Domestic Tourism in Kenya
Kenya’s tourism products attract visitors from all over world. However most Kenyans have not had the opportunity to tour major attractions due to lack of knowledge. The domestic tourism market in Kenya is being will be developed to become an enduring foundation of the demand for facilities and services.
Domestic tourism in Kenya has become significant in because it can cushion the tourism during low periods of international arrivals. With the aggressive promotion of the domestic sector, local business expected to increase significantly.
Objectives of the domestic tourism in Kenya are to:
- Encourage Kenyans to become active participants in domestic tourism to boost the sector
- Create a network of stakeholders who will contribute to its growth and to organise forums where they could exchange ideas
- Maintain a constant flow of information and data on local tourism
- Produce tourism media — electronic and print
- Organise exhibitions
- Aggressively market local tourism through product investigation and analysis
- Facilitate access of local people to products and educate Kenyans on local attractions
- Negotiate with stakeholders to subsidise the rates for Kenyans throughout the year
Overview of Domestic Tourism in Kenya
Domestic tourism in Kenya was heavily affected by electioneering events in early 2013. During such periods, Kenyans are normally apprehensive of any movement except in areas where one is perceived to be acceptable politically. However, the message during the campaign period was one of peace, with Kenyans seeking to avoid any repeat of the infamous post-election violence of 2008.
Most of the first half of the year was spent spreading the peace message to Kenyans while regional partners remained apprehensive as they monitored the situation in the country. It was, therefore, necessary for the Kenya Tourism Board to run campaigns through devolved government bodies to encourage domestic tourism. These included county workshops on domestic tourism, held jointly with county tourism boards, and campaigns encouraging Kenyans to take trips to the newly created counties.
Domestic tourism in Kenya value sales are set to grow by 4% annually over the forecast period following the stability achieved after the post-election period. The devolved government, with its need to generate revenues, has embarked on development programmes aiming to boost local tourist attractions as well as those which were previously deemed suitable only for foreign tourists.
There is a great opportunity for further growth if county governments improve the management of sites which were previously managed by the Kenya Tourism Board and the central government. Similarly, the growing economy will boost the prospects of the booming middle class, which should in turn help stimulate domestic tourism. The main threats to domestic tourism will remain low incomes and the poor development of local attractions if county governments fail to fulfil their development plans. The threat of terrorism will also make locals wary of travel to any remote location, for example game and national reserves.
Local conflicts, for example along the Rift Valley borders, counties bordering Somalia and traditional hot spots, pose a significant threat to domestic tourism.