Mark Gerasimov

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					        The Impact of Tourism in Kenya




Mark Gerasimov

Diploma in Hotel and Tourism Management

HTMi Switzerland
Introduction

The matchless wild nature and coast of white sand attracts about 780 000
foreign visitors to Kenya annually. Tourism brings approximately US$192 million
annually, making this sector a greatest source of a foreign currency. As well as in
everything, in this income is not only a positive side. Tourism in Kenya is
concentrated on two geographical areas: southern coast and national parks. The
150-kilometre strip of a coastal line to the north and to the south from Mombasa
— leveled with the beach hotels developed for package tours — contains half of
all development of tourism in the country. Not only this concentration extends
privileges and expenses to small area, it leaves the industry vulnerable to note
researchers. Ethnic collisions at coast in 1997 have caused drama recession in
visitors, and the industry is still recovering. Researchers recommending to
improve tourism services in less visited parts to increase the average profit from
tourism and to help extending influence and privileges of tourism for the
country.


Political implications
The Kenyan government has a policy stating that locals should receive one-
quarter of the economic benefit of tourist sites, but the researchers found this is
not being enforced. They recommend enforcing the policy, building and staffing
schools and hospitals for local people, and ensuring that at least half of tourism
industry employees come from local communities. About 180,000 Kenyans are
directly employed in tourism and another 320,000 are indirectly employed,
according to the study (IDRC 2009). Following the controversial 2007
presidential election and the 2007-2008 Kenyan crisis that followed, tourism
revenues plummeted 54 percent from 2007 in the first quarter of 2008. It fell to
8.08 billion shillings (US$130.5 million) from 17.5 billion shillings in January-
March 2007 and a total of 130,585 tourists arrived in Kenya compared to over
273,000 that year. Tourist income from China, however, dropped 10.7%,
compared with over 50% from traditional revenue earners the United States and
Europe.
Domestic tourism also improved by 45%, earning the tourist sector 3.65 billion
shillings out of the 8.08 billion in the period being reviewed.


Impacts on culture
As a result of tourism, percent of prostitution in some areas has increased. The
reason is low income of local population, loss of respect for national foundations
and laws among prostitutes and men. Beside this negative factors tourism
industry benefits local culture and environment. Tourism helped to keep
ceremonies and traditions of dance among Maasai, the percentage of local
population to learn foreign languages has increased, more and more people have
started to care of environment and ecology.


Impacts on environment
Tourism perniciously influences on environment. For example, too big stream of
tourists in Kenya affected the number of the wild animals living in parks. It also
had destructive influence on their nutritious habits. For example, birds and
baboons are often spotted eating human dust instead of their regular food. It
very strongly destroys a food chain. Here is another example: Too big amount of
tour buses leads to harmful influence on quality of roads and air pollution.
Curious tourists scares away or annoy wild animals by flashes from cameras
flashes, that leads to their fear to appear in front of the people. This impact of
tourism on Kenya has led to the concept of Eco tourism, which is being
aggressively pursued by the government. One can only hope that the change can
take place in time. (Eco-tourism Kenya 2009. In some areas tourists usually
destroy wild animals, bring viruses and the bacteria, which are unknown in local
flora and fauna. Because of the frequent constructions necessary to support
tourist trade, hotels, the highway, power supplies and power station lines,
seriously damages topography of area, adjacent with parks. Tour buses pursue
on fields in hunting for good close up of photos and thus destroy living
environment, dwellings and sources of food for wild animals.
Tourists - also manufacturers of garbage, which is often stored in the remote
place from hotels, camping places, therefore that sewage deduce a toxic and
poisonous waste in the earth and ocean. Other aspect of negative influence,
which tourism has on environment is pollution and losses of resources of fresh
water, the earth and ocean ecology. In summary, tourist consumption of the
nature leads to destruction of a landscape and surrounding environment.
National parks stands for placing big amount of tourists and environment
protection at the same time. In parks there are entrance fees, which are
repeatedly invest in service and preservation of fauna and animals. Thus, two
principles, which underlie creation of parks (protection of the wild nature and
appeal of foreign tourists), apparently, should settle tourism with environment.
However, the validity is more severe: despite all taken measures on protection in
parks of wild animals, the number of elephants and rhinoceroses for a year has
decreased sharply in Kenya, for 70 % and 90 %. The Kenyan government has
accepted strict measures, such as interdictions for hunting that will reduce
percent of extinction of animals. The number of elephants the beginning rise, but
number of rhinoceroses still remains insignificant. Problems of influence of
tourism on environment actively were rising within decade. However, it is much
less known exact influence of tourism on elephants. It is possible to imagine that
if - tourism makes small impact on elephants, animals make huge impact on
tourism. The case with Kenya gives us food for that reflection as tourism could
keep a life of elephants. Convention CITES has been signed by Kenya and other
African countries to stop international trade in products of an elephant,
including an ivory and meat. However, the incomes from tourism, repeatedly
invest in preservation of the wild nature which makes a problem, whether will
make selection (practice probably was in the habit to hold population of animals
at operated level) more incomes (through meat and skin export), than tourism. It
would be desirable to notice that similar actions are presumably executed with a
view of ecological balance. In both cases, it is obvious that to the African
countries, especially Kenya, is necessary the external financial help to pay
expenses on maintenance of elephants. Masai, a tribe in Kenya, complain that
elephants destroy grain crops and kill a lot of horned livestock; obviously, they
do not see any need in protecting elephants.
Overpopulation of locals- other main anxiety: the population gain is incompatible
with growth of an elephant as inhabitancy loss, leads to increase pressure upon
resources (it is allocated more places for growing of elephants). The Kenyan
authorities seems more interested in protection of elephants, for attraction more
numbers of tourists, instead of realizing that, future of elephants depends on
people who live together with them in the same region. Some governments of the
wild nature in Africa believe that the unique way to rescue dying out kinds
consists in making their valuable for local communities (Eco-tourism Kenya
2009).


