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Kenya is one of the global leaders in community-based ecotourism, working with the many local tribes to develop innovative ways to protect the environment and local culture.

A leader in innovative eco-lodges, Kenya has won many international eco-lodge awards. Il N’gwesi and Tortillis Camp both won the British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow award in recent years. Ol Donyo Wuas was a finalist for the same award this year.

Kenya is ahead of the ecotourism pack in other areas as well, planning to be Africa’s first country to develop and use international criteria to rate eco-lodges and tour operators.

Started in October 1999 by Dr. David Western and Neel Inamdar, Ecotourism Society of Kenya (ESOK) has completed the 'eco-ratings', giving Kenya’s tourists an opportunity to choose a 3 star or a 4 star eco-lodge, based on internationally accepted criteria.

These criteria also provide Kenya’s eco-lodges and tour operators the tools they need to compete in the global market as one of the world’s top ecotourism destinations.

Kenya also received a international ecotourism coup when The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), representing an international membership network that includes tour operators, academics, and government officials in 110 countries, recognised East Africa’s reputation for strong ecotourism practices and chose Nairobi as the venue for the International Year of Ecotourism (IYE) African ecotourism conference.

The United Nations declared 2002 as the International Year of Ecotourism (IYE), providing a forum for the world to understand the synergy between conservation, cultural awareness and community benefits through tourism. TIES chose six global locations for the regional conferences, offering the opportunity to critically assess ecotourism’s future in each region.

For more information on Kenya’s ecotourism, please contact:

Ecotourism Kenya
P.O Box 10146-00100 Nairobi
Tel: +254 20 2724755/ 2724403
Fax: +254 20 2724755

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Website: www.ecotourismkenya.org