Author(s): J. Onchwati, H. Sommerville & N. Brockway
The Masai Mara Game Reserve is Kenya’s finest wildlife reserve, one of the
world’s top tourist attractions and vital to Kenya’s economy.
have been expressed about the sustainability of tourism given the threats of
depletion of indigenous animals, degradation of the landscape and impact on the
native Masai Mara tribespeople.
The challenge now is to create a sustainable
situation that protects the interests of all stakeholders.
This paper explores the
views of four key stakeholder groups: the Masai people; conservationists
including the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Masai Mara Game Reserve
management; local tourism and game lodge operators; and government
Interviews were carried out with representatives of each
stakeholder group to gain insight into their needs from tourism and whether these
needs are currently met; suggestions for short- and long-term tourism
developments; and the economic implications of tourism in the Masai Mara.
Interview data were supplemented by an extensive period of observation.
findings indicate that the growth of tourism and the lack of resources to manage
tourism are leading to persistent tensions between stakeholders and presenting
long-term threats to the tourism industry.
Overpopulation, changes in land use,
poaching, deforestation, land degradation, conflicts due to unequal sharing of
revenue, poor infrastructure and insecurity all contribute to these tensions.
stakeholders agreed that urgent action is required and lessons must be learned in
order to sustain tourism and ensure the Masai Mara is preserved for future
Masai Mara, stakeholder views, sustainable tourism, tourism
development, tourism impact.
Size: 3,308 kb
Paper DOI: 10.2495/ST100281
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