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thenairobidude
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Who profits off of Kenyan tourism sector?

I was going through airbnb, looking for a nice place to stay in Kenya. Preferably calm and atypical for a great experience and I was shocked by the amount of people from European descent owning most of the places I was interested in.

Cottages, treehouses, container homes, refurbished buses... I mean nothing against European people but if I'm travelling to Africa I would prefer to give my money to locals in order to transfer wealth rather to give it back... The problem is that I just don't want to rent a plain apartment for the entirety of my stay.

I feel like in french overseas territories where the tourism sector is totally owned by some Families and where natives are somewhat exploited for folkloric usage...
Its true lots of people of European descended people own a lot of property in nicer areas in Nairobi and Mombasa but im sure u can find a nice place in Nairobi or Mombasa owned by a local.

In places like Diani which probably has one of the top 3 beaches on the continent locals are for sure not gaining when it comes to tourism.

And locals dont benefit from tourism in most places Ive visited from Amboseli where there are Maasai people to Diani where there are coastal communities locals do get employed but doing mostly menial work and it doesnt pay much.

Kenya should stop focussing on mass tourism at least until it becomes more developed. I would say that Kenya needs to focus on African tourists (because they have the same income levels and wont distort prices to much) and high end tourism (charge higher fees for natl parks for non-Africans). For 2 -3 years tourism will drop but the end result will end up being better.

And I will say that u will find many Kenyans/Africans who agree with you but that shouldnt keep you from visiting Kenya.

  • I would recommend a day or 2 in Nairobi
  • 3 days in Diani
  • A day tour of Mombasa
  • A visit to either Maasai Mara or Amboseli National Park (I did a tour with Kudu Hills Safaris and it wont be cheap because u arent an EAC citizen but it'll be worth it)
 

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Who profits off of Kenyan tourism sector?

I was going through airbnb, looking for a nice place to stay in Kenya. Preferably calm and atypical for a great experience and I was shocked by the amount of people from European descent owning most of the places I was interested in.

Cottages, treehouses, container homes, refurbished buses... I mean nothing against European people but if I'm travelling to Africa I would prefer to give my money to locals in order to transfer wealth rather to give it back... The problem is that I just don't want to rent a plain apartment for the entirety of my stay.

I feel like in french overseas territories where the tourism sector is totally owned by some Families and where natives are somewhat exploited for folkloric usage...
If you look at the wider tourism sector all Kenyans from all descents benefit including in ownership and employment. Infact most big hotels in Kenya are owned Kenyans of black and asian descent, very few owned by whites.

However, there are of cultural and historical factors that will affect you finding airbnb to your taste owned by black africans. Few rich africans let their houses for airbnb. This people are very rich and they will not be bothered to open a new income stream through airbnb. To them that is small money. Most want the house exclusive for their family and not strangers. This is because most of these wealthy Kenyans are old and for them airbnb is strange concept.

The smaller less cooler apartments in Nairobi and Mombasa(and their environs) are owned by young Kenyans still working hard ("Hustling") to exploit new emerging income streams. Some younger Kenyans also run airbnb on behalf of other owners(e.g parents/relatives) who are not suave in technology.

For the ones owned by whites, this are those who benefited from inheritance coming down from generations that grabbed land during colonial period. They own land, farms and other properties. They have linkages with Europe meaning they can stay partly here in Kenya and Europe depending on need or convenience. Most rely on their property to generate money for them e.g. airbnbs in coast and up-country areas, mid size tourist lodges in remote parks and farming. Because this group travel a-lot, the idea of airbnb is not strange to them in-fact majority where doing so even before airbnb became popular by offering their houses to friends/relatives and other tourists from Europe while touring Kenya.
 

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Villeurbanne
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4,175 Posts
@sleekpiano : I get it. Your intervention was very humbling. I guess it must be the first step when someone from the northern hemisphere is planning to travel to Africa. I must leave some of my desires second plan.
Thank you man.
 
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