerment

 

 Over the last nine years, the role of JAG has been to support development in many additional areas

with fundraising from the UK.  With the creation of JUST ACT, they put those into practice and sought for support grants and became increasingly recognised throughout the country.
One such grant application was for further Tour Guide training, the application funded by JAG.

 

This successful application, in conjunction with the National Youth Council-The Gambia. coincided with major development through The Gambia Youth Empowerment Project, a four-year project that will benefit

from €11 million from the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.

The main objective is to tackle the economic root cause for irregular migration through increased job opportunities and income prospects for youths. YEP takes a market-led approach and sets out to strengthen

existing youth development systems, structures and services to create employment opportunities.

It aims to scale up skills among youth in the workforce in response to market demands.

The project offers possibilities for youths interested in three areas,
agriculture, service business,
and tourism

 
A Four Year Plan for developing Sustainable Tourism in Janjanbureh

Currently the major attraction of The Gambia is

  • winter climate

  • sun sand and sea 

  • its people 

  • birdlife 

  • proximity to Europe with same time line 

  • English speaking​​
     

In an aim to move away from mass tourism

The Gambia needs to develop new markets, attracting a wider clientele.

Research shows that there is

  • an increasing demand for local authentic experiences with interaction with locals 

  • the 2017 ‘Blue Planet'  effect has had impact and tour operators are changing their focus

  • fresh markets include

    • adventure, Community Based Tourism, (CBT) cultural and nature-based 

    • educational student tours

    • a younger clientele in addition to the traditional older visitors

Tours offered  also supporting youth training increases their credibility

 

Janjanbureh is to be developed as a second, sustainable tourism destination, as part of the overall plan for the country, creating its own identity, making Janjanbureh its own tourist hub, with extensive training focussing on youths

It is funded by the EU and managed by YEP-Gambia

 

It will develop cultural tourism experiences and services through Community Based Tourism (CBT)

including  two traditional villages off the island.

Why Janjanbureh?
  • Provides an alternative to the traditional sand, sea and sun holiday

  • Accessibility has improved greatly over the years with a tarmac road from the coast and a bridge from the south road

  • Independent travel is possible via 

    • super express coach or bus, private transport

    • river transportprivate transport

  • Has a wide range of natural assets in the river island setting

  • Baboon Island, Kunkilling National Park, Wassu Circle are accessible 

  • Being considered at one time the second capital of The Gambia, it has much history attached to it

 
  • The National Monument, Kankurang Centre, presenting information about the culture of the country and in particular the Kankurang and masquerade traditions so prevalent on the island

  • Kankurang Festival began  2018 will become an annual event attracting not only tourists, Gambians from the whole country  but also the diaspora

  • Local villages can offer further unique experience

 

The Four Year Plan in Janjanbureh
  • Training of 14 Tour Guides in JJB started Nov 17 See here 

  • Five of these guides have been selected as 'Active Youths’  as

    • Trainers of Trainers. (ToTs) led by Potjana Suansri and Peter Richards, Tourism Consultants at International Trade Centre (ITC). They have already undergone extensive training in

  • December 17( Read here)  

  • Eight intensive days, March 18.

  • They worked with master trainers from: The Gambia Tourism Board (GTB), The National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC), The Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute (GTHI), Institution of Travel and Tourism of The Gambia (ITTOG)

  • Finally presenting their findings to government officers, hotels associations, tour operators and ground handlers

  • Preparing CBT tours around the country

  • Sharing their knowledge to Albreda/ Juffereh as a result of Facebook connections/

This development is ongoing and designed to be marketed and launched for October 2019 with new tours off the island in Tabanani and Jamali

 

However local Licensed Guides will be happy to provide you now with well informed tours around Janjanbureh and to Wassu Stone Circle

Community Based Tourism(CBT)

"Community based tourism involves communities controlling, managing and developing

their own tourism industry, whereby tourists and travellers can experience

the community's way of life and consider their social, economic, and environmental impacts

upon the destination they are visiting"
From http://www.cbtvietnam.com/communitybasedtourism/

 

With thanks to 'Fresh From the Field' from which the training is based, for some very brief extracts

It is

  • designed to reduce poverty in remote rural areas

  • be managed and operated in the community

  • used as a tool to support community development and social change

It is designed to :

  • conserve nature

  • conserve the culture

  • involve team work and partnership

  • make use of local skills and knowledge

  • learn, exchange and share for all involved

The visitor/tourist should:

 

  • DO :          a hands-on experience of local life – not just taking photos 

  • LEARN :     the chance to learn something about local life and culture 

  • FEEL :        the experience stimulates excitement, interest, wonder, pride, etc. 

  • SHARE :     experiences with travel companions and local community members 

  • BENEFIT :  local community members benefit from offering CBT tours 

  • RESPECT : experiences create mutual understanding and respect between hosts and guests

The training in preparation for CBT is complex but involves

  • selecting suitable destinations following  detailed criteria and assessing if village wish to take part

  • gaining the confidence of and working as a team with all representatives of the village

  • identifying suitable experiences which the village wish to share with tourists

  • considering safety issues

  • designing good management

  • marketing the experiences 

 
 

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