Tourism Bill needs implementation strategy

October 18, 2011
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, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 18 – Tourism industry players are calling on the government to formulate a national strategy to help with the implementation of the recently passed Tourism Bill.

The chairman of the Ecotourism Kenya board, Andrew Muigai said the Bill is for the benefit of all stakeholders and must have regulations for its implementation.

“If the new laws are not fully and well implemented, we might see a delay in the enactment for what we really need, which is sustainable tourism, and that can be brought about by having a national tourism master plan,” Muigai stated.

Ecotourism Kenya CEO Kahindi Lehalhaile added that more facilities must get into partnerships with locals to boost tourism.

“We have to get into meaningful partnerships with the locals who co- exist with the national parks. Some communities are earning Sh23 million per year, there are many examples of tourism enterprises that are benefiting locals. Ecotourism Kenya are encouraging the development towards that direction,” said Lehalhaile.

The two were speaking while awarding certificates for an Eco-rating scheme to hotels and lodges in the country.

The Eco-rating scheme is a voluntary certification scheme designed to promote sustainable tourism and adoption of ecotourism principles. It was launched in 2002 by Ecotourism Kenya in conjunction with tourism stakeholders in Kenya, to assess tourist accommodation facilities and award them with an accreditation of Bronze, Silver or Gold Eco-rating, based on performance.

The scheme’s areas of focus are environmental, economic and social practices. Bronze Eco-rating demonstrates a facility’s awareness and commitment to good environmental, economic and social practices. Silver Eco-rating indicates that a facility has achieved excellence in innovatively implementing these practices, while Gold Eco-rating demonstrates that a facility’s activities have achieved outstanding performance.

Bronze, Silver and Gold Eco-rating applications go through three levels of assessment: desk evaluation, field audit and Eco-rating committee evaluation, before the final report is produced.

Certification is valid for 24 months from the date the award is given. A new application for evaluation must therefore be lodged at least three months prior to the expiry date.

Ecotourism Kenya is a body encompassing more than 350 members from the sector.

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 18 – Tourism industry players are calling on the government to formulate a national strategy to help with the implementation of the recently passed Tourism Bill.

The chairman of the Ecotourism Kenya board, Andrew Muigai said the Bill is for the benefit of all stakeholders and must have regulations for its implementation.

“If the new laws are not fully and well implemented, we might see a delay in the enactment for what we really need, which is sustainable tourism, and that can be brought about by having a national tourism master plan,” Muigai stated.

Ecotourism Kenya CEO Kahindi Lehalhaile added that more facilities must get into partnerships with locals to boost tourism.

“We have to get into meaningful partnerships with the locals who co- exist with the national parks. Some communities are earning Sh23 million per year, there are many examples of tourism enterprises that are benefiting locals. Ecotourism Kenya are encouraging the development towards that direction,” said Lehalhaile.

The two were speaking while awarding certificates for an Eco-rating scheme to hotels and lodges in the country.

The Eco-rating scheme is a voluntary certification scheme designed to promote sustainable tourism and adoption of ecotourism principles. It was launched in 2002 by Ecotourism Kenya in conjunction with tourism stakeholders in Kenya, to assess tourist accommodation facilities and award them with an accreditation of Bronze, Silver or Gold Eco-rating, based on performance.

The scheme’s areas of focus are environmental, economic and social practices. Bronze Eco-rating demonstrates a facility’s awareness and commitment to good environmental, economic and social practices. Silver Eco-rating indicates that a facility has achieved excellence in innovatively implementing these practices, while Gold Eco-rating demonstrates that a facility’s activities have achieved outstanding performance.

Bronze, Silver and Gold Eco-rating applications go through three levels of assessment: desk evaluation, field audit and Eco-rating committee evaluation, before the final report is produced.

Certification is valid for 24 months from the date the award is given. A new application for evaluation must therefore be lodged at least three months prior to the expiry date.

Ecotourism Kenya is a body encompassing more than 350 members from the sector.

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