Tourism as a shared income earner : towards a viable community based tourism initiatives (CBTIs)
Tourism in Kenya has spurred sectorial growth in diverse sectors of the economy with concomitant increase in living standards and the overall economic growth and development. However, income from tourism has rarely been shared out proportionately. Of notable concern is the multiplication of Community Based Tourism Initiatives (CBTIs) which have been proposed largely as a means by which tourism‟s receipts can be shared out with the local community. Through several examples in Kenya, this paper shows that some of these projects experience low visitations and inadequate income generation. This paper therefore puts into perspective the whole aspect of community participation in tourism activities as a means sharing revenue. Secondly, it seeks to delve into the performance of these initiatives with regard to visitor numbers and income generation and thirdly, to identify the means through which tourism can become an effective means of sharing income with the local communities. The paper concludes that, the lack of link between community projects and tourist market remains a periodic challenge. Moreover, for the sustainability of these projects, such initiatives must be anchored in transparency and must gain confidence from all involved.