Tourism: Kenya

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  • Created by: Niamh
  • Created on: 15-06-13 08:50

Map of Kenya:


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Key Facts about Kenya:

  • Kenya is on the East coast of Africa and was one of the first LEDCs to develop mass tourism
  • It is English speaking due to past colonial links
  • Kenya earns about US $544 million from tourism 
  • Kenya enjoys a tropical climate, which is hot and humid at the coast, temperate inland and very dry in the northern and northeastern parts of the country 
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Numbers of visitors to Kenya:

  • From 1996 to 1997, visitor numbers to Kenya dropped, leaving over half of accomodation empty. This was because of numerous factors. 
  • Firstly, the increase in crime in Kenya in approach to the upcoming election saw numerous incidents in coastal resorts, such as the murder of a band member from one of the largest tourist hotels.
  •  Crime in Egypt such as the massacre of many innocent tourists, although many miles away, was also a deterrent to tourists.
  • Visitor numbers then rose steadily, until 2002 whereby a missile attack on an aircraft and a car bomb outside of Mombasa hotel killed 13 people.  
  • A further election in 2007 again brought the number of tourists down for Kenya, as 1,000 people were killed in rioting and violence-again in the lead up to the election. 
  • From 2000, Western governments had advised their citizens not to travel to Kenya. This meant that Tanzania lead the way as opposed to Kenya in regards to tourism.
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Why travel to Kenya?

People who travel to Kenya are attracted to it because of:

  • The animals/ wild life
  • The Indian Ocean- warm water and beaches
  • The poeple and culture 
  • Climate- warm/tropical
  • National Parks/ Game Parks
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Main Attractions

The two main attractions to Kenya are 

1) It's wildlife parks on the plateau:

Kenya has some of the prolific and most accessible game parks, where you can observe some great wildlife, such as the 'Big Five' (elephant, lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo). The parks are scenically stunning with savanna grassland. The mountains, including 'Mount Kenya' Africa's second highest peak, are also great attractions.   

2) Indean Ocean coastline:

The coastal strip has mile upon mile of white coral sand and gently swaying palms. The 'glass bottomed boat' allows people to see the coral of the area, and over 240 species of fish!

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Positive impacts of tourism: Masai Mara


  • Kenya relies massively on the inflows of foreign exchange to sustain economic growth. 
  • Over 200,000 are directly employed by the industry, and 300,000 indirectly. 
  • Improve living standards.
  • Foreign exchnage allows a development of infrastructure.
  • Masai can sell firewood to lodges.


  • Masai settlements used as tourist attractions.
  • Traditional culture and skills are retained


  • The exploitation of a few areas protects the majority of habitats and wildlife. 
  • Profits from tourism can be invested in protecting other environments for the future. 
  • Reserves allow endangered species to thrive. 
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Negative impacts of tourism: Masai Mara


  • Jobs are often temporary and low paid.
  • Foreigen TNC's own 80% of travel companies in Kenya, so money leaks back to MEDCs.


  • Nomadic communities displaced when reserves are set up. Loss of dignity and traditions. 
  • Alchohol and Western ways may offend Muslim coastal communities.
  • Tourism can exploit the poor


  • Coral Reef is damaged by people and boats, hence, destroing the ecosystem.
  • Over-use and inapropraite development of the shoreline.
  • Game Park minibuses churn up the bush and create erosion,changing the behaviour of animals.
  • Balloon safaris frighten animals
  • Drained resources.
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Multiplier effect:

New hotels are constructed in the area. 

This leads to jobs being created directly in hotels, along with more jobs being created in local businesses that supply the hotels. This means that more locals are involved, and are getting paid. This leads to locals spending more money in their area, and paying more tax. 

As tax revenue increases, more money is spent on improving local infrastructure. This means that the area becomes more attractve to both tourists and companies. Therefore, more hotels are constructed, and the cycle repeats itself as the area become more popular. 

However, some money is lost through 'leakage' back to MEDC's. 

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Kenya: Ecotourism- Eselenkei Conservation Area


  • There are no lodges
  • Animals are wild
  • Viewing tracks have been made
  • Absence of poaching
  • Rangers are about to protect the envirmonment


  • Masai rcieve rent for use of their land
  • Local tour company (Porini) used, so there is no leakage.
  •  Porini employs men locally.


  • Tourist numbers are limited to 8 per day
  • Masai, when recieving money, can pay for children to be eductaed. 
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Sustainable tourism uses tourist resources today in a way that doesn't damage them for future visitors and local people.

Ecotourism is a type of sustainable tourism that aims to take into account the environment, cultural and social considerations. 

 It's aims are to:

  • Protect the natural environment
  • Enable locals to earn money
  • Enable the locals to improve their local infrastructure and facilities
  • Enable locals to chose hiow their tourism industry develops
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