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The Tourism industry in Kenya operates within a liberalized economic environment that is characterised by active partnership

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Introduction

The Government in Kenya The Tourism industry in Kenya operates within a liberalized economic environment that is characterised by active partnership between the Government and the private sector. While the private sector is expected to be the motive force, the Ministry of Tourism is charged with the responsibility of formulation and implementation of policies a kin to tourism as well as co-ordination of planning, development, promotion and marketing of tourism. The functions of the Government may be summarized as follows:- (i) Formulation and implementation of general policy guidelines for the tourism industry; (ii) Setting the required targets such as:- - increasing the contribution of the sector to the National Gross Domestic Product, through increased foreign exchange earnings and retention from the sector; - increase the sector's employment generating capacity. - conserving and protecting the environment; - diversification of the tourism product range and source markets; - developing sustainable tourism; and - the development of all facets of tourism. (iii) Planning, development and regulation of tourism activities; (iv) Licencing, classifying and upholding the quality of tourism facilities and services; (v) Co-ordination and Consultation with other government Ministries and departments in order to facilitate tourism development by providing the necessary enabling environment; (vi) The Ministry has also the responsibility of overseeing the operations of such State Corporations as:- * The Kenya Tourism Development Corporation, which lends to and advises investors in the tourism industry. * The Kenya Utalii College which trains all cadres of manpower for the hotel and tourism sub sectors. * The Catering Levy Trustee, which collects training levy on the sale of food, drinks and accommodation for purposes of funding training programmes for the hotel and tourism sub-sectors. * The Bomas of Kenya which is the national conservatory of Kenya's diverse cultural heritage where traditional rituals, dance and music are performed for the benefit of both visitors and the local people. * The Kenya Tourist Board which is charged with promotion and marketing of the destination both locally and internationally. ...read more.

Middle

The Kenya Government, through it's conservation arm, the Kenya Wildlife Service has put in place measures that ensure co-opting the support and participation of land owners in the management of wildlife. This involves sensitization, mobilization as well as education of the stakeholders. The Kenya Wildlife Service has also put in place appropriate measures which are aimed at capacity building by the relevant institutions in order that all the stakeholders become competent wildlife managers with adequate knowledge and skills regarding the contribution of wildlife visa-a-vis such alternative land uses as livestock keeping and agriculture. Optimum or sustainable consumptive wildlife utilisation therefore may only be achieved after area specific feasibility studies are carried out to determine its viability and compatibility with non-consumptive uses. Another important consideration is the sensitivity to the disparity in culture, ecology, and topography in the context of changing technology pertaining to game cropping, culling, game ranching, game farming and sale of live animals . The concept also entails accommodation of public interest without necessarily compromising private and community interests. COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP IN THE STRATEGIC PLANNING FOR SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN KENYA The rich cultural diversity is an integral part of our tourist attractions since it is one of the main reasons why visitors travel to the outlying rural areas of Kenya. This product is therefore being developed and promoted as this type of tourism can strengthen a society's culture and create employment at local levels thereby serving as an incentive for young people to stay in rural areas rather than migrate to urban areas in search of employment. It is with the foregoing in mind that made it necessary that sustainable tourism development be based on the ethics of care and respect for the respective communities' culture. This approach ensures that the development is both people oriented as well as conservation based. Sustainable tourism in other words, means, using tourism constructively so as to support the conservation of the environment, reinforcing the cultural heritage of indigenous people as well as enabling them to benefit directly from revenue accruing from tourism and related activities. ...read more.

Conclusion

Indeed such close co-operation can be forged and enhanced within the framework of the existing regional economic groupings such as the Common market for Eastern and Southern Africa(Comesa), Preferential Trade Area (PTA), Sadacc, East Africa Co-operation, Indian Ocean rim association for regional co-operation. These economic groupings can play a pivotal role in positioning Africa to be a major force in the envisaged tourism growth. In the development, promotion and marketing of our respective destinations we should always bear in mind the complementary nature of our products within the region. Secondly although by and large the countries within the region are destination countries rather than tourist generating countries, there is a vast market for intra-regional tourism, which has not yet been fully tapped. This observation holds true for example for both the Republic of South Africa and Kenya, which incidentally share a lot in common. However the free flow of visitors from each country has been hampered by among others, travel formalities and failure to capitalise on our complementality. CONCLUSION Most of Africa's Eco-system still remain intact and unspoiled thus providing a strong basis for a sustainable tourism development. All that is required proper planning and management of the available resources. It should be born in mind that sustainable tourism cannot thrive if we do not take care of our fragile environment. In this context, therefore, we should always remember the cardinal point that we all have a duty to practice responsible tourism so that at the end of the day we shall be able to conserve our fragile environment and biodiversity for the benefit of mankind. To this end there is therefore, an urgent need to put the necessary legislations and codes of conduct in place so as to ensure balanced development of tourism in African tourist destinations. Exchange of information and experience among African National would also be vital in achieving the requisite results for the development of sustainable tourism in conservation of the environment. ?? ?? ?? ?? Jennifer Sanders ...read more.

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