Tourism is not only a powerful social and economic force but also a factor in the physical environment as well. It has the power to improve the environment, provide funds for conservation, preserve culture and history, to set sustainable use limits and to protect natural attractions. Ecotourism potentially provides a sustainable approach to development. A frequently cited definition of ecotourism originated with The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) which states “ecotourism is responsible travel to natural areas which conserve the environment and sustains the well-being of local people.” The conceptualization of urban ecotourism therefore, can be seen through the position of cities as tourism destinations and is further described through that take into account supply/ facility and demand/ user. This paper discusses the various benefits of ecotourism operations based in urban environments in Kenya and indeed the three cities, Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu and their sustainability.
Key words: Tourism, ecotourism, urban ecotours
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