The development of tourism in Kenya and The Gambia : a compartive analysis
The purpose of this study is to examine tourism development planning in Kenya and The Gambia; to compare and contrast their relative approaches to tourism development, and to assess their implications; to use the syntheses to identify hypotheses which might be used to stimulate tourism in developing countries. Concepts from tourism management (planning) and political economy (development) provide the theoretical framework for the investigation. Three hypotheses are put forward: Unless the tourism sector is managed well, problems are unavoidable. Second, because of weight of collective experience, management cannot obviate the problems but can help to solve them. Third, although planning for the sector may be good, this is only the input. Questions may be asked about structure, or about implementation. To test the hypotheses, Africa and the United Kingdom are chosen as field-work areas. The target is at two levels - demand and supply. The demand focuses on U.K. tour operators 'selling' East and West African tourist destinations. A short questionnaire, consisting of various factors considered important in choosing destinations, is constructed. The questionnaire seeks to ascertain tour operators' opinions on the competitiveness of Kenya and The Gambia as tourist destinations, relative to other African rivals. The results of the survey are incorporated into actual field-work in Africa. The supply side concentrates on a range of the travel trade operating in Kenya and The Gambia. It includes airlines, hoteliers, government officials. The purpose is to obtain sellers' view - the image the countries want to present overseas. The interview technique is used to generate field-work data. In both cases, the emphasis is to find out the problems of development as seen by the countries themselves and also the problems and difficulties experienced by tour operators in 'selling' the destinations. The thesis concludes on three notes: that the success of tourism in developing countries will depend largely on the need for planning, the need for flexibility, and the need for caution. It is argued that to disregard these propositions could spell a disaster for the tourism industry. The implication for developing countries is that if tourism is to provide the springboard for a realisation of the 'basic needs' cry of their citizens, in terms of an improvement of opportunity and quality of life, then the tourism sector needs to be planned. There have to be slack and selective tendencies built into it. These three factors are the main ingredients of success.