Kenya Community Based Tourism Network (KECOBAT) was invited at eco-tourism talk on 30th October 2014 at Nairobi National Museum of Kenya for a presentation which was purposely giving insights on the Homestays as Ecotourism Enterprises in Kenya. The Executive Director KECOBAT, Ole Taiko Lemaiyan presenting and creating awareness on the significance of homestays, He emphasized the need to embrace the product as it plays a big role in diversifying tourism industry through ensuring cultural experiences, historical insights and meeting the trend of visitors by bridging gaps of beds that are required to accommodate the projected number of visitors as per the implementation of VISION 2030.
For deeper understanding of the homestay concept, brief background about the Homestays, how to establish and operate a homestay, highlights in terms of the benefits, challenges and legal procedures to enable homestay operators ensure quality services to our visitors were discussed and through open discussions the participants appreciated the need for implementation of homestays. Homestays will ensure enriched experiences to visitors as they interact with family members and involve in various activities such as, crop farming, animal interactions like milking, riding donkeys among others, be guided to the vicinity historical sites and other natural resources surrounding the homestays and attend various festivals. Through such diverse experiences in the ecosystem and the Kenyan hospitality, it is believed to capture the attention of our visitors and enhance their interests to stay and explore more.
Among other pressing needs to realize the effective implementation and contribution of homestays to enhance community development, continual capacity building to homestay operators in various counties and ensuring collaborative marketing strategies from various stakeholders on addition to central reservation system being developed by KECOBAT need to be enhanced as integral aspects to improve on homestay operations in regard to better standards and quality service delivery to our visitors. It’s through reaching out to empower homestay operators that will enable them realize their responsibility to conserve the ecosystem for enriched experiences hence promoting both ecotourism and community tourism development.
Therefore, KECOBAT continues to build capacities of homestay operators through various trainings, mapping, profiling and marketing different operators in the country and it’s upon this background that it wishes to interact with various stakeholders to boost homestay operations in the country as a vehicle for livelihood transformation.