The Effects Of Tourism In Kenya

It has been brought to my attention that you have become concerned about the level of economic development in Kenya. To help solve this problem I have prepared a report in which I have come up with a solution to the problem.
After thoroughly researching different methods to increase the economy, I have come to a conclusion that tourism is the best alternative to increase the wealth of Kenya. In my report I will be discussing if tourism should be encouraged in Kenya. I will be looking at the different options of tourism, including the tourist opportunities, the advantages and disadvantages and the people who will benefit from it and those that may be affected.
I hope my report will be helpful and effective, please do not hesitate to contact me if u have any queries. Thank you.

Neha Bharadia
Facts Of Kenya
* Kenya is located in Eastern Africa, it is found between Somalia and Tanzania.
* The total area it covers is 582,650 km�. 13,400 km� of this area is water, which leaves 569,250 km� to be covered by land
* The total population is 31, 138,738
– Excess mortality expected due to AIDS, this results in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected.
* The population growth rate is 1.15%
* The highest point in Kenya is Mount Kenya which is 5,199m
* The natural resources available are gold, limestone, soda ash, salt barites, rubies, fluorspar, garnets, wildlife and hydropower.
* Land use (see chart 2): 7.03% – Arable land
0.91% – Permanent crops
92.06% – Other
* Natural hazards that occur in Kenya are: reoccurring drought and flooding during rainy seasons.
* The Languages spoken in Kenya are mainly English, Swahili and Kishwahli, however there are also many other various languages spoken.
* The literacy rate of the entire population is 78.17%. 86.3% of all males are literate and 70% of all females are literate.
* The climate varies from tropical along the coast to arid in the centre.
Graphs Showing Climate in Nairobi
Chart 1 Chart 3
Chart 2
Tourism in Kenya
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Most tourists are attracted to visiting Kenya because of the wildlife parks or the coastline of the Indian Ocean. People often go on holidays in Kenya, as it is something different from normal beach holidays in Europe, which prove to be very popular with tourists.
Visitors to Kenya can go on various different types of safaris, as there are many different national parks and areas where wildlife can be seen. Kenya has a total of twenty-six National Parks and twenty-nine National Reserves. All of them occupy a total area of 44,359 sq. kilometres. They range from marine national parks, savannah-bush woodland national parks, mountain national parks, arid and semi-arid national parks, to lake ecosystem national parks/reserves. The ‘big five’ can be seen in all the national parks, these are Elephants, Rhinoceros, Buffalos, Lions, and Leopards.
These are the five animals people most look forward to seeing as there are become rare species and can only be seen in certain parts of the world. The marine parks are famous for their beautiful coral reefs, coral gardens, beaches and lagoons, brightly patterned coral fishes e.g. Angel fish, Parrot fish, Starfish, Sea urchins, lovely porcelain cowries, Green turtles, Octopus, Dugong and big game fish like Blue marlin, Sail fish, Giant fish, Giant grouper and Marko sharks. Kenya also accommodates the greatest crocodile colony in the world at Sibiloi National Park, and the world’s largest number of flamingos at Lake Nakuru National Park.
Tourists can also visit Bamburi; this is an old cement works, which has been made into an ecosystem. This transformation would have been successful without the money from tourism, and is now a tourist titration itself. Another popular place for tourists to visit is Mount Kenya, it stands as the highest point in Kenya, and tourists can visit while on safaris. Tourists also enjoy visiting the Masai tribes; they are a group of nomadic herders who move around Kenya to where the rainy season is. They like to perform shows for the tourists for which they receive money.
There are also many outdoor activities that people can participate in such as; camel racing, mountaineering, golf safari and white water rafting.
However despite the beautiful scenery and excitingly unusual experience tourism is rapidly dropping on Kenya (See graph below).
This could be due to the fact that much of the Kenyan wildlife is being destroyed especially by tourists themselves.
The Advantages of Tourism
* Tourism brings in a lot Kenya’s income, as chart 1 shows most of Kenya’s income is through services. A big part of these services rely on tourists, this includes things such as hotels, restaurants, entertainment, gift shops as these as things that locals do not usually spend money on.
* Many jobs are created for locals in hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions. Many people in Kenya are illiterate (21.83% as shown in the research above) so this gives them opportunities to earn good money without having to do a complicated job.
* Tourism can help locals and people of Kenya to try and preserve the area so it will remain attractive to tourists.
* Things such as airports, roads, and water and electricity supplies will be improved, this can also benefit the locals as well as the tourists.
* Tourism can also mean that local tradition and culture will be preserved in order to keep tourists interested in something new.
* Tour operators pay the Maasai tribes people to entertain the tourists, and plus they receive extra money from any tourists who are generous enough to give them tips.
* Kenya has become famously known around the world, for its luscious scenery and its wide range of wildlife.
* The main people that benefit from tourism are; the service providers and local staff (tour operators, hotel staff, shops selling souvenirs), and tourists themselves as they get to enjoy an excellent holiday.
