An Evaluation of accommodation challenges faced by seasonal commercial workers during tourism peak season in Malindi town, Kenya
Kariuki, Mwangi John
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This study examined accommodation challenges facing seasonal commercial workers during tourism peak season in Malindi Town. Malindi Town is one of the major tourist destinations in Kenya with the tourism peak season starting from July to March each year. The town experiences an increase in population as a result of seasonal commercial workers who visit the area in search of employment and other income generating economic activities such as trade. This exerts pressure on the existing accommodation services. This study was accomplished by pursuing the following objectives: characterizing seasonal commercial workers who seek accommodation, finding out the accommodation challenges they face, finding out the coping strategies to these accommodation challenges and assessing the intervention among various stakeholders to the accommodation challenges in Malindi town. The study utilised descriptive design and the data collected was both qualitative and quantitative. The population of the study was mainly the seasonal migrant workers and other stakeholders related to accommodation. The sample size was 102 respondents all inclusive. Data was collected using questionnaires and in-depth interviews. The hypothesis was tested using correlation and regression analysis. The data was analyzed using Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS). Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse data and it involved calculation of means, frequencies, percentages, correlation and regression analysis. The study reveals that there was no significant relationship between age characteristics of the migrant workers and their access to accommodation in Malindi town. The study further reveal that majority of the respondents were accommodated in low income estates which are characterised by low rent charge. The major accommodation challenges given included, insecurity and congestion since the houses are small. The study also reveals that majority of the respondents considered sharing up as a way of reducing the cost of housing. The study recommends that there is need to put in place policies that promote seasonal migrants by providing basic needs and physical infrastructure. There is need for consultation and information sharing between the local authorities, private investors and other stakeholders towards provision of housing such as rental houses, hostels and lodges and this will tremendously increase awareness and understanding needed to address the challenges of housing. The government and policy makers should therefore come up with measures to diversify the economic activities in the areas affected by tourism seasonality. For example the government should encourage establishment of different industries to these areas to provide constant source of livelihood and stimulate investments such as housing projects.