Strategic Management Practices and Performance of Selected Travel and Tour Agencies in Nairobi City County, Kenya
Kennedy, Deborah Mokeira
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The travel and tour agencies play an important role in the economy of a country as they help in promoting the tourism sector by linking customers to the tourism sector. The agencies make both national and international tourism easy by providing services to the customers which they would have had a difficult time getting on their own like getting Visas for international travel. At the same time, they help in creating employment to a large number of people. Despite. The focus of the research was on strategic management practices on the performance of selected travel and tour agencies in Nairobi City County. Strategic management practices are crucial as they cushion the agencies against these uncertainities and competition. The study investigated ways in which the agencies can apply strategic management practices to solve these problems and make the business of travel and tours more sustainable. The specific objectives of the study was to investigate the effects of strategic planning on the performance of the travel and tours agencies, to establish how strategic partnership on the performance of the travel and tours agencies, to determine the extent to which expansion strategy on the performance of the travel and tours agencies and to assess how customer focus on the performance of the travel and tours agencies. The study was anchored on Strategic Management Theory, Resource-Based Theory, Dynamic Capabilities Theory and Balanced Scorecard Model. The study will be significant to other researchers as it exposed gaps that they can seek to address in their studies, it will also be relevant to managers of travel and tour agencies as it gave guidlines on areas in which they can focus on to improve the performance of their agencies. The research employed the use of descriptive research design. The study’s population was 19 selected travel and tour agencies in Nairobi City County who are members of the Kenya Association of Tour Operators whose performance was greately affected. The target population for this survey was 76 managers from the selected agencies. Semi-structured questionnaires were administered to the respondents to obtain the primary data needed. To ensure efficiency, validity and reliability of the data collection instrument was tested; validity was measured by conducting both empirial and literature review. Reliability on the other hand, was measured using Cronbach alpha. A pilot study was conducted in Kiambu County which helped in ensuring the reliability and validity of the instruments. SPSS software was used to analyze the collected data, descriptive analysis was used for analysis. The study findings revealed that strategic planning, strategic partnership, expansion and customer focus were positively amd significantly correlated with performance of travel and tour agencies, though they were not being fully implemented. The study recommended that management of the agencies to encourage practice of strategic planning through proper allocation of available resources as well as communicating the strategic objectives clearly to all as well as working within budget. It was also recommended that management should also come up with a modern way of managing their customer management. The management should also ensure that the needs of all the partners are met and that they become strategic in selecting partners to work with.