Community tourism where visitors will be spending holidays in rural settings is being encouraged by Kilifi county government and the Kenya Wildlife Service.
According to the Tourism County Executive Member for Kilifi, Nahida Mohamed Athman, under the new product, visitors will get a chance to sample African rural life and culture and in return contribute money or gifts to help the host community. “It is a good venture under which the tourists will give out presents in return to the hospitality they receive from their hosts,” she said.
Nahida said many residents of Kilifi county residing along the Tsavo East National Park reserves and other tourist attractions should seek more ways to benefit from tourism activities in the region despite lack of basic facilities.
The officials also advised them and other investors to put up lodges to accommodate local and international tourists visiting the national park reserves. “This will create employment opportunities as well as provide a bready market for their farm and dairy produce,” she told Travelwise.
“We want our people to exploit more the available avenues to benefit from tourists attracted by the wildlife they live with,’ she added.
Nahida said after the upgrading of Kayas and Arabuko Sokoke forests to world-class tourist destinations in the region, the residents should now be ready to invest in hotels.
She commended the existing relationship between the county government, KWS and the local community, saying that the tourism partners’ response whenever called upon has been encouraging.
Nahida revealed that plans are underway to embark on an ambitious programme to develop and rehabilitate tourist attraction sites and game reserves to create a tourist circuit in the region.