Community based tourism as a strategy of collaboration and partnerships in protected area management : a case Tsavo National Park, Kenya
Kenya relies mostly on wildlife as her major tourism product. The country has a widespread protected area (PAs) system in place with 9 to 10% of her land area presently gazetted as national parks, national reserves or forest reserves. These critical biodiversity areas are the backbone of a flourishing tourism sector. It has become increasingly clear to park managers, planners, and academics that no one stakeholder can dictate the future of conservation in these PAs. PAs management must appreciate the power of collaboration and partnerships arrangements with all stakeholders, especially the local communities who neighbour the areas. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how community based tourism has been used a strategy collaboration and partnerships in PAs management in Kenya. Conservation in Kenya is a product of the global evolution of nature conservation efforts, this was started at Yellowstone National Park in the USA in 1872, followed by Banff National Park in Canada in 1885.The oldest PA in Kenya is Nairobi National Park which was gazetted in 1945, followed by Tsavo National Park in 1948 (the study area of the paper). The paper observes that collaboration and partnerships arrangements among stakeholders have becomes a central theme in sustainable tourism development, and recommends that community based (eco) tourism can be used to bridge the gap in conservation between PAs and local communities. The challenge has and will always be; how to provide the local communities with resources, knowledge and skills to manage the said business ventures and enterprises.