Determinants Of Performance Of The Tourism Industry In Kenya: A Case Of Mount Kenya National Park
The tourism industry is one of the greatest investments Kenya can bank on as a future opportunity to finance and implement projects to improve and sustain life of vulnerable communities. This study intends to address determinants of performance in the tourism industry in Kenya. These determinants are language of communication, cost of services, the location and the political environment. The researcher used descriptive survey research design. The study used questionnaires and interviews to collect primary data and literature review for secondary data. Respondents came from one geographical area and so the census sampling procedure was employed. These senior staff included the senior wardens and their deputies, in the park headquarters, wardens in security, community, tourism, rescue officer, investigators officer, research scientist, accountants, and administrator, procurement officer and section heads from every department. Data collected was analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). The results were reflected in tables and shown in percentages. The study found that that English (40%) was the most popular national language of visiting tourists. Majority (60%) of the visiting tourists had no communication barriers. Majority (78%) of the respondents disagreed that the charges in the park were very high. Majority (59%) also disagreed that the types of services offered were reasonable. Majority (70%) of the respondents disagreed that Mt. Kenya National Park is far from the city. Majority (90%) of the respondents also agreed that the park is easily accessible. Majority (54%) of respondents disagreed that travel advisories do not affect the number of visitors to the park. Majority (90%) of respondents agreed that the Park is secured from terrorist attacks. There was a strong positive correlation (r=0.68, r<0.05) between language of communication and performance of the tourism industry. Similarly, there was a strong negative correlation (r=-0.62, r<0.05) between cost of services and performance of the tourism industry. There was a weak positive correlation (r=0.21, p>0.05) between location of the park and the performance of the tourism industry. There was also a weak positive correlation between political environment (r=0.43, p>0.05) and the performance of the tourism industry. The study concludes that the determinants of performance of the tourism include language, cost of services, and political environment location in that order. The study recommended that Kenya Wildlife Services, the tourism board and other related agencies should implement a foreign language training program for its employees to enhance their communication with non-English speaking tourists. It was also recommended that pricing of park services should be lowered to attract both international and local tourists to enhance the performance of the tourism sector.
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