Not only does tourism assist economic GDP but it also brings in economic benefits to local communities and encouraging greater global connectivity. The tourism sector in Kenya is currently having a growing demand for sustainable practices by international tourists. Majority of the tourists before deciding upon an attraction are highly keen on finding what practices are eco friendly and practice sustainability and inclusiveness.Furthermore, Kenya is one of the world’s most popular tourism destinations attracting millions of tourists over the past several years. The country is endowed with attractive tourist sites, rich culture, striking geographical diversity and landscapes ranging from beautiful beaches, to animal parks and archaeological sites.
SIB in the Tourism sector
Sustainable and Inclusive business in the renewable energy sector tend to create tangible economic impacts such as job creation and income generation. Environmental impacts include reduction global warming in terms of reduction of pollution levels.
Thereby, it can be highlighted that Renewable companies achieve sustainable growth by promoting a more resource efficiency, greener and a more competitive economy. Furthermore, renewable companies do achieve inclusive growth by fostering a high employment economy that in turn delivers a social and territorial cohesion.
How can the tourism sector become more sustainable?
- Make optimal use of environmental resources that constitute a key element in tourism development, maintaining essential ecological processes and helping to conserve natural resources and biodiversity.
- Respect the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, conserve their built and living cultural heritage and traditional values, and contribute to inter-cultural understanding and tolerance.
- Ensure viable, long-term economic operations, providing socio-economic beneﬁts to all stakeholders that are fairly distributed, including stable employment and income earning opportunities and socialservices to host communities, and contributing to poverty alleviation.
Challenges facing SIB in the tourism sector:
- Lack of industry development in identifying research and developing industry initiative that in turn results to poor service delivery and industry growth.
- Environment, natural resource and heritage exploitation.
- Lack of tourism confidence in safety and security due to Kenya’s political situation.
- Waste management is a big issue in the tourism sector in terms of compost pit, utilization of waste, plastic waste, transportation of waste, Landfill, registered truck, waste disposal issues.
- Energy affordability and availability.
- Opportunity going into certifications towards the tour operators.
- Sustainability trainings.
- Lack of knowledge by tourism businesses due to having a short-term vision and insufficient understanding on cost benefiting analysis.
- Lack of authority body in benchmarking standards resulting to a minimum adherence of standards and monitoring of tourist businesses practices.
- Political insecurity leading to unpredictable economic threats that in turn has affected the attraction of the tourism industry both local and internationally.
- Concealing and lobbying of illegal practices such as poaching, misuse of environment and illegal animal practices.
Needs of SIB:
The tourism sector needs a platform that provides all this information that documents best practices and where they can share their challenges and partner up with cross sectorial and sector wise.
Benefits of SIB in the tourism sector
Tourism companies that incorporate sustainability in their daily activities tend to gain higher competitive advantage both globally and locally by:
- An Increase in tourists by promoting your sustainability credentials to ‘green-savvy’ consumers who make purchase decisions based on minimising their own footprint.
- Reduction in operating costs by undertaking initiatives that reduce waste, water and energy consumption.
- Attract and retain valuable staff by adopting policies that meet with employee values and concerns.
- Encouraging investors interested in companies with long-term sustainability plans that minimise operating risks in the future.
- Increasing long-term profitability by putting plans in place now that will create savings in the future such as minimising transport costs that will continue to rise as fuel becomes more expensive.