This study explores the potential of cultural heritage product in the promotion of Kenya's tourism. The Ministry of Tourism Strategic Plan 2008–2012 identified the untapped tourism potential in the areas of eco-tourism, culture, conference and cruise as an opportunity for the future of Kenya's tourism. The report isolated inadequate development of the cultural product as a major weakness in Kenya's tourism. Invention in the cultural heritage tourism product (CHTP) would ease overdependence on beach and wildlife tourism for sustainability and leverage Tourist Destination Kenya's (TDK) competitiveness. This can only be achieved if a blueprint for heritage conservation and tourism is developed and implemented. To achieve its objective, this study employed observation, in-depth interviews and a review of secondary data to investigate current CHTP practices. The research was extended to cultural and heritage site visits. The sites were selected in a non-probabilistic manner based on their cultural significance. The study established that Kenya has a rich CHTP which has not been fully exploited for the purpose of tourism. It observed that the promotion of cultural heritage tourism in Kenya is weakened by lack of proper policies and poor perception of culture as a tourism product. It concluded that cultural tourism has the potential to withstand the ravages of COVID-19 due to its structure and nostalgic characteristics. This study recommends a policy framework heralding effective CHTP management and a post-COVID-19 recovery program marked by new protocols. The study is novel in its methodology, choice of sites and COVID-19 reality.
Wahome, E.W. and Gathungu, J.J.W. (2021), "Redefining Sustainability in the Conservation and Promotion of the Cultural Heritage Tourism Product in Kenya", Gowreesunkar, V.G., Maingi, S.W., Roy, H. and Micera, R. (Ed.) Tourism Destination Management in a Post-Pandemic Context (Tourism Security-Safety and Post Conflict Destinations), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 257-271. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-80071-511-020211018
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