The sample essay on Effects Of Tourism In Kenya deals with a framework of research-based facts, approaches and arguments concerning this theme. To see the essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion, read on.
The local people were denied an opportunity to make their contributions towards wildlife conservation and management as they were kept off protected areas. There was initially a lukewarm acceptance of the policy guideline that “Kenya had an obligation of protecting the country’s fauna and flora for posterity” by the local communities in whose areas the attractions abound.
Equally, educational approaches and extension efforts were not very successful as the local communities were not benefitting directly from those resources within their areas.Empirical research however, indicated that direct sharing of benefits accruing from wildlife conservation and tourism were better appreciated by the local communities.
These inadequacies which were inherent in the conservation policies of the 1970’s thus led to the current concept of sustainable wildlife utilisation whereby economic sense and the utility of the product superseeds other considerations and in the process ensuring that the resource is managed on a rational and sustainable basis.
The concept entails optimum resource management, efficiency in productivity as well as equitable sharing of the benefits. 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. Kenya as a tourist destination has therefore adopted and encouraged sustainable tourism strategies in order to strike a balance between the needs of the industry and those of the local communities.Accordingly it has been found necessary to find ways and means of ploughing back the benefits accruing from tourism to the development of the local population. The main consideration here is to improve their living conditions, security, and their access to social services. Hence the important issues being addressed in this context include:- reducing vulnerability of exploitation of local communities by unscrupulous people and How to enhance retention of income accruing from tourism by the local communities so as to plough back into community based development projects.FUNDING OF THE KENYA WILDLIFE SERVICE COMMUNITY BASED CONSERVATION EFFORTS Apart from core financing and moral support from the Central Government; community based conservation effort in Kenya has also benefitted from donor funding and private initiatives. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID). For instance in 1992, contracted with an American (U. S. ) consulting company, namely “Development Alternatives, Inc”. for the implementation of the Kenya Wildlife Serrvice’s Conservation of Biodiverse Resource Areas Project (COBRA) for a maximum investment by USAID of US$7,000,000.The amount has since been raised to US$8,500,000 and the time frame of the project has also been extended up to December, 1999. The goal of the COBRA project is to promote Socio-economic development through conservation and sustainable management of Kenya’s natural resources. The main objective is to increase the flow of socio-economic benefits to local communities living adjacent to Kenya’s National Parks and Reserves through the sustainable management of wildlife and other natural resources.This project has assisted in enhancing community awareness in conservation and wildlife management. The Conservation of Biodiverse Resource Areas Project (COBRA) has assisted the Kenya Wildlife Service in institutionalising a community based conservation component namely “the Partnership Department”, within the Organisation through the provision of salary support to professional staff, training of lower cadres and procurement of vehicles, computers, and the necessary field equipment.The COBRA project has also assisted in the implementation of pilot community conservation programmes in three focal Districts; namely Laikipia, Samburu and Kajiado since 1993 as well as the coastal areas South of Mombasa. Although the COBRA project has assisted communities in the planning and implementation of community based development projects such as the construction of schools, clinics, water tanks among others, the project’s main thrust since 1995 has been focused on the support of enterprises related to eco-tourism, which depend directly on wildlife.ALTERNATIVE FUNDING: PRIVATE ENTREPRENEURSHIP/ PARTNERSHIP APPROACH – A CASE STUDY: LEWA DOWNS CONSERVANCY/ IL NGWESI The Lewa Downs Conservancy was formed to manage 55,000 acres of prime wildlife land for the purpose of protecting such endangered species as black Rhino and grevy Zebra, to establish Wildlife as a viable form of land use as well as to encourage the neighbouring land owners maintain wildlife migration routes. The conservancy has emphasized community involvement by the neighbouring land-owners.The projects include:- the development and operation of a health clinic, the establishment of community trust aimed at improving the standards of living of those juxtaposing the