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Gabon: Capacity-Building for Tourism and Conservation Professionals


Conseil National des Parcs Nationaux de Gabon/National Parks of Gabon 

(via EU Programme Sectoriel de Valorisation des Aires Protégées/The Environment & Development Group – 2004/2006)


Following the President’s decision in 2002 to declare 13 national parks and develop tourism to help maintain them, we were asked to prepare a tourism marketing strategy and action plan for Gabon. We were also asked to build capacity amongst future leaders in the tourism sector. But a country that had hardly opened its doors to tourism had a long way to go in developing the skills on which a sustainable tourism future would depend.


  • Future potential leaders in the tourism sector were identified in government ministries and NGOs. This included the Ministry of Tourism, Gabontour (tourism office), National Parks, Wildlife Conservation Society, Conservation International and others. Key private sector leaders were also included
  • We worked with these professionals to develop their capacity by working on a “live” project – the development of a tourism marketing strategy and action plan
  • This intensively participative approach was critical in transferring skills to them. It was also influential in obtaining their ownership of, and commitment to, the emerging strategy
  • We focussed on developing their understanding of: 

-  the international tourism supply chain

-  international consumer motivation

-  market segmentation

-  product audit

-  product and infrastructure development needs

-  skills development needs

-  competitor analysis

-  destination branding and marketing techniques

-  monitoring impact and measuring success


  • Increased capacity and skills amongst a disparate group of tourism and conservation professionals in Gabon
  • A common understanding was achieved with regard to Gabon’s main tourism opportunities and the international tourism supply chain, which equipped this group of professionals to market Gabon internationally.
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