Niche diplomacy: the role of the media diplomacy in promting tourism in Kenya
Ratemo, Edna M
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With the complex state of international relations comes a challenge that faces all countries; how to remain relevant and how to gain more power on the platform of international politics. The days of conquering lands with the use of a powerful army and breaking down the citadels of great cities are in the past. So have the days when diplomacy was the reserve of aristocrats and heads of states. With the spin of globalization comes rapid communication and an increasing inter-dependence among states as the world shrinks into a glocal village. Various forms of diplomacy have sprung up to match all these changes in international affairs. This paper discusses the usefulness, relevance and execution of niche diplomacy and media diplomacy with relation to the promotion of tourism in Kenya. For a long time tourism has been a strong pillar in the economy of the country with this industry being the highest foreign exchange earner, a formidable addition to the country's Gross Domestic Product as well as a source of employment for many Kenyans. Tourism has been the foundation of useful alliances and relations with other countries in the world, and has been a causative agent to the niche Kenya has created in the region as a dependable haven and an active actor in international mediation efforts. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) projects that international tourism is on the incline and shall continue to be. Given these projections, the increasing potential of Kenya's Tourism industry as well as the changes in diplomacy in this era of globalization, the opportunity of Kenya to elevate up the ladder in international affairs in a bid for dominance and national strength is a low hanging fruit. This paper discusses the prospects of tourism as a niche in Kenya, and its promotion with the use of media diplomacy.