A Comparative Assessment of Destination Choice by International and Domestic Tourists
By Chomba Grace Wanjiru (HPM-2-0349-13) & John Kahuthu Gitau
Tourism is a powerful and diverse industry that is directly associated with most regions growth and economic vitality. Kenyan economy to a large extent depends significantly on tourism generated revenue. It is an important sector as stipulated in the Vision 2030 development plan; a flagship project of the vision 2030 economic pillar aiming at promoting tourism in all parts of the country both international and domestic. The focus of this study is on the factors influencing the choice of Mt. Kenya National Park as a tourist destination for both international and domestic destination. The study aims at identifying the factors that influence destination choice and to explore various strategies that may be adopted to promote tourism in Mt. Kenya region. Descriptive cross sectional research design was used to sample 10 managers and 100 tourists. Convenience sampling technique was used to select the study participants. Data was collected from sampled tourist respondents using a questionnaire with closed ended and open ended questions whereas an interview guide was used to select the managers. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics such as the means, percentages and variances of different variables. The results indicate that majority of international tourists are attracted by wildlife, flora and fauna whereas locals were attracted by the serenity of the environment. Captivatingly, majority of local and international tourists are willing to revisit the destination again. In addition, both locals and international tourists agreed to the fact that less was done to market the destination, thus reducing the visitation levels. The study recommends a cohesive collaborations among all key stakeholders to aggressively market the destination and to involve the local community to participate in sustainable tourism development.