Examining Kenya’s Tourist Destinations’ Appeal: The Perspectives of Domestic Tourism Market
Ndivo, R. M.
Waudo, Judith N.
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Kenya’s tourism activity has always been centered on the coastal beaches and a few game parks despite of being endowed with a unique combination of tourist attractions spread throughout the country. Noting this skewed nature of tourism development, this study aimed at investigating the status of appeal of the different Kenya’s tourist regions from the perspective of the domestic market with the goal of examining the efficacy of the destination appeal enhancers. Data was collected using semi-structured questionnaires and analysed using mainly descriptive statistics. The study found out that while majority of Kenyans considered taking a holiday as being important to them, a significant majority of them were not be aware of most of the country’s touristic attractions and hence, frequented only a few of the country’s attractions, mainly the coastal beaches. Further, the study found out that the most important sources of travel information available to Kenyans were personal experience and information from significant others; travel marketers were considered as being the least significant source of information. The study thus, concluded that the limited scope of tourist activities available within most of Kenya’s attractions, coupled with the limited sources of travel information may actually be leading causes of the lack of awareness and popularity of most Kenya’s tourist attractions. This study thus, recommends a deliberate effort on the part of the tourism policy makers and marketers to enhance the appeal of all the country’s attractions and position them as destinations in their own right. This would call for the adoption of a tourism development strategy that not only seeks to promote the country as one destination with varied tourist attractions, but one that would adopt a bottom-up approach, primarily focusing on developing the individual tourist attractions as a way of ensuring a country-wide competitiveness.
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