Similarly, a study shown in Kenya by Okech and Bob (2009) also stated that the communities benefit from ecotourism through job opportunities in Mara (73%) and (40%) in Amboseli. There are 55 000 people employed in the wildlife industry alone. Therefore, the wildlife market is the biggest contributor to Kenya's foreign economy. BENEFITS AND CHALLENGES OF ECOTOURISM 83 lofty environmental and socioeconomic gains that community participation in ecotourism develop-ment is supposed to engender in … An organization such as Ecotourism Kenya has integrated communities and community-based tourism into mainstream tourism in the country. In the 1980s and 1990s, mass tourism, which placed higher priority on quick profits … The IYE offers an opportunity to review ecotourism experiences worldwide, in order to consolidate tools and institutional frameworks that ensure its sustainable development in the future. Below are some of the benefits of ecotourism to local communities in Africa. Ecotourism Kenya runs a standards scheme where 86 facilities have received 23 Gold, 43 Silver and 20 Bronze standard eco-rating certificates. 1. In the past, up to 21% of Kenya’s national income has been derived from tourism. Lions in Kenya and Tanzania have to change their hunting schedules. They have to wait till the later hours of the day when it is hottest to get their prey. The global importance of ecotourism, its benefits as well as its impact was recognized with the launching of the year 2002 as the International Year of Ecotourism by the (United Nations General Assembly. Tourism in Kenya is a source of foreign exchange and income for the government. Something had to change. Income generation. It has also built capacity for the local people to more effectively engage with tourism issues. Interaction with humans makes the wildlife vulnerable to poaching Frequent interaction with human beings sets in a phenomenon named as “habituation” when the wild life gets used to human interactions. And the wildlife market generates half of the country's foreign exchange earnings. This helps reduce dependence on other sectors such as agriculture, which are subject to weather and market conditions that can often be unpredictable. Ecotourism in Kenya: Background. Ecotourism is a major contributor to Kenya's economy.
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