Stakeholders' Participation in Sustainable Tourism Development in Elgeyo Marakwet County, Kenya
Sustainable tourism improvement in rules and administration practices are useful to all types of tourism destinations, including mass tourism and the different niche tourism sections. Sustainability standards allude to the environmental, monetary and socio-cultural parts of tourism improvement, and an appropriate balance must be set up between these three measurements to ensure its long haul manageability. For sustainability in tourism to be enhanced and developed to the expectations, there should be consented participation of each and every player in the tourism sector. This study determined the extent of stakeholders’ participation in sustainable tourism development in Elgeyo Marakwet County. Descriptive research design was adopted and the target population included 2 County government officials, 1 national government representative, 1 Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) official, 1,250 Athletes (High Altitude camp), 3 hotel managers,4,876 tourists, 3 private investors and 24,450 community members. The sample size for each category was determined and distributed proportionately as follows: Community Members were 316, tourists 63 and athletes 16. Census approach was used for County Government Officials, National Government official (Tourism Regulatory Officer), KVDA (tourism officer), hotel managers and private investors since they were few in number. Therefore, the total sample size was 405 respondents. Purposive sampling technique was utilized to choose the respondents for every one of the community members, tourists and athletes. Questionnaires and interview guides were used to collect the data. Data analysis was done using descriptive and inferential statistics techniques. Results revealed that stakeholders’ participation had a positive and significant relationship with tourism development. This could be attributed to the collaborations and the leadership role provided by the Elgeyo Marakwet County government towards tourism development. Stakeholders’ role and contribution to the development of tourism diversification Elgeyo Marakwet County was key. The study concluded that creating enabling environment through policy making was one of the key roles played by stakeholders’. It was recommended that the roles of stakeholders should be facilitated through adequate funding and training to increase their creativity and corporation for effective tourism diversification.
Keywords: Stakeholders participation, Sustainable Tourism development and Elgeyo Marakwet County
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