Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Case Study of Tourism in an LEDC - Kenya

Where is Kenya?

Kenya is located in East Africa, its capital city is Nairobi and it has a population of approximately 30 million people.

Why visit Kenya?
  • - it has an attractive climate (tropical) with sunshine all year round, hot and humid at the coast; temperate inland and dry in the NE (rainy season - April-June and Oct-Dec, heavy rainfall in the afternoon and early evening)

  • - Safari holidays are popular - e.g. in the Maasai Mara / Nakuru National Park - Kenya has spectacular wildlife - including the big 5 - Lion, Elephant, Rhinoceros, Leopard and Buffalo

  • - Cultural experience - many tourists visit local tribes such as the Maasai to find out more about their lifestyle and traditions
  • - Coastal Holidays - SE of Kenya has fine sands and coral reefs with spectacular marine life - e.g. Mombassa

Why have numbers of tourists visiting Kenya increased?

  • - Kenya was one of the first LEDC countries to acheive mass tourism and in the 1970s and 1980s there was a rapid increase in the numbers of tourists, particularly following the release of the films Born Free and Out of Africa.

  • - Tourist numbers have also increased as larger aircraft in the 1980s brought prices of air travel down.

Advantages of Tourism to Kenya:
  • - Tourism encourages the building of new roads and better communications
  • - Jobs in tourism have helped develop people's business skills
  • - Tourism has created all year round jobs for Kenyans
  • - Tourism is Kenya's biggest earner of foreign exchange
  • -Tourism has stimulated farming, by creating a demand for local food from farmers
  • - National Parks have been created - encouraging people to protect the environment.
Disadvantages of Tourism for Kenya:
  • - there is leakage of income - with a lot of the money paid for holidays never actually reaching Kenya (travel companies and foreign owned hotels get it instead)

  • - Safari minibuses disturb animals - often getting too close (e.g. can be 30-40 buses around a single animal in the Maasai Mara), they also cause soil erosion as the wheels churn up the grass

  • - many Maasai are traditionally nomadic, but many have been forced out of the National Parks - losing their land and also losing their traditional lifestyles.

  • - Hot air balloons in parks disturb animals - by casting shadows and from the noise of the burners.

  • - Coastal Environments such as those in Mombassa have been damaged - e.g. destruction of coral reefs as tourists step on the coral and also take souvenirs.

  • - Drugs and crime has increased and AIDS is a major problem

Working towards sustainable tourism in Kenya - KIGO CONSERVANCY - An example of ECOTOURISM.

Kigio Conservancy was set up in 1997 on an old beef / dairy ranch with the aim of providing a wildlife sanctuary and a sustainable eco-tourism destination.

The accommodation at Kigio is in "cottages" built of mud, timber and thatch, using local and reclaimed materials and methods. The furniture is built from re-claimed timber from the ground and there is no electricity, oil lamps are instead used.

Kigio has a number of ecotourism activities it is involved in:
  • - partnerships with local communities - helping to fund and work on community projects
  • - provides links with local schools with schools in the UK, raising money for new classrooms and other projects (e.g. water tanks)
  • - partnerships with conservation organisations such as the Tusk Trust - which has involved setting up conservation centre for use by local schools and providing sustainable development education for local communities
  • - employees local people - e.g. guides and other workers
  • - conservation activities - e.g. looking after orphaned wildlife - e.g. 2003 relocation of giraffe into the area - including a baby giraffe from the Karen Blixen Giraffe Orphange in Nairobi.


angohead said...

Hi there,

I'm a student studying in Hong Kong at an international school - we're doing the IGCSE. Your blogs have really helped me through the course and I just want to thank you so much, and please continue making them!

Many of your case studies are better explained than in our textbook. Many of my friends use this website as well :)

Thanks again,

Mr Chambers said...

Hi Angela
Thank you for your kind message - I am really glad the blog is useful and great to know its being used all over - including Hong Kong!! I just hope my students here are using it as well!! I am hoping to update the blog over the next couple of months with some more case studies ready for the summer exams.

R Chambers

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