Sustainable tourism in Kenya – interview with Mercy Atieno Onyango

Sustainable tourism in Kenya - interview with Mercy Atieno Onyango

About Ecotourism Kenya and their key sustainability initiatives

This article is part of the “Sustainable tourism insights” interview series with speakers and participants of the Green Destinations Conference in Athens, Greece held in September 2022.

Mercy Atieno Onyango is the Programs Coordinator at Ecotourism Kenya. Anula Galewska, Travindy’s Managing Director, asked Mercy to share some of the recent activities of the Ecotourism Kenya.

Ecotourism Kenya is an association and membership organisation with a wide range of members including tour operators, accommodation facilities, educational insitutions, etc. The mission of the organisation is to link communities, tourism, and conservation in the most practical manner.

Ecotourism Kenya offers several different programs for all types of tourism enterprises. Their flagship program is called Standards & Best Practices Program with their own Eco-rating certification. This program brings together all tourism related certifications, which intend to support the industry. Additionally, there are Community Programs, which focus on technical and non-technical capacity building. Leadership & Mentorship Program blends the academic and professional, theoretical and practical aspects of ecotourism. There is also a specific program that recognizes, celebrates and highlights best practices in the industry. 

Mercy also shares examples of the most outstanding members of the organisation, especially eco-rated facilities – accommodations which are rated using eco-rating certification schemes recognised by the GSTC. Within this scheme facilities may achieve 3 levels of the certification – Gold, Silver and Bronze. There are also a number of destinations Ecotourism Kenya currently engaged through the partnership with Green Destinations, one of which was recognised at the TOP 100 Sustainable Stories competition.

Watch the interview with Mercy Atieno Onyango:

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