In 2015, LWF took an initiative started by its Board, and worked with Conservation Capital on a 10 year Master Plan for Sustainable Tourism in Laikipia. The County Government was engaged on the development of tourism legislation tailored for the County, and a Tourism Task Force was formed in order to lay the foundation for sustainable tourism in the County.Two years later, the tourism legislation still flounders in the County Assembly. The County has not adopted the Tourism Strategy but, the private sector remains engaged and active.
Using the Task Force established for the Strategy, and capitalising on its members, the Laikipia Tourism Association (LTA) has emerged. The LTA will soon become the vehicle for all sustainable tourism efforts of the private sector in Laikipia. Its goal is to build Laikipia to become the most diversified, sustainable tourism destination in Kenya.
Combining all forms of tourism in Laikipia, the LTA is expected to be the interface with County Government, National Government, and, as needed, with international tourism entities. The Association is also the private sector arm of the County Tourism Board called for in the County tourism legislation. It is expected to work with the County on issues of overlap – energy, waste, infrastructure, revenue generation and taxation, marketing and promotion, as well as environmental compliance and the adoption of incentives for the continued “greening” of the industry.
The LTA will soon have its own managing committee, with a full-time manager employed by the Association.Membership benefits include annual information on tourism performance, registration, and standards compliance. The LTA will also negotiate financial benefits, and serve as a representative to County and National Government on rates, levies, training and capacity building.
LWF will serve as a secretariat in the initial years to help keep operational costs down, and to provide accounting and admin services that are established to international and national requirements.
A special communications Task Force has been formed to address the challenges being faced as a result of the movement of large numbers of herders and livestock into the landscape. There was general agreement that this Task Force would help inform visitors to Laikipia.
#KaribuLaikipia is led by a team comprising of ranches, conservancies, hotels, and industry leaders. Their efforts will be led by a full-time Communications Specialist to head the clearing-house functions of this Task Force. Regular updates will be posted through LWF’s social media platforms. Posts will include both the current situation and also the many positive events and stories coming out of the Laikipia tourism industry daily.
This service will be linked to other social media channels that include information on the County’s activities.
Visitors to Laikipia continue to enjoy astoundingly diverse tourism experiences throughout much of the region.