conservancy and assisting with the support of two community based wildlife trusts whose prime objectives are to use wildlife as a resource to generate money for people in neighbouring communities. A unique relationship was created between the Lewa Downs Conservancy and the “IL NGWESI TOURIST LODGE”, an income generating project, with a view to forming an ideal eco-tourism system.The IL Ngwesi Tourist Lodge which is located on Il Ngwesi Group Ranch (in North Eastern Laikipia) was built with Donor funding for the benefit of both visitors to Lewa Downs Conservancy and Borana ranch. The lodge has four bandas of unique architecture which are situated on an ideal site that overlooks the Mukogodo Escarpment and forest to the south and southwest and the picturesque hills of Wamba, Samburu Game Reserve, Mathews range and Sapashe to the North west. Natural materials have been used to construct the Bandas in order to blend with the environment thus making it an attractive eco-lodge.Construction of the lodge started in January 1996 and opened its doors to tourists on 19th December 1996. As of November 1997, it had grossed US$ 42,000 against an investment of US$ 140,000. The initial funding came from the Kenya Wildlife Service; and from Liz Clairborne and Art Ortenbury Foundations of U. S. A. The marketing and promotion of the lodge has been by word of mouth, but nevertheless the lodge has attracted a very enthusiastic clientele of expatriates living in Nairobi who are out to seek quietude and adventure in the in the African bush.To diversify activities, a cultural boma has been opened and is visited by tourists from the lodge, Borana Ranch and the Lewa conservancy. Proceeds from the lodge are re-invested in community based development projects such as schools, cattle dips, water, bursary schemes and the group ranch members share dividends at the end of each year. The community formed a land management committee that limits the land to be set a side for cattle ranching.The losses incurred as a result of limited land for ranching are offset by revenues generating from the operations of the lodge and annual dividends. The Kenya Wildlife Service sensitizes and mobilizes the community through Participatory Rural Appraisals (PRAs), workshops, study tours and training of committee members on leadership and record keeping, as well as training scouts from the community. A general meeting is held each year to discuss the utilisation of funds realised from the bandas. Nearly all employees of the Il Ngwesi Bandas are members of the community.The Bandas thus have shown that the community based wildlife conservation projects can raise income and has also demonstrated the utility of the local natural resources. The enterprise has positively changed the attitude of the group ranch members towards wildlife conservation. This is a typical success story of an eco-tourism enterprise that has created direct linkages between conservation of the community land and tourism related wildlife projects by providing a focus for the community to preserve the environment and the rationale to do it.The tripartite co-operation between Lewa Downs conservancy, the community and the Kenya Wildlife Service partnership programme has created a model worth emulating in the development of sustainable tourism and distribution of benefits, especially in communities based in remote areas of Kenya. Il Ngwesi is a model product which is essentially a major departure from the “Big Five” syndrome that has been a driving force for our Safari visitors. It is important to note from this model the low cost capital out lay as compared to the unique compatibility of the projects and the distribution of the accrued benefits to the local communities.The Eco tourism Society of Kenya endeavours to help promote tourism in Kenya by projecting a positive image and encouraging high standards, green certification, carrying out consumer surveys offering consultancy services, advice and information, public information, public relations, organizing conferences and seminars, publishing appropriate newsletters, brochures and books as well as conducting research. DEVELOPMENT OF TOURISM INDUSTRY WITHIN AFRICA REGIONDestinations in Africa enjoy a privileged position in relation to the major tourist generating markets due mainly to their unique features, history as well as a wide range of products on offer. The strong awareness for conservation of the environment and the demand for exoticism by potential travellers translates into increasing demand by an ever growing number of foreign visitors. Accordingly there is need for destinations in Africa to co-operate more closely in areas of product development, research, manpower development and training as well as exchange of tourism experts and tourism information.It is also necessary to harmonise travel formalities within the region so as to encourage free flow of visitors and maximisation of benefits accruing from tourism interactions within the region. 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.