This paper analyses the tourism value chain in order to understand and encourage pro-poor growth of the tourist sector in The Gambia. The central finding is that about 14 per cent of the Gambian part of the chain flows directly into the hands of poor people – a much larger pro-poor outcome than the authors expected. This is due to well-developed local linkages in the destination country that allow poor people to access tourist discretionary expenditure – supported by concerted action from civil society and donor organisations. Pathways from tourism to the poor are, in descending order of importance, craft markets, the food supply chain, non-managerial staff in hotels, excursion guides, and taxis. To increase the benefits from tourism to the poor, the paper recommends increasing both the size of the slice that accrues to them and the size of the tourist cake itself.