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Report Compiled By: Georgia Atieno
Experience Kenya News Team
Wednesday, 16th October 2008

Tanzania is the latest to adopt Kenya's ecotourism certification scheme with the certification of its first four tourism facilities. This is the latest move in part of a strategy to provide a standard scheme for East Africa that travelers can identify with.

The certification scheme certifies tourism accommodation facilities and is managed by Ecotourism Kenya. Facilities hoping to receive 'Eco-labels', which are seals or logos, have to meet set environmental and social standards.

Mr Phillip Mureithi from Eco-tourism Kenya says companies can use the eco-logos in their websites and publications as marketing tools for their certified service delivery.
The four facilities, all major tourism attraction sites in Tanzania, which have been certified include Sand Rivers Selous, Chada Katavis, Grey Stoke Mahale and Fundu Lagoon.

Mr Mureithi adds that a standard certification scheme ensures that travelers do not get confused. It is because of this reason that Southern African countries have been pushing for a regional certification scheme to reduce the number of schemes present. They plan to do so under the Fair Trade and Tourism South Africa.

Ecotourism Kenya is making plans to form links with Tanzania National Resources Forum in order to monitor tourism facilities through regular auditing.

According to Mr. Mureithi, tourism facility owners have welcomed the certification scheme and are keen on it due to the ever rising demand by conscious travelers. Facilities which have been certified are graded in three categories including Gold, Silver and Bronze. Some of the facilities include lodges, camps and bush homes among others.

So far Base Camp and Campi ya Kanzi in Kajiado are the only facilities in Kenya which have achieved Gold rating. Six other facilities have achieved Silver rating and 21 have achieved Bronze.

Read more about Tourism responding to challenges of climate change



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