Tourism and the Environment
Mass Tourism and discriminating tourists, who are only pre-occupied
with the "big five" mentality have in the past years contributed to
the degradation of the environment and harassment of wildlife.
Thanks to the Eco-tourism concept which has been championed by the
tourist destinations globally with a view to changing the big "five"
mammal mentality and developing other environmentally friendly types
of tourism. Eco- tourism is thus an important concept in tourism
development. The latter incorporates a strong commitment to nature and
a sense of social responsibility. In this respect, the present and
future generations are urged to conserve the environment while the
Government is committed to strengthening and enforcing anti-poaching
and nature based conservation policies which will ensure the
development of responsible tourism in the country.
It should be noted, however, that eco-tourists prefer the use of local
resources and expertise which in turn translates into import savings.
The use of local resources and expertise also translates into
environmentally sensitive patterns and local participation in the
Its emphasis on local resources and employment makes it attractive to
developing countries, which though rich in natural resources are
disadvantaged by rural poverty and lack of export earnings.
The value of biodiversity is more widely appreciated in the whole
world. However, pressure on wildlife and their natural habitats is
increasing due to encroachment of human activities and intensified
resource extraction. Accordingly conservation of biodiversity must be
seen within the wider context of national economies, social goals and
4.2. Tourism and Cultural Resources
Tourism has always been considered a vital medium for widening the
scope of human interests. It contributes positively to the naturing
and exploitation of cultural heritage of nations. It therefore serves
indirectly to improve individual cultural understanding of both
residents and foreigners while at the same time contributing to the
Gross National Product. At the local level domestic tourism creates
understanding and appreciation of the attractions thereby contributing
to sustainable tourism development.
4.3 ECO-TOURISM IN KENYA - A CASE STUDY
Since independence in 1963 , Kenya has been a leader in the field of
conservation of wildlife and biodiversity both aquatic and land based.
The Kenya National Tourism Development Master Plan beyond the year
2000 focuses on better distribution of tourists so as to relieve
stress on existing areas of visitation, thereby minimising
environmental degregation. These aforementioned nobel objectives will
be achieved through:-
· Improved travel conditions to less visited touristic areas.