Date of Award

5-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management

Committee Member

Dr. Kenneth F. Backman, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Sheila J. Backman

Committee Member

Dr. Gregory P. Ramshaw

Abstract

The Tourism sector is a key driver for socio - economic growth in most rural communities in Africa. In Kenya, tourism as an industry is the second highest foreign exchange earner after agriculture and accounts for 10 percent Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Homestay Tourism is a vital subsector of the Kenyan Tourism and has been promoted to diversify its products base, provide availability of beds or accommodation in rural areas, to empower the local communities economically, and enhance the quality of life of local hosts. However, little empirical evidence exists to ascertain motivations that sway homestay owners in rural areas of Kenya to host foreign visitors in their homes. The focus of the study aims to explore and describe primary motivational factors for homestay providers to offer such services, problems, and challenges encountered during service delivery within Shompole - Maasai Community of Kenya. This qualitative study used semi-structured and open-ended questionnaires for face to face interviews with 27 respondents in three out of five villages in Shompole Group Ranch. Findings of the study will assist the County and National governments, homestay providers, tourism planners and stakeholders in developing quality homestay products, marketing and ensure compliance with set guidelines for all players in the sector.

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