Title: Gaps identified in tourism-environment policy in Kenya: a content analysis to assess sustainable tourism policy in the country

Authors: Bernard M. Kitheka; Kenneth S. Backman

Addresses: Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA ' Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA

Abstract: Tourism is one of Kenya's key industries, contributing about one fifth of the country's gross domestic product. Tourism and natural environment are closely linked, with successful tourism hinging on considerations for biophysical environment. Carefully planned tourism may prevent problems of air and water pollution, habitat destruction and other ecological damages. This research emphasises need for environment-based sustainability considerations when developing a tourism policy. The aim of the research was to assess the extent to which environmental sustainability is mainstreamed in tourism policy in Kenya, a leading Safari tourist destinations in the world. Content analysis was conducted on electronic government planning documents and other key terms and concepts connecting tourism and environmental sustainability. Meaning and context of terms and phrases were identified. Analysis shows limited understanding and application of environmental sustainability lexicon. Challenges facing tourism-environment policy development are considered and recommendations made toward achieving sustainable tourism in Kenya.

Keywords: sustainable tourism; tourism policy; tourism planning; Kenya; content analysis; environmental sustainability; safari destinations; tourist destinations.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTP.2016.081525

International Journal of Tourism Policy, 2016 Vol.6 No.3/4, pp.235 - 255

Received: 19 Sep 2015
Accepted: 25 Mar 2016

Published online: 10 Jan 2017 *

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