Tourism In Kenya - My Essay
Kenya is located in the east of Africa and lies right on the equator, which means the climate is very hot.
It is bordered by five countries; Somalia to the northeast, Ethiopia to the north, Sudan to the northwest, Uganda to the west and Tanzania to the South. The capital of Kenya is called Nairobi, which is situated slightly south of the centre point of the country.
Over the past few years, Kenya has become one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, attracting millions of people every year due to its very hot climate and many different animals such as lions, zebras and albatrosses.
Lots of tourists visit Kenya for environmental reasons; for example hunters might like to visit the country to see if they can catch one of the 'Big Five', which are the five endangered animals that are the hardest to catch or wildlife lovers might like to visit Kenya to spot one of the thousand different types of birds that the beautiful country is home to.
As the weather is so hot in Kenya, many people visit the country to enjoy sunbathing on one of the many beautiful sandy uncrowded beaches. As a lot of hotel prices are very inexpensive, the country also attracts heaps of youths looking for cheap all inclusive holidays but wanting high quality service and very high standards of food and with many tourist attractions such as Mount Kenya, desert safaris and visiting the capital city Nairobi, they cannot go wrong!
Kenya also attracts many old age people as there are lots of places to go on walks or hikes such as the mountains, deserts or around one of the two huge beautiful lakes that Kenya has to offer. The lakes are called Lake Turkana and Lake Victoria. Lake Victoria is the second largest fresh water lake in the world!
Positive Effects: Economy & Cultural Exchange
There are a lot of positive effects that tourism has on Kenya and they are creating a really good positive multiplier effect. As more tourists visit the country, more money is brought in and the need for jobs becomes greater due to the amount of people visiting the country. This is then good because it gives unemployed people living in poverty a chance to be able to support their families and to be able to feed them properly.
Also, as tourism increases there is an increased demand for goods and services, which is helping the economy to grow larger, developing the country further and as Kenya is a relatively poor country, foreign exchange is extremely important. Money from tourists is also used to develop local roads, hospitals and schools. This is good because health throughout the country can be improved and the quality of education can be better, meaning children will be able to get jobs easier when they are older and they will be able to feed their families with income from well paid jobs. If this was not the case and if there was hardly any tourists visiting the country, the quality of Kenyans' lives would be much worse and the number of people living in poverty and poor conditions would be a lot more.
As well as better quality lives for the locals, tourism in Kenya can also help people to understand their way of life, traditions and how they dress. This is good because it can create awareness in other countries about what it is like in Kenya, which could potentially attract more visitors but it can also create awareness about the negative impact that tourism is having on the country.
Negative Effects: Environmental Impact & Low-Skill Jobs
There are many negative effects that tourism is having on Kenya and they are really damaging the environment with a negative multiplier effect. As more planes carrying tourists fly in to Kenya's airspace, there is an increased rate of carbon dioxide, which is causing pollution. When this happens, animals may become scared and might stop mating or feeding, which means that farmers will have a reduced income as they are not able to sell healthy animals or new born animals.
Also pollution can affect the Maasai tribe who rely on and treasure their cattle because the cattle might be scared and a possibility is that they might not breed so the Maasai could be put in trouble with less food. On a local level there are many natural tourist attractions that are becoming polluted from tourism.
Many people leave litter on the beaches, which is deteriorating the health of the natural aspects that Kenya has to offer. Lots of rubbish usually gets left behind which creates a high possibility that animals will become scared and disturbed. Animals can also get disturbed when minibus drivers drive off paths to try and get really close to the animals for good tips as the noise of the engine and the size of the minibus is too much for them. Also, if these minibus drivers drive off road for extra money, this means that they are not getting paid well but in addition to this, they are causing ground erosion to the homes of the animals. This could lead to a worse quality of life for the animals, meaning that farmers and tribes will be financially and sometimes medically in trouble.
Economically, tourism in Kenya is bringing in a huge amount of money but a lot of this does not even make it to the locals. Instead, a large percentage of this money is taken by the government in taxes and other payments, which are compulsory. Also very often, travel agents benefit more than local companies when holidays are booked, which is extremely wrong seeing that the hotel staff are doing hard work when travel agents are just sitting at a computer booking holidays for people. In a different economical respect, local people are often employed in low skill jobs, which are almost always very poorly paid. They often are forced to work in horrible conditions which have serious health and safety risks just to put a small amount of food on their family's table, which could be barely enough to stay healthy, meaning that they may not be able to carry on working.
Hotels run by richer countries are also putting the locals at risk severely. First off all, companies have to clear vegetation to make way for their hotels, which is damaging the environment and is putting the livelihoods of farmers at risk but as well as this, these companies are creating more competition for locally run guest hotels. This means that the owners of these hotels will receive less income as guests might stay in a luxury five star hotel with an all inclusive package rather than a small guest house with just bed and breakfast.
Overall, I think that tourism in Kenya is very bad for the environment and must be reduced for the welfare of the country before it wrecks the natural beauty of Kenya. If this does not stop, deterioration over a long period of time will become serious and poverty will be ever increasing, meaning that the quality of Kenyans' lives will be poorer. Also I think that tourism is having a very bad affect on Kenya's economy, which is threatening small business and hotels. On the other hand though, I do think that in another way, tourism is bringing a lot of money into Kenya and is partly keeping the country afloat.
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