The role of the local community in sustainable tourism was the heated topic that brought together six universities from the Country to the Zetech University main campus. The inter-university seminar, which featured students from Zetech, University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University, Dedan Kimathi University, Kenya Methodist University and other institutions, was the 15th STTA Change Makers seminar planned by the Suitable Travel Tourism Agenda (STTA), an organisation established to promote sustainability in tourism.
Hundreds of students gathered at the University auditorium to deliberate on the topic with various presentations from selected speakers who took the audience through the contribution local communities can make to boost sustainable tourism, a key contributor to the country’s economy. The session saw the scholars assess the community’s contribution to the tourism sector and deliberate on the importance of enlightening locals on what to do to enhance tourism in the country.
Lauding the School of Tourism and Hospitality faculty for a fantastic job in bringing together learned minds, Dr. Alice Njuguna, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academics, Research, Extension and Student Affairs at the University, described the seminar as critical to the students’ academic development,
“Such engagements birthed by research and the need to bring minds together push students to think critically through issues, deliberate and come up with solutions that can impact national development.
Through this, learners’ minds are expanded and universities are better placed to produce graduates who will change the world.” said Dr. Njuguna. She added that intervarsity interaction is healthy for the sector and appreciated the different institutions for being a part of the initiative.
During the seminar, Zetech University’s Tourism student Felicia Asiji gave a fascinating presentation on the Importance of local community participation in sustainable tourism that challenged the scholars to dive deeper into devising ways locals can improve sustainable tourism, while the Varsity’s lecturer Grace Ndegwa facilitated discussions on the issues that affect local participation in the industry.
Given the success of the event, the University will host additional forums to enhance the student’s campus experience.