Conceptualizing Structures for urban Tourism in Kenya: A strategy for enhancing Entrepreneurship
In the late 1990s, the City of Portland, Oregon in the United States decided to explore the potential for attracting tourists in its urbanized areas. It therefore carried out a study in select urban areas in the country to identify transport oriented features that would enhance access to urban tourist attraction sites. A transport service design was developed and when it was completed, one of the unexpected outcomes was a thematic nature for selected service routes. A uniquely painted bus (hence referred to as “the cultural bus”) along with select customer friendly drivers were assigned on a route to cater for tourists. The number of tourists using the thematic bus route shot up and so was patronage of businesses along the route. But unlike the Portland example, the tourist industry in Kenya, along with its stakeholders have traditionally focused tourist infrastructure on a few large attractors (high impact sites), and very little has been done to maximize on the marginal sites (low impact sites), especially in urbanized areas. The objective of this paper is to provide a context for conceptualizing natural and infrastructural structures for urban tourism and entrepreneurial opportunities in Kenya by; 1) reviewing the premises and design contexts of urban tourism, 2) presenting transport oriented guiding principles for urban tourism, and 3) documenting pertinent transport design and practices case studies from the United States. The paper is an applied case study based on some of the projects in which the authors were previously either directly engaged in or responsible for documenting the practices. It also conceptualizes the nature of urban spatial structure and analysis pertinent to urban tourism.
Journal of Language, Technology & Entrepreneurship in Africa Vol. 1 (2) 2009: pp. 36-45