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Destination Marketing

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Tourism destination has been defined as a geographical region, political jurisdiction, or major attraction, which seeks to provide visitors with a range of satisfying to memorable visitation experiences (Bornhost, Ricthie and Sheehan, 2010). A tourism destination must also seek to enhance the economic and social well-being of the residents within its boundaries. To be called a tourism destination it must also offer a wide range of activities and experience to the tourists. Kenya can be called a tourism destination as it is an attractive, and one of the most developed tourist destinations in Sub-Saharan Africa (Ayoo, 2007). As of 2007 Kenya had 29 National Parks and 29 National Reserves that together occupy about 7.5% of the country’s total area. Biodiversity ranging from marine parks, mountain, arid and semi-arid parks to ecosystems can be found at these parks. The Equator divides the country into almost two equal halves. The country has several attractions such as natural and cultural attractions such as game viewing, bird-watching, deep-sea fishing and mountain climbing, apart from being free of terrorism (Pennington-Gray et al., 2005). The diversity of physical landscape and scenery provide both beauty and variety to the country (Odunga, 2005). Wildlife and nature-based tourism is the greatest attraction for the tourists visiting Kenya. Tourism in Kenya grew over the years and became an important economic activity. However, the sector has been experiencing decline because it could not segregate mass tourism from eco tourism and sustainable tourism. The focus initially was on mass tourism but then the focus shifted towards attracting a niche segment or the upmarket segment (Odunga, 2005). This affected the image of Kenya as a tourist attraction. With another policy shift the focus was again on both mass tourism and the niche segment. The constant shifting of strategies has led to an adverse image of the destination. Tourism in Kenya is in the decline stage of the Tourism Area Life Cycle as product quality has declined. Effective promotion is needed to restore the image that Kenya as a destination carried. Situational analysis would help recommend a suitable promotional strategy to attract the UK tourists, comprising of a niche segment. 2. Situational Analysis An analysis of the macro environment or the external factors that influence tourism in Kenya would help develop the framework for promotion as well as the marketing objectives. 2.1 Environmental Analysis The country is undergoing political instability and political unrest. One of the major issues is the unequal distribution of resources such as land on which tourism depends. Some hold the view that while tourism consumes large resources the distribution of the revenue remains at the discretion of the central government, which often disregards the social and economic needs of the region (Mayaka and Prasad, 2012). The political situation in the country makes the tourism industry vulnerable to uncertainties and volatility. The tourism sector in Kenya contributes to 11 percent of the GDP but the global financial crisis further affected the political events, which resulted in reduced flow of tourists (Mayaka and Prasad, 2012). Tourism has reduced unemployment while maintaining balance of payments (Pennington-Gray et al., 2005). The recession