Sustainable Tourism in Kenya: Empowering Communities Through Collaborative Innovation

How can tourism generate more benefits for local communities in Kenya? What roles can stakeholders play to make this vision a reality?  On 16 and 17 February, 2017, the Salverberg Retreat Center in Nairobi welcomed SMEs, policy makers, and civic groups to the SUS-TOUR Collaborative Innovation Workshop, where they explored answers and joint actions to these questions.

The Tourism sector has tremendous potential for generating positive sustainability impacts, such as improving the livelihoods of the local communities while preserving the environment and indigenous culture.

Community-Based Tourism (CBT) represents a promising model as it depends on community owned/managed resources, operated through communal stakeholders to provide returns to the community for the use of communal resources.

As CBT’s success depends on closer links with mainstream tourism actors such as tour operators, the CSCP hosted a Collaborative Innovation Workshop focused on a participatory agenda. The workshop fostered multi-stakeholder discussions providing the participants with an open forum to share their insights on how to improve sustainability in the tourism sector.

Strategies such as stimulating cooperative sustainable products innovation and supporting joint marketing activities and partnerships between the country’s Community Based Tour Operators (CBTO), Tour Operators (TO) and other relevant stakeholders were explored. The workshop also supported defining action plans to improve and implement a sustainable CBTO-oriented policy framework to improve SMEs’ practices on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP).

Over the two days, The SUS-TOUR project achieved immediate tangible outcomes. New alliances were forged between CBTOs and TOs while the dissemination of the CSCP’s customised CBT marketing guideline, created to assist participants in establishing and improving marketing strategies, served as a bridge to improve the collaboration between counties and civic organisations.

Please contact Yang Deng if you have any questions