LETTERS: How Kenya can strengthen tourism sector
Tourists in Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Sustainable tourism is quite a wide concept and by extension a long term goal. Its success depends on how clearly the government can achieve a difference from the other destinations in competition.
It is true that tourism has become the backbone of our economy and much effort has to be put into sustaining it. Over the last few decades, the concept of sustainable tourism has been a subject of increasing attention. It is therefore an objective of every county, an initiative of all the county governments through their environment ministries and collective responsibility of the citizens to ensure sustainable tourism by 2030.
Internationally, the tourism practice is proving that whichever the kind of tourism a country is involved in, in the long run it must affect the social and environmental part in the particular county involved. So much has to be done for the realisation of this vision.
First of all, the government should begin by building local capacity. Good businesses in the tourism industry do not operate independent of those communities in which they are based but they should collaborate with the businesses in those areas to establish a positive and a good self sufficient capacity at that level. This involves participation by the local county government by developing plans for strategic development of local regional tourism and to help in developing particular projects. This increases the locals’ participation towards promoting sustainable tourism by 2030.
Secondly, a wide consultation should also be done among all the interest groups which includes those in the administration, transport sectors, farmers and custodians of historical assets in the particular area. It is important to realise that the success of tourism a greater part depends on the goodwill of the locals more than the other industries.