Students in the Youth Changemakers Program were invited to participate in a field trip to Red Rocks Rwanda to learn about sustainable tourism development, as part of the Sustainable Tourism and Travel Agenda.This experience offers a practical, hands-on approach to sustainable tourism products in an international context.
Participants were able to partake in a number of local tourism experiences, including basket weaving, traditional food preparation and banana beer preparation. They were also given a tour of the farm and bee-keepers association. In addition to these experiences, students were able to discuss the logistics behind the operations of these products, including how the finances are managed and which types of community-based tourism models are used. Who owns the product and experience, and how are the funds allocated? How do these products plan for sustainability, from an economic, financial and environmental standpoint? How was the overall tourism experience, and where is there room for improvement?
These are the types of questions that participants in the program asked and learned about. They learned about how these products were managed and delivered in the Rwandan context, which helps to spark new ideas about how similar products could be enhanced or developed in Kenya. As students of tourism, hospitality and conservation, they were able to apply what they have learned in the classroom in a way that is applicable to future career projects.
The field trip in Rwanda equips participants with the knowledge and experience necessary to launch into their tourism careers upon graduation. It is a chance to open their minds to the greater tourism market, helping to understand the variety of products available to the tourist, and which markets of tourists Kenya should be targeting to provide an optimum experience.
Eco-Tourism Business Officer – June 2018 – December 2018
Institute of Tourism & Hospitality Management
Dedan Kimathi University of Technology