Project Details


The Gambia Ministry of Tourism and Culture commissioned the GambiaHost research aimed at the design of national tourism and hospitality service standards to improve the destination competitiveness. Known as ‘The smiling coast of Africa’ the Gambia was looking to become more competitive and consecutively attract more tourists to the area by setting the type of service standards expected by today’s discerning traveller.

Professor Marina Novelli has made a considerable contribution to The Gambia national tourism sector’s reforms. In 2011, Dr Novelli took a leading role in the restructuring of The Gambia Hotel School into The Gambia Hospitality and Tourism Institute – due to become a centre of excellence for hospitality and tourism vocational education in West Africa.

Professor Marina Novelli was invited, by the Honourable Minister of Tourism and Culture Mrs Fatou Mass-Jobe, to facilitate a workshop involving 70 senior representatives from the tourism and hospitality sector. The workshop was conceived and designed by Professor Novelli to tackle service standards challenges, share best practice and identify a set of service standards guidelines.

Professor Novelli commented, "Since my first visit in 2007, The Gambia has changed dramatically and I feel honoured to have been invited to contribute with ideas, which have been translated into policy documents for what I see as a fascinating and forward-looking tourism destination. This was one of the most challenging but rewarding professional engagements I have so far experienced in The Gambia."

Mrs Fatou Mass-Jobe, the Honourable Minister of Tourism and Culture, said, "Consistent quality service delivery is the critical link in our efforts. The Gambia is not only attractive, and trendy, but also provides rewarding Gambian experiences – whether at the resort level or in the country, where the various eco lodges and camps are located. The ultimate objective of the workshop was to enable The Gambia to develop further into a twenty-first century world class tourist destination."

Key findings

Drawing upon the study recommendation, the Gambia Ministry of Tourism and Culture funded a follow-up 12 days "Train the Trainers Programme" was organised with 40 staff from hotels and tourism related institutions on Customer Service Skills and Food and Beverage Cost Control. The beneficiaries of this training will in turn train the rest of the employees on best practices on customer excellence in their respective hotels.
Effective start/end date1/01/1131/12/11


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