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Is Tourism the Best Way For Kenya To Develop?

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Is Tourism the Best Way for Kenya to Develop? Introduction In this report, I will be investigating how tourism is increasing Kenya's income and world standing. I will also, however, be investigating the positive and negative repercussions of tourism on Kenya's people, wildlife and landscape, before coming to my own conclusion on whether tourism should be encouraged as a source of income. Why might the government want to encourage tourism in Kenya? In comparison with other more economically developed countries (MEDC's) such as the UK, it can be seen that Kenya cannot be classed under the title MEDC as the country lacks certain characteristics necessary for the title. In comparison, however, with less economically developed countries such as India, it can be seen that Kenya does fit the criteria for a LEDC more convincingly. This is shown in the table below. If we look at this table, you can see clear contrasts between the figures for each country. On examining population, for example, it can be seen that the population of Kenya is just 28.8 million. This is less than half that of Britain, an MEDC which has a population of 59 million, and only just over 10% of that of the USA, also a MEDC with a population of 267.7 million. What this trend would suggest is that the higher the population, the more economically developed the country. India, however, an LEDC disproves this theory, with a population of 969.7 million. Usually, population is an indication of development, as a larger population would suggest a higher life expectancy rate, and higher GNP. Although this is true for some examples, there are always some countries which break the rule. When you compare the USA and Kenya, you will see that Kenya an LEDC has a low life expectancy of just 54 years and so in turn has relatively low population. Similarly if you look at the USA, you will see it has a very high population generated by its high life expectancy of 76 years. ...read more.


The problem occurs, however, as this increase is followed by a decrease in other sources of income. Kenya is now running the risk of becoming too dependant on tourism as a source of income. There is also the issue of just how much of the money generated by tourism goes to the Kenyan people, as figures show that in fact large overseas corporations are taking most of the money. For all of the money coming into Kenya, there is also vast amounts going out as a result of tourism. The Kenyan government for example has had to take out large loans from other countries in order to pay for the development of it tourist facilities. There are also goods that have to be imported for tourists and other amounts of money going out of Kenya as a direct result of tourism. I did mention that tourism creates jobs for locals, but how many companies will actually employ these natives? In many instances the foreign tour operators at work in Kenya, will use foreign air lines, import foreign food, build with foreign building materials and employ foreign tour guides. Some jobs are created for Kenyan workers, however, in the construction of the hotels, for example, employing a Kenyan work force is much cheaper than bringing in foreign labourers. Yet for any job with any technical skill foreigners are still drafted in, with the result that few Kenyans will ever be able to advance career wise higher than farmers or tour guides. In this way, it could be argued that tourism is weakening Kenya's economy, as the development of tourist orientated businesses are replacing that of more high tech developments that would raise Kenya's economic standing in the world economy. Although tourism is a quick way of earning money, it is not one that allows much room for development, as it will always rely on foreign money as opposed to investing in Kenyan business. ...read more.


As well as restrictions on the building of tourist resorts in Kenya, there should also be restrictions on the way in which Kenya's natural habitats are exploited. On the Mombado coast, for example, laws should be made and enforced so that tourists can only see the coral reef through licensed boat trip operators. These boat trips would continue to employ locals, but through the use of glass bottomed boats etc. the way in which the coral is viewed would be limited so as not to cause damage. Similar measures also need to be implemented in the game reserves if the animals are to be preserved. Currently the laws there are not enforced. Firstly this could be done with the creation of more ranger jobs. Secondly, as with reef trips, the tours of the parks could be limited to licensed local drives who respect the parks environment by stealthily following animals and keeping to the paths with a trained local guide. Again such measures as these are already being implemented with success in areas like the Tsavo game reserve, where only one or two trips are made every hour, and the tourists stay out in the Savanna camped in tents etc. so as not to disturb the animals. On being interviewed after experiencing both forms of safari, tourist in fact preferred the Tsavo way, saying that if they returned it would be on the strength of their Tsavo experience. So, as you can see in many cases the restrictions that must be implemented will increase tourism as well as national income. Tourism should be encouraged in Kenya, but at the same time it must be remembered that unless it is sustainable, it will inevitably lead to a decline in the Kenyan culture as well as income. After all tourists will not want to come to a Kenya full of dwindling game reserves, baron seas and decayed culture. ?? ?? ?? ?? Alexander Tempowski Page 1 of 3 Geography Coursework 27/04/07 ...read more.

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