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Kenya prepares to host major ecotourism event

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An ecotourism conference to be held in Kenya in September will debate how sustainable tourism can benefit African economies and local communities.

The Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference (ESTC) is to be hosted in Nairobi and will gather more than 500 professionals from the industry to discuss how ecotourism can help Africa to promote sustainable development.

The event has been organised by the International Ecotourism Society, the Kenya Tourism Board, Ecotourism Kenya and the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). It will focus on measures that aid African countries by alleviating poverty, improving the life of communities and protecting the natural environment, by promoting eco-friendly tourism at the same time.

The conference will look at various issues and the way to overcome challenges by reaffirming the industry’s commitment to the UN resolution, ‘Promotion of Ecotourism for Poverty Eradication and Environment Protection’, which stresses the importance of ecotourism for its positive effects on communities development.

Tourism is Kenya’s largest foreign exchange earning sector and accounts for a large share of the country’s GDP. Travellers are attracted by its natural beauty, beaches, national parks and safaris.

Kelly Bricker, chair of the International Ecotourism Society said that the conference will be “an opportunity to learn first-hand how businesses and destinations are utilising tourism to support sustainable development at local to global levels.

“The tourism industry is increasingly being recognised as an important player in contributing to the world’s sustainable development goals which focus on conservation and communities”, she added.

Further reading:

UNWTO: leading the global drive to sustainable tourism

The six industries that are crucial to sustainable economic development

Green investment will deliver sustainable growth in South Africa, says report

Africa told to invest sustainably for the long-term

Study: sustainable investment can drive change in Africa

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