An Analysis of Kenya’s Policy on Local Community Participation in Tourism

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Kenya has various policy instruments that provide for local community participation in tourism. However, the impact of these policies has come into question as researchers continue to demonstrate the presence of limited community participation and benefits within the country’s tourism industry. This analysis uses qualitative content analysis to examine the provisions of eight national-level and eleven local-level policies as far as community participation in tourism is concerned. It establishes that while Kenyan policies have had a positive impact on community participation in tourism, their effectiveness is undermined by inconsistencies in their approach to community participation. The country lacks a common framework to guide policymakers in planning for community participation. Without a unified policy direction, low levels of community participation and benefits will continue to be experienced even by countries that have a rich policy environment.