Platform Status: Active

Running: 01/01/2020—09/01/2020

Partner Type: Tourism-related Associations

Target Region: Kenya

Participation Details: Bi-Weekly Meetings Saturday @ 10am EST // 6pm GMT+3


To improve the competitiveness of the tourism industry in Kenya by accelerating the development of innovative solutions and improving access to impact-oriented investment.


Catalyzing Sustainable Tourism Development

Tourism’s main comparative advantage over other sectors is that visitor expenditures have a “flow-through” or catalytic effect across the economy in terms of productive capacity and employment creation. When managed properly, tourism can generate quality jobs and offer incentives for environmental conservation, creating a sustainable path to the development of more inclusive and resilient economies.

By providing an economic base for a region whose only development options are its cultural and natural resources, tourism development can be a key tool in promoting the economic competitiveness and social development of a region.

Labor & Construction Occupations

During the construction phase of tourist accommodation and services, tourism creates jobs in that sector.

Local Consumer Durables Demand

Investment in accommodation can generate demand locally for furniture and furnishings, and even for capital equipment.

Support Local Food Producers

Tourism generates demand for the consumption of local products at restaurants, accommodations and food markets.

Support Local Service Providers

Tourism generates demand for local transport as well as handicrafts and goods and services of the informal sector.

An Overview

Tourism in Kenya
Home to 60 national parks and reserves, a broad offering of cultural and historical attractions and over 500 km of sunny coastline, Kenya has seen its tourism sector rise to become the second-largest foreign exchange earner in the country.
Tourism is a cornerstone of the Kenyan economy.
Tourism triggers the creation of one direct job in Kenya for every eleven visitors received. It also contributes significantly to foreign exchange reserves and GDP of the nation as a whole. Bolstering this industry will require both collaboration and creativity, utilizing key technological innovations and impact strategies to expand product lines, promote marketing strategies, strengthen infrastructure and encourage investment.
Tourism & The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 
Tourism has great potential to accelerate progress across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). When managed properly, tourism can generate quality jobs and offer incentives for environmental conservation, creating a sustainable path to the development of more inclusive and resilient economies.
Challenges to Development
Proper safeguards, inter-sectoral collaboration and smart investment, among other things, will be critical in expanding the tourism market sustainably. As demand pressures mount, the natural and social ecosystems on which the livelihoods of so many people in local communities depend will be pressured like never before.

Key Challenges

Infrastructure & Access
Skilled & Trained Human Resources
Statistics & Data
Other Challenges
Poor transport and infrastructure policies and lack of accommodation facilities limit the competitiveness of East Africa in the global tourism market.
Tourism is a labour intensive sector and requires adequate training and capacity building, which is sparse in many East African countries, including Kenya.
An inability to measure tourism’s socio-economic impact hinders the allocation of the necessary resources to tourism development.  
Land availability, investor access to finance, taxes on tourism investment, safety and crime, public health, visa requirements, red tape, among others.

Explore Innovation Platform Themes


Culture & Heritage Tourism.


Theme Overview:

Cultural and Heritage Tourism represents an under-developed, under-resourced, and under-marketed segment of the Kenyan tourism sector. With 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 42 cultures and countless other heritage tourism products, Culture & Heritage tourism represents an SDA with outstanding socio-economic potential.


Conservancy-centered tourism.


Theme Overview:

Changing climate patterns and loss of space is threatening Kenya’s wildlife heritage. Conservancies offer hope for mitigating these negative impacts. Conservancy-centered tourism is about aligning public wildlife conservation objectives with the private income incentives of local communities. This means actively working with landowners and communities to sustainably conserve and manage wildlife and their habitat outside state-protected areas.


Tourism Service Platforms.


Theme Overview:

Tourism’s microeconomic competitiveness is closely related to the level of development in related and supporting industries. Platforms which aggregate service providers democratize market access for service providers and bring more transparency for consumers creates a win-win dynamic improving the overall competitiveness of the industry.

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