Impacts on economy
Face value, it is possible to assert that tourism development in Kenya was
The African history of success, also that the industry has promoted growth
Total internal product the countries (gross national product), lifted currency
acquisition. Ability also has created possibilities in the field of employment.
Concerning this theme, it is possible to mention that profit of tourism for the
country have increased from k£27 millions in 1970s, to more than K£1 billion in
the end of 1980s so, it is necessary to mention that, it was a first time, when
profit on sale of tea and coffee has grew up that high (leading export grain crops
of Kenya). All income of tourism was more than 12 % of gross national product
of the country while the tourism industry gave more than 120000 workplaces to
Kenyans in the end of 1980s and in the beginning of 1990s (Akana 1999).


Conclusion and Recommendations
For the tourism industry in Kenya to promote long-term existence of social and
economic progress, there is an alternative strategy, which should help to
improve social, economic and problems solving of environmental contamination,
which strongly break the industry. In such situation, tourism development
should not be measured only in this relation, success of development of tourism
should not be measured only in numbers of arriving tourists and external
incomes of the industry, but be estimated by criteria to be combined with the
industries in local and regional economy, advantage which tourism brings to
local communities, to adapt tourism for long-term social and economic
development. Thus, overall objectives of new strategy of tourism should include:
increase equal rights of round distribution for incomes; increase number of local
population in the industry; reduce too bog taxes, to minimize negative tourism
influence on a society and environment. The others basic elements can help to
minimize negative influences of tourism, and to increase its efficiency in
advancement of a long-term sustainable development. Tourism actions in
reserves of the wild nature and sea ecosystems should be in advance planned,
checked and stay under the control, to provide a guarantee that they are not in
the conflict with preservation and clever use of resources. For proper work of
national parks, coming trough limit of national parks should be settled strict
rules to avoid overfilling and degradation of resources for tourism industry.
Coming trough limit of parks can be tabulated, use method of the empirical
ecological data and indicators of social development, such as, density of settling
of flora and fauna in national parks, the territorial size of park and physical
landscape, and behavior of tourists in parks. Because of that we can be sure that
projects on tourism of improvement in Kenya do not conflict with protection of
the wild nature and use of resources. The special attention should be given to a
habitat of dwelling and habits of wild animals, such as reproduction and the
important nutritious areas, about lagoons, sand coast and coral reefs.
References

Akama, J.S. 1999. “The Efficacy of Tourism as a Tool For Economic Development in
Kenya”.                                          Available                      at
http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/IDEP/UNPAN00258
4.pdf. Accessed on September 12 2009




Crawley, M. 2000. Investigating the impacts of tourism in Kenya Online Available
at   http://www.idrc.ca/en/ev-5332-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html.          Accessed     on
December 12 2009.




Ecotourism Kenya. 2009. Ecotourism in Kenya. Online Available at
http://ecotourismkenya.com/impact-of-tourism-on-kenya/.          Accessed     on
October 12 2009 .

				
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