Kenya is endowed with a rich biodiversity characterized by a broad range of flora, fauna and geomorphologic formations in addition to a growing cultural heritage. In the face of increasing human populations, diminishing wild habitats and increased demand for agricultural land, there is need to shift overdependence upon agriculture as the main engine of economic growth.
The opportunities for economic development in the ecotourism industry and associated hospitality service sectors have hitherto not been realized because of the dominance of mass tourism conventional tourism in the tourism sector. There is need to develop human technical capacity to run, re-orientate planning of ecotourism and hospitality industries in order to enhance economic growth in Kenya.
Development of ecotourism offers opportunities for diversification and has the potential to transform local economies in addition to conserving our natural resources and cultural heritage. A certificate in Ecotourism and Hospitality Management is being offered by the University and a Bachelor of Science degree programme on the same has already been approved by the Senate. This Diploma in Eco-Tourism and Hospitality Management programme at Egerton University is a link between the certificate and degree courses. The availability of local advisory services and technical skills at the diploma level would enhance decision making, increase involvement of stakeholders and sharing of benefits. The programme will provide graduates with the requisite technical and managerial skills required in the development of the ecotourism hospitality industries.