Theme: Cultural and Creative Industries and Tourism in Kenya

Date:  Thursday, October 24th, 2019

Time: 2.00 – 5.00 pm

This document will explore the interaction between cultural and creative industries and the tourism experience in Kenya


Cultural and creative industries have strong linkages with tourism experiences because they add value by reaching new target groups, improving the image of destinations, enhancing the competitiveness of places and supporting the export of cultural products. With growth in digital technology, conventional models of heritage based tourism and being broadened to incorporate creativity, innovation and intangible content. New actors and value networks are emerging but the policy framework for the intersections between creativity and tourism remain underdeveloped.

New linkages and synergies with tourism are offering considerable potential to grow demand and develop new products, experiences and markets.

Integrating creative content with tourism experiences can add value by reaching new target groups, improving destination image and competitiveness, and supporting the growth of the creative industries and creative export.

Creative tourism expands the very concept of tourism as a whole, driving a shift from conventional models of heritage-based cultural tourism to new models of creative tourism centered on contemporary creativity, innovation and intangible content.

Creative tourism also involves collaboration with a wider range of actors, leading to dispersed value networks rather than narrow value chains. Creative tourism experiences combine different creative content and engage with creative lifestyles, both in the destination and remotely, or even virtually, via new technology.

To promote Creative Tourism, the Governments must have enabling role to play, including supporting networks, strengthening creative clusters and promoting entrepreneurship.

The private sector is taking the Lead in developing interesting and engaging creative content which can be distributed across different platforms. Tourism organizations should also assume a greater role in content production and distribution.


Are there Active policy approaches needed to effectively capture the opportunities to generate value offered by the growth of both creativity and tourism?

Kenya is popularly known as the host of second highest mountain in Africa (Mt. Kenya), home to the Maasai Mara and her breathtaking annual wildebeest migration, home to a majority of the world athletics champions and home to an insanely gorgeous coastal line.

Sadly, that is the only Glimpse of Kenya the World has. Besides the rich traditions and culture, food, craft, theater arts, fashion and music. Not only is the rest of the world missing out, but majority of Kenyans have not had this experience.

This factor therefor dictates tourism in Kenya, as large number of tourist visit for the Safari.

South Africa has a vibrant theatrical scene with more than 100 active spaces all over the country offering everything from indigenous drama, music, dance, cabaret and satire to West End and Broadway hits, classical opera and ballet. This is among the most popular tourist attractions in South Africa.

In the United States, the theatre industry provides a popular pastime for many people. According to a survey conducted by Nielsen Scarborough in spring 2016, over 47 million Americans and tourists had attended a live theatre event within the past month and around 73.5 million people had visited a performing art event in 2013.

Walking down memory lane, theatres and Odeon have been functional in Kenya, but some have been repurposed to commercial buildings. For the functional theatres, they hardly have any performances, or opened for creatives to practice.

According to the round table, most Kenyans pass time in clubs simply because they have no other social places to go.

They strongly suggest that creatives put initiatives to reclaim creative spaces. Part of reclaiming those creative spaces according to the round table, is introducing a management team that understands the importance creative tourism, avoid commercializing those spaces for other use and be open for creatives to work.

Encourage creatives to take advantage of well managed spaces.

Athletics on the other hand has kept Kenya in the world map, a golden opportunity to market cultural-tourism in Kenya, this is usually the only time the whole world is at a stand, all eyes on Kenya. But so far both the government and the private sector have not seen a gap to market Kenya in terms of cultural tourism.

Film has become a powerful vehicle for culture, education, leisure and tourism. The Film and Television industry is critical on three levels; the social, political and economic. The industry also plays an important role in communicating ideas, information and ideology and promoting tourism.

The film industry has great potential to contribute to the economic pillar of vision 2030 in terms of job and wealth creation in the production and distribution of films and also generation of foreign exchange and tax revenues. It also contributes to the social and political pillar of the vision 2030 through films which promote national cohesion, values and aspiration of the Kenyan people

Kenya has the perfect scenery for international film production. A classic example being The Lion King: acted in Hells gate, but uses South African Language. This only shows that South Africa has marketed its culture and language enough to be used in an international film.

It is no doubt that creative –tourism needs to be rescued, and part of this process means re-introducing creative arts in school. It is ironical when you try introducing creative-tourism to a forty year old man, who has never been to a theatre before. Cultivate the culture at a young age and the audience will shift from night clubs to Theatres.

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