HANDICRAFT INDUSTRY CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES IN CULTURAL TOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN MACHAKOS COUNTY, KENYA

Main Article Content

Kibiro Eunice
Muhoro Grieveesbon Mwangi

Keywords

Handicraft Industry, Role, Cultural Tourism, Development, Machakos County

Abstract

Purpose: This study investigated the roles of handicraft industries in cultural tourism development in Machakos County. Machakos County is home to Kenya’s oldest and biggest handicraft industry. The handicraft industry comprises of wood carvers and basket weavers in Mwala and Yatta constituencies’.


Methodology: The study utilized qualitative research approach using an exploratory research design. The study population composed of wood carvers, craft cooperative officials and basket weavers drawn from two weavers’ community organizations in Machakos County. These are Yatta South Women Group and Muli Kyondo. The study employed unstructured interviews where focus group discussions, in-depth face to face interview were utilized to gather views directly from the respondents. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyze the data.


Main findings: The findings of the research revealed that cultural resources have long been providing employment for the local community.


Implications: The study, therefore, recommends that both the national and local government should collaborate with the local community in development and planning of cultural resources so as to ensure sustainability of the industry. This would, in turn, increase the competitiveness of Machakos County as a tourist destination.


Novelty: Kenya’s tourism and in particular Machakos cultural tourism product plays a vital role both in the rural areas as well as in urban areas in ensuring sustainability of resources in a number of ways that include social-cultural, economic as well as environmental.

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