International Business Research and Industrial Conference on Academia-industry Partnerships For Competitive Innovations and Global Sustainable Development.
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This paper assesses the importance of the tourism sector in Kenya from the point of international arrivals judging by its expenditures and receipts. To qualify the efficiency of the sector, a DEA assessment was carried out and it confirmed issues faced by the nation. As part of the vision 2030, initiatives to revitalize the sectors has been in place. 17 of such initiatives were identified but it is resting on the shoulders of the government and its tourism agencies. The paper proposed that Kenya looks at adopting the Shenzhen model where innovation and entrepreneurship to be spearheaded by the institutions of higher learning. With the sector being an import growth engine to the nation, it must also look out for interlinkages and become a catalyst to other sectors. With the pandemic of COVID19 hitting hard on the country, the issue of sustainability was raised. Part of the tourism businesses are not recession-proof, and Kenya will need to reassess its position in the sector if it wants to be a economic pillar for the East Africa region. The pressing matter at hand that this paper has illustrated is that tourism in Kenya must go beyond national parks and beach fronts. It is a struggle between development and ecology heading towards 2030 sustainability agenda.