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tourism against poverty


ico ambiente internaparco WTourism strategies for fighting poverty in Burkina Faso, Ecuador and Tanzania



Burkina Faso: Province of Tapoa, Municipalities of Diapaga, Tambaga and Logobou.

Ecuador: Province of Pichincha, 4 communities in Caspigasí, Pululahua, Santo Domingo and Rumi Cucho.

Tanzania, Zanzibar region: villages of Nungwi, Matemwe, Kiwengwa, Pongwe, Paje, Bwejuu, Jambiani and Chake Chake.



From December 1, 2009 to March 31, 2013



Burkina Faso
The W National park, in the province of Tapoa, is an important landscape and fauna heritage recognized by UNESCO. The populations living around the reserve however are excluded from using the land and natural resources of the park and live in conditions of mere subsistence.

Zanzibar's economy depends largely on international tourism which however has a limited impact on the local populations. There is a lack of competences to find jobs in the tourism sector, as also to set up entrepreneurial initiatives associated with the tourism sector. Furthermore, the tourist areas are heavily threatened from an environmental perspective.

The area of Mitad del Mundo, which the project targets, hosts a museum-park which is the most popular attraction in the country, with about 700,000 tourists who, however, only stay the day, and disregard the surrounding area. This is an agricultural area, where the unregulated presence of quarries has determined considerable environmental deterioration. However the area also hosts important archaeological and nature sites like the Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve, various buildings of the country's colonial history and Inca sites.




To improve the living conditions of the resident populations, enhance tourism related capacities and involve the local communities in services associated with non-traditional tourism (eco-tourism, sustainable tourism, community tourism ) to favour a participatory and sustainable development.



Burkina Faso

  • Training in hotel management and tourist reception.
  • Support to participatory processes for territorial planning within the framework of local development plans.
  • Creation of a centre for ecotourism and environmental conservation functional to the environmental education of local youth and as a tourist attraction.
  • Creation of three community crafts centre.
  • Training of small tourism entrepreneurs and craftsmen.
  • Creation of 2 home-stays in the villages of Tambaga and Logobou.
  • Identification, development and promotion of nature tours (climbing on the Gobnangou cliffs, bike tour and on donkey back tides inside and outside the park).
  • Specialized training for the association of eco-guides of Diapaga.


  • Training in hotel management and tourism reception.
  • Training of small and medium entrepreneurs in the tourist sector.
  • Creation of an agency for employment and technical and financial support to micro and small businesses (local crafts, food products, construction, services associated with tourism, etc.) .
  • Environment education in schools and strengthening of community organizations for the management of the environment, with particular emphasis on the problem of solid waste.
  • Promotion of community dialogue on tourist development and relative policies.


  • Training of hotel management and tourist reception.
  • Identification, development and promotion of tours and connected services.
  • Creation of a Tourist Agency, to promote and market a variety of tourist services offered by the local communities (tour guides, transport, catering, archaeological museum, etc.).
  • Training of eco-guides and development of nature and archaeology tours.
  • Creation of home-stay in Caspigasí del Carmen, Pululahua, Rumi Cucho, Santo Domingo and management training for the hosting families.
  • Environmental education courses for a participatory management of the natural resources of the Pululahua reserve.

Transversally to the intervention is the organization of national and international conferences, events, exchange visits for promotional purposes to share the best practices in pro-poor tourism in the three countries involved.

A website has also been developed dedicated to the activities implemented and the tourist attractions in four different languages.




Burkina Faso
approximately 9,000 people amongst rural poor, local artisans, local guides of the existing associations, children of school age, traditional authorities of the villages in the municipalities of Diapaga, Tambaga and Logobou.
Indirect beneficiaries are the populations of the districts of Diapaga, Logobou and Tambaga, for a total of 70,000 people.

50,000 people who live in the project areas. Amongst these, the poor of the rural areas, local SMEs, CBOs, children of school age, students, local environment committees, NGOs in the villages of Nungwi, Pongwe, Zambiani, Chake Chake and unemployed (for a total of 1,400 people).
Indirect beneficiaries of the project are the communities of the entire archipelago for a total of 1,000,000 people.

5,550 people amongst unemployed and low income rural populations of the communities of Caspigasí, Pululahua, Santo Domingo, Rumi Cucho, Los Reales and Tanlahua.
Indirect beneficiaries of the project are also 30,000 people who live in the province of Pichincha.




Ownership of the project's actions by the communities and local authorities is the key for a long term sustainability. To achieve this, local leaders, grassroots associations and local authorities in the three countries of reference have received training and placed in the conditions to operate independently, broadening their technical and administrative skills and their range of action.

  • In Burkina Faso, the campements communautaires will be managed by a local entrepreneur, but the property of the infrastructures will remain with the Municipality, or rather the local municipal authority which contributed to the process of creation of 3 Local Development Committees. These are organisms of representation of the various villages involved in the program and, with the support of the Tourism General Management, have been adequately trained to carry out an effective promotion on one hand and on the other to monitor and control the correct management of the infrastructures. The Development Committees can thus valorise the local cultural and natural resources, promoting community participation in its activities and consequently guaranteeing community ownership of the project and the transparent management of the infrastructures and of the correlated economic activities.


  • In Ecuador an association was established for this purpose, which will manage all the tourist reception facilities derived from the project, as well as all the tourist service "packages" created in recent years. This is the Red de Turismo that incorporates various local associations operating in the tourist sector, or in related sectors, and aims at developing locally managed community tourism. The members of this association have been duly trained, to enable long term funding of the association and to extend the area of intervention and the services provided.


  • In Zanzibar the project's strategy focused on the spreading of knowledge and capacity building at a local level, of various kinds, but all indispensible for increasing the quality of the tourist services offered locally. Particular importance was given to the environmental element, with the construction of 2 waste dumps and 4 centres for waste collection. Various local environmental associations have received training in services related to separate collection and disposal of waste, and we are working on the creation of a Stakeholder Committee that can correctly manage these activities, with the participation of representatives of the local communities, of the community based organizations, of the government and of the hotel sector.


Total value:
1.841.533 €

Principal funder:

ue European Commission


Other funders:

FASI – Federazione Arrampicata Sportiva Italiana
WTO - World Tourism Organisation

Principal partners:

  • Zanzibar: Chamgamoto Life Preservation Fund
  • Burkina Faso: Comune di Diapaga
  • Ecuador: CODEZEQ (Corporacion de Desarrollo de la Zona Equinoccial)


Other partners:
AITR - Associazione Italiana Turismo Responsabile
HABS - Hands Accross Borders Society
Mowgli - Turismo responsabile, sviluppo sostenibile