Our History


The ASSET Membership


ASSET stands for “The Association of Small Scale Enterprises in Tourism”.

In 1999 Gambia Tourism Concern worked with The British High Commission and ran a workshop. This brought together a number of organisations and associations involved with tourism. These bodies were at the margin of the tourism industry and suffered from a lack of organisation. Several were in conflict and competition with one another.
The workshop recognised the need for small organisations to work together to improve the economic benefits to the people employed in them.

The Association of Small Scale Enterprises in Tourism (ASSET) was established in April 2000 by Sheik Tijan Nyang and Adama Bah in order to bring together, advocate for, and promote a large number of small enterprises that were active in the tourism industry in The Gambia.

These businesses included craft market vendors, tourist taxi drivers, official tourist guides, juice pressers and fruit sellers as well as a number of  small hotels, guest houses and ground tour operators etc.

Within five years ASSET had attracted more than eighty organisations into it's membership, had hosted an international conference on Fair Trade in Tourism and had been recognised by the Gambia Tourism Authority (GTA) as an important voice for the previously voiceless.

It had become a leading player in the Gambian Responsible Tourism Partnership programme that was being led by the GTA.  That programme brought together the principal stakeholders in the tourism industry (government, tour operators, ground handlers, hoteliers and small scale businesses)  to ensure that the adverse impacts of tourism were minimised and that maximum benefits were gained by local people and their communities. 

ASSET won the Best for Poverty Reduction award during the First Choice Responsible Tourism Awards 2005 held at the World Travel Market in London . The event was sponsored by First Choice Holidays PLC in association with responsibletravel.com, The Times, World Travel Market and Geographical Magazine.

In late 2017, we rebranded to reflect our commitment to Responsible Tourism and ASSET became ASSERT.

This past year has seen  a change of emphasis from being a training institution to being an advice driven membership focusing on sustainability.