Tourism is the world’s largest industry. According to World Tourism Organization (WTO), tourism accounts for more than 10% of the world total employment, 11% of the Global Domestic Product (GDP) and the total tourist trips are predicted to increase to 1.6 billion by 2020. In Kenya tourism is an important sector of the economy, in 2006 tourism was the leading foreign exchange earners contributing Ksh 56.2 billion while attracting 1.8 million tourists (Source :Kenya Tourism Board). Tourism industry is a very broad multifaceted sector attracting many stakeholders and because of that it is faced with innumerable challenges in Kenya.
Narrow Tourism Product
Kenya offers a narrow tourism product in natural attractions, which include the wildlife in its natural habitat and idyllic beaches, as known as 3S (sun, sea and sand) tourism. Compared to other emerging and competing destinations in Africa such as South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana, they are also offering the same products, plus others in a better packaged manner. There is therefore need to diversify her tourism product. Tourism product diversification should highlight other unique attraction like culture of people beside Maasai, historical sites like Fort Jesus and others and prehistoric sites in Kenya being cradle of mankind, conference facilities, etc. One area where Kenya can do well is in the emerging ecotourism sector.
Another major challenge afflicting tourism is the insecurity; especially that involving politically motivated tribal crashes. Over the years since 1992, the political violence has adopted a predictable cycle in each election year. The worst was 2007/2008, due to disputed presidential elections; the impacts are still being felt one year later. Related to this, is terrorism. For some political reasons, Kenya has been a soft target for... [continues]
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