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Continuity and Change in Kenyan Ecotourism Practices

Abstract : For a long time, Kenya has been known as a leading destination for nature-based tourism. Since the 1990s when sustainable tourism ideals were placed high on the tourism agenda, Kenya has been quite at ease converting to the global popular paradigm of achieving sustainable development through tourism. Many aspects of the country’s safari tourism were quite similar to the then new small-scale tourism proposals governing the new trend towards global sustainable tourism. Ecotourism, which espouses important ideals of sustainable tourism, has consequently become a popular concept among various stakeholders in the country. Between independence and the late 1980s the emphasis in Kenya has been on mass tourism where the number of tourist arrivals mattered more than their impact on the destinations. However, in the 1990s, Kenya enhanced principles of ecotourism to position herself as a destination for the new niche-based tourism, respecting sustainable development ideals. The country was among the first in Africa to fully recognise the value of key aspects of the new tourism forms and initiatives. These involved the various stakeholders, especially local communities that lived in key ecotourism destinations, as well as ecotourism entrepreneurs. Some of the new initiatives include community-based natural resource management, community–private partnerships, etc. However, more than a decade since the new alternative sustainable practices were introduced, many of the practices common in the mass tourism era have died out and this continues to influence the outcome of ecotourism enterprise in the country today. The main reason for this is spatial overlap of tourism destinations and hence products and attractions that draws both mass and ecotourism to the same places. In what ways have some of the practices of the past persisted and what are some of the new transformations that have been brought about by ecotourism? Is the practise of an ideal sustainable ecotourism possible in Kenya today?1 are better known
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MAMBO 2007 (4).pdf
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  • HAL Id : halshs-01207923, version 1



Joseph Kariuki-Muriithi. Continuity and Change in Kenyan Ecotourism Practices. 2007. ⟨halshs-01207923⟩



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