* Local people get some knowledge of other countries, traditions and cultures as people from many different countries visit Kenya (see chart 3). Most locals are not fortunate enough to travel to other countries, so tourism gives them an opportunity to learn about other people.
* The Disadvantages of Tourism
* Tourists are a hazard to the natural environment. They cause harms such as footpath and soil erosion, pollution problems caused by litter, noise and waste in rivers and the sea, land is wasted to build road, hotel, airport and luxuries for tourists to enjoy. Tourists leave the country in a mess, which the locals then have to suffer for in the future. The beautiful and peaceful surroundings get ruined which can then cause potential tourism to be affected.
* There are only certain seasons where tourists can visit, this is usually summer, and so for the rest of the year many locals are short on work or even out left with no work. The jobs are also of low status and poorly paid, as they are not very skilled jobs, many of the employees have to get more than one job to support their families.
* In the national parks tourists demand to see the animals from a close view, this disturbs the animals.
* A lot of the money brought in through tourism does not end up helping the country; only 15% of the money spent on a holiday reaches Kenya.
* Land is use to build developments on which mean people like farmers, fishermen and small businesses can lose their land and therefore be left without work.
* As Kenya is a LEDC it suffers more from tourism than MEDCs because they lack human expertise and money, which makes them less effective than MEDCs.
* The local culture may not be preserved but forgotten if locals are more willing to favour towards western tourists than to keep their traditions. They will want to please tourists and change to suit their needs.
* Tourists do not respect the traditions and values of the Kenyan people; they can be disrespectful towards the people and towards their beliefs.
* The Maasai tribes people have been thrown off their land and only been given a small amount of space to herd their cattle and plant their crops.
* The Maasai are also tricked b the tour operators into entertaining for a chap price, although they charge a lot more for tourists to visit them.
* Clean water supplies are used up by tourists, leaving only a small amount for locals.
* The main people that suffer from the affects of tourism are; locals who feel their authority is not respected by tourists, and the Maasai, who do not get compensated enough for tourists using their land
A Solution
The problems of tourism can, in some cases, be solved in a way that all people can benefit. The main solution would be to use ‘green tourism’ in Kenya. This is where tourism is environmentally friendly. There are many ways of bringing eco-tourism about; these are some of the ways.
* There will be a special path for safaris; only certain types of cars can travel on these.
* Tourists will not be allowed to walk around the parks, even if they are accompanied.
* Tourists must not get too close to the animals or disturb them in any way.
* They must not litter or cause any type of pollution.
* The Maasai must receive at least half the profit made from any tour operators, and must be paid for the land that it is being used by tourists.
* Tourists must respect the traditions and laws of Kenya, this includes being proper dressed at all times and following the rules given to them.
* Money made from tourism should go towards paying staff and developing the environment of the country.
* Only small parts of the land should be used to development tourism.
* The locals should be respected, this means still being able to have a good water supply and not being over-run by tourists.
If these needs can be met by both the Kenyan government and the tourists, the tourism will not only help the country’s economy but will also preserve the environment.
By introducing this type of tourism in Kenya it will help everyone by the following ways.
* The environment will be preserved; this will help in the sustainable development of tourism in the country. The animals will be kept safe and unharmed, as well as the greenery and other surroundings.
* The locals will benefit because the country can be developed with the income of tourism.
* Tourist will be able to enjoy their holiday, while still being able to secure the country for tourism in the future.
* The Maasai will be able to get the kind of money they deserve.
Conclusion
Should tourism be encouraged in Kenya?
After analysing many pieces of evidence, it is obvious that tourism plays a large active role in the country’s economy. It brings in a lot of the money, however there are many problems concerning this. One of the biggest problems is that the country is getting damaged in the process; this stops the sustainable development of tourism. Another major problem is that tourism is only seasonal, which means that tourism cannot be relied on as the main source of income. Although it can bring in more than most industries and agriculture, it cannot always be successful. One other problem is that is concerning the government is that most of the money spent by foreigners on holidays to Kenya does not actually reach the country itself.
However if introducing eco-tourism solves the problem of tourists damaging the environment then everyone can enjoy tourism. The other two problems cannot really be solved drastically, but Kenya can still benefit from tourism.
I believe that although Kenya is a good resort for tourism, so it should be encouraged under the rules of ‘green tourism.’ In spite of this it is still not consistent throughout the year, which mean Kenya also needs another major source of income. The Kenyan government should use the natural resources found on the land to their advantage, for example they could export the gold, rubies and other precious stones found in the country. This will guarantee them an income when the tourist season is not on.

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