SPACES has been investigating ecosystem services and their contribution to poverty alleviation in Kenya and Mozambique since 2013. One part of this project has looked at tourism in the South Coast region of Kenya. From 2013-2015 Kenya had terrorism related travel advisories. SPACES co-investigator, Chris Sandbrook, analysed tourism data from 2011-2015 to understand how the terrorism attacks and the associated travel advisory effected the tourism industry and how the industry was able to cope with the shock. The data was collected by Chris Cheupe and provided by Judith Nyunja, Mwanamisi Mkungu, and Roy Muga from the KWS. A brief entitled, “Tourism at the Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park 2011-2015: A story of change and resilience” has been produced and will be presented to the KWS.

Key Messages from the KWS brief:

• There was a significant decline in visitors to the Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park after the 2013 terrorist attacks. Foreign tourist numbers declined much more drastically than Kenyan tourists. In 2011 there were about twice as many foreign tourists than Kenyan tourists, but by 2015 there were more Kenyan tourists than foreign tourists.

• There are two types of boats that tourists can use to visit Kisite-Mpunguti, local boats and more expensive company boats. Kenyan tourists preferred to use local boats, while foreign tourists used both kinds equally. Hence, company boats were affected more notably than the local boats after the 2013 terrorist attacks.

• The Kenyan tourists and the cheaper local boats play a very important role in ‘buffering’ the tourism industry against the effects of a crisis, because Kenyan tourists continue to visit the coast and use these services even when there is a slump in foreign non-resident tourists.

• Without the Kenyan tourists, the impacts of the terrorist attacks and associated reductions in tourist numbers might have been a lot worse.

• It is important to carry on recognising the important role that the Kenyan tourists play in the Shimoni area. They may not be as profitable for local businesses, but they are much more resilient than foreign tourists when the country is faced with a shock.

Click here to read the full brief.


Warning: Use of undefined constant ’post’ - assumed '’post’' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/customer/www/ on line 62

Warning: Use of undefined constant ’page’ - assumed '’page’' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/customer/www/ on line 62

Related content

SPACES publication: Men and women use, experience and value coastal ecosystem services differently

In this latest publication, Matt Fortnam and coauthors from the SPACES team compiled evidence from across the SPACES datasets to illustrate how people’s engagement with ecosystem services are fundamentally gendered… See this Stockholm Resilience Centre news item for a summary of the paper: and in the blog below Kate Brown discusses the paper […]

Read more
The changing contribution of different forms of tourism to local livelihoods during a period of crisis: a case study of Southern Kenya – Caroline Abunge

Caroline Abunge’s presenation on the effects of the tourism slump. She concludes that: tourism in the area has suffered due to the terrorism crisis, Kenyan citizens have continued to visit the area – they are not put off – may be more resilient but also have lower impact as they spend less coping strategy is […]

Read more
Tourism Data

All information including publications, conference presentations and news items related to tourism data is tagged below.

Read more
SPACES at the ESPA 2016 Annual Science Conference

The ESPA Annual Science Conference was held in Nairobi, Kenya from the 17th to the 18th of November. Several members of the SPACES team were in attendance, including Tim Daw, Kate Brown, Caroline Abunge, Salomao Bandeira, Caroline Abunge, Christopher Cheupe, Julio Machele, Vera Julien, Bernard Owuor, Tomas Chaigneau, Kate Brown, and Kairo Gitundu. Tim, Kate, […]

Read more