Sustainable tourism development for Kenyan DestinationsKATO
Before the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, over-tourism was common in popular Kenyan tourism destinations. The affected destinations experience overcrowding which in turn leads to littering and a lack of observance of the park and reserve rules put in place e.g. using designated walk paths. In many cases, there is little involvement of the local communities. Whether it’s in the supply of materials to be used in the destinations or employment positions, the communities miss out or are left out of the benefits enjoyed by the destinations. As a result of the usual all-inclusive packages in the destination, there’s is the limited purchase of local food offered by the local communities. Respect for the culture of the locals in the destination is sometimes ignored. For instance, some cultures in Kenya value modest dress codes for women. However, some tourists dress in a manner that upsets the community. Habits such as these are picked up by the younger generation who often end up looking down on their culture’s values on clothing, as an example. This is where the appropriation of culture comes in. There is the pressure of maximizing positives obtained from tourism and minimizing the negatives but we would need to do things differently.
In order to do things differently; to have the tourism we engage in to respect the environment, the local community, and to be economically viable, we need to adopt sustainable tourism. Sustainable tourism is an approach that looks into developing the environmental, socio-cultural, and economical aspects of tourism. Ecotourism Kenya has put in efforts to lead and encourage practitioners of tourism in Kenya to learn and pick up sustainable tourism practices. We have achieved this through the eco-rating scheme we run for accommodation facilities mainly hotels, camps and lodges. We are also part of the key implementation partners of the GreenTour Kenya project that aims to replicate tourism industry sustainability best practices into the Kenyan and wider African tourism supply chain through an integrated business-led approach. Through the project, we support sustainability training, coaching and certification of tour operators on the Travelife online platform. We have also offered sustainability coaching sessions to tour and driver guides.
Introducing Green Destinations Pilot Program in Kenya
We would like to get as many stakeholders of tourism as possible to better understand sustainability and eventually practice it. We have collaborated with the Green Destinations to further advance this goal with different destinations. The Green Destinations pilot program offers an opportunity for destinations managers to join in and have a seat at the table.
The program, currently active in 60 countries, uses recognized principles and the re-known Sustainable Development Goals to support destinations in implementing suitable solutions and in delivering sustainable and responsible tourism, while actively involving their local community and business sector. It assists different destinations in sustainable tourism development in the following ways.
The different sectors include;
● Destination management, monitoring, training, and support; uses 30 criteria guidelines
● Green Destinations Awards; uses 85 criteria and four advance levels; Bronze, Silver. Gold & Platinum Awards. Top 100 Competition, GSTC certification
● On-site training; get assistance from coaches
● Involving your tourism businesses; using the Good Travel Guide to increase visibility and make business more responsible.
Who can participate in the program?
Municipalities, cities, counties, protected areas such as parks, conservancies, and private destinations. Local tourism communities can also participate.
For inquiries please contact Mercy Onyango on
firstname.lastname@example.org or Call 0726366080
Ecotourism Kenya welcomes you to join the Green Destinations Pilot Program