Programs Initiated to Promote Tourism in Kenya
Do you know that money tourist spent in 2014 equated to 17% of Kenya’s exports? Tourism in the country contributes a substantial amount to the Gross domestic product (GDP), hence there are alliances that have been formed to facilitate this economic activity. This article focuses on these associations namely Ecotourism Kenya, Kenya Association of Women in Tourism as well as Kenya Authorized Travel Specialist.
Initiatives to Encourage Tourism
Different groups in the country are being formed to promote touristry in the country. To begin with is the Ecotourism Society of Kenya (ESOK) which was founded in 1996 and later altered its name to Ecotourism Kenya (EK) in the year 2006. Uniquely, in Africa EK was the first ecotourism association as well as a leader in the field of community asset building via tourism projects along with voluntary tourism certification. Moreover, the society also participates in mobilizing and sensitizing the community, environmental audits, identifying and developing products, as well as sustainable tourism planning. Not to mention, for the Ecotourism Kenya to function effortlessly, it usually receives a nice support from tourism practitioners, Kenya Tourism Board along with Ministry of Tourism. Additionally, the association receive donations from development partners such as FORD Foundation, CBI Netherlands, NEMA, UNDP, World Wide Fund for Nature, Tourism Trust Fund, among others. Furthermore, due to the group’s influence within the tourism sector, it acts as a confluence of the conservation, societies along with the tourism industry whilst advocating responsible management of resources.
The next initiative is the Kenya Association of Women in Tourism (KAWT) whose membership comprises of individuals, enterprises as well as organizations that have paid their annual membership fees. Additionally, the individual members must be a minimum holder of a diploma certificate from accredited institutions and not less than a decade in the tourism sector. Equally important, the businesses as well organizations are obliged to have at least five years in operations. Again, the non-profit association is made up of women in tourism and hospitality connected ventures both in the private and public sector. These are some of the objectives of the union advocate self-esteem, self-reliance and self-confidence in women, train upcoming hospitality practitioners in preparation for the job market and mobilize women to take active roles in the tourism promotion.
The other association is the Kenya Authorized Travel Specialist (KATS) Program which is made up of travel agents in Kenya. This is a strong group because a big percentage of guests to Kenya buy their travel via travel agents since they are viewed as being more reliable and in return the agents through joining this alliance benefits from boosting sales. Additionally, the union is composed of three chapters. Firstly, introduction to Kenya which involves ideal time to visit, history and regions. Secondly, the tourism infrastructure which entails the suitable accommodations that matches the customers needs as well as getting there and around. Thirdly, selling Kenya which outlines top experiences along with reasons to visit. Moreover, once an individual completes these course, he/she becomes an undisputed specialist in Kenya. Also, these are the advantages of doing this program: personalized and printable certificate, 12 continuing education credits from ATCA together with 2 continuing education credits from The Travel Institute.
In conclusion, Kenya is encouraging both domestic along with foreign tourism in an aim to promote recreation and for economic purposes. Therefore, individuals have come together and formed unions to encourage tourism in the country through focus in diverse issues such as sustainable tourism planning, mobilize women to take active roles in the tourism promotion, and train upcoming hospitality practitioners in preparation for the job market. The initiatives are Kenya Authorized Travel Specialist, Kenya Association of Women in Tourism and Ecotourism Kenya