Green Tour Kenya Project was initiated in 2018 as the second phase of Switch Africa Green funding from the European Union.  The Green Tour partnership led by the European Centre for Eco & Agro tourism (ECEAT) and local implementation partners, the Kenya Association of Tour Operators and Ecotourism Kenya, set out to create a socially and environmentally sustainable Kenya tourism supply chain by;

-Providing guidance, support, and best practices to African tourism companies to adapt and replicate globally proven sustainable consumer products supply chain methodologies.

-Increasing the implementation of best eco and socially responsible practices among African tour operators, accommodation providers, and their suppliers. (i.e. accommodation, safari guides, activity providers)

-Marketing sustainable tourism products, strengthening business and destination promotion between international buyers and Kenyan suppliers.

The project has in the course of its lifetime received support from key industry stakeholders including government institutions such as Kenya Tourism Board and Tourism Fund. The footprint of the project has also transcended the Kenyan borders and included linkages with other African Nations including partnerships and notable cultural exchanges with tourism institutions in the  Gambia and Rwanda; Some of the Key project highlights include: 

  • Initialized and engaged 20 committed tour operators and 5 local community-based tourism organizations in the 3-year Export Coaching Programme for sustainability. These 20+ tourism enterprises have been supported through training, coaching, and market access activities, as well as sharing of global best practices.
  • Upscaled African tour operator standards; a localized CSR management reporting system and the toolbox was defined through Travelife for Tour Operators Certification; training package developed; database with eco-certified suppliers generated. 
  • Trained over 100 Tour Operators in Sustainable Tourism Practices and engaged them through the Travelife for Tour Operators Certification. As of the close of the project, 9 companies have attained the international Travelife Certification and over 20 companies have attained Partner status. 

A screenshot of the virtual webinar on Sustainable Tourism Marketing & Communications training held in January 2022 for tour operators

  • Held responsible tourism awareness through #GreenTourWednesday on Ecotourism Kenya’s social media platforms and shared content on Fridays on Kenya Association of Tour Operators’ social media platforms. Additionally, articles on project activities and thematic areas can be found on the GreenTour Kenya sub-web.

A poster shared on #GreenTourWednesday 

  • Established partnerships with various sub-sector associations and other local organizations, enhancing community development & conservation as well as linking tourism stakeholders in the value chain to improve sustainability. These include the Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers (KAHC), the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association (KPSGA), the Kenya Tour Driver Guides Association (KTDGA), the Kenya Red Cross Institute (KCRI), and the Kenya Women in Tourism Association (KAWT)

A meeting between GreenTour Kenya and KTDGA at the K.A.T.O boardroom discussing areas of collaboration.

  • The project has also engaged the public sector through different avenues of collaboration. This includes the Tourism Fund and Magical Kenya (KTB). 

Sustainable Destination Branding & Marketing workshop with KTB team held in December 2022



KTB received specialized sustainability training on Sustainable Destination Branding & Marketing. We also partnered in a workshop for Travel Influencers Sustainability training with the goal of increasing sustainability awareness for individual influencers.






City Hotels Sustainability Certification Training & Program Launch



Tourism Fund has co-funded the City Hotels Sustainability Certification Program putting into course the program launch in November 2022. The city hotels certification has now expanded the scope of certifications offered by Ecotourism Kenya to include hotels in urban areas and ultimately contribute to sustainable and green cities. 





  • GreenTour has also established partnerships with different international organizations for joint visibility, training programs, and other collaboration areas, incl. the Dutch CBI Export Coaching Programme and the ITC She Trades Programme. 
  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project engaged actively through its local partners and newly designed activities, such as COVID-19 training (over 300 participants), vaccination support, design of SOPs, etc.

Capacity-building activities for tour operators, tour and safari guides, travel influencers, destination managers and Community-Based Tourism Organizations (CBTOs). Activities include sustainability training and coaching (group and individual), business-relevant training and webinars, business coaching, contributions to conservation, business linkages, and community-based tourism events.

Sustainability Training for tour operators held in 2018

  • Input into policy briefs; A White Paper addressing policy challenges for Kenya as a sustainable tourism destination has been developed. This was achieved through a collaboration with Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre-East Africa (GTRCMC) and input from key industry stakeholders. The white paper was presented at the official closing of the project on 15.12.22 at the Sarova Panafric Hotel. 

Handing over ceremony for the Sustainable Tourism white paper in December 2022

  • Participation in tourism events and trade fairs-both local and international including Magical Kenya 2019 and 2022, WTM London 2019 and 2022, Switch Africa Green Networking Event in Kigali 2019, ITB 2022 and Ecotourism Kenya’s Ecowarrior Awards, and KATO AGMs.

Community-based tourism organization representatives at the GreenTour Kenya stand at the Magical Kenya Tourism Expo 2022

Community-based tourism organization representatives at the Kwita Izina Naming Ceremony during a learning program with Red Rocks Initiative

The project’s actions and interventions have built awareness and increased the understanding of sustainability in tourism. It has acted as a catalyst for the practice of responsible tourism; through policy and codes of conduct review and having engaged key stakeholders throughout the tourism supply chain including industry associations, tour operators, guides, government institutions, community organizations, and hotels. 


We extend our sincere appreciation to all who have engaged with the project. We are confident that the engagements we have had, the partnerships we have forged and the collaborative spirit that has been a part of this initiative since its inception will endure beyond the project and will strive to operate tourism that is inclusive and responsible with respect to, people, planet and prosperity. 


GreenTour Project (European Union funded under the Switch Africa Green) has been actively engaging CBTOs since 2018. From the inception with three exemplary CBTOS-  Il Ngwesi Lodge, Twala Tenebo Cultural Center, and Ngare Ndare Forest Trust. the project has engaged CBTOs across the country and even beyond. It is worth noting that CBTOs engaged excel in women and youth integration, cultural preservation, and environmental conservation.

Let’s take a look at the year’s community-centered activities.

April Highlights

A representative from the European Union conducted a project donor official visit as part of monitoring the project’s impact on community enterprises. The CBTOs that were visited were Il Ngwesi Lodge and Twala Tenebo Cultural Center. Both of the organizations were able to show improvements in their operations from engagement with the project. They also identified areas of further engagement and support through the project could support in terms of capacity building for each of their respective areas.

The GreenTour Kenya representatives with Il Ngwesi Eco Lodge staff for a photo.


August Highlights

Four CBTOs in the project namely; Basecamp Maasai Brand, Il Ngwesi Lodge, Twala Tenebo Cultural Center, and Ngare Ndare Forest Trust, were engaged in a unique learning and cultural exchange in Rwanda, at the 10th Cultural Heritage Preservation Festival hosted by the Red Rocks Rwanda. This took place from 29th August 2022 to 2nd September 2022. The theme was Cultural Sustainability and Conservation.

The Kenyan CBTOs, GreenTour Kenya representative, and colleagues at the 10th Cultural Heritage Preservation Festival

Key highlights from the activity were;

-tree planting on the banks of Mukungwa River,

– panel discussion on the challenges and successes of community tourism initiatives.

– forum discussions with Red Rocks Initiatives leaders

– Gorilla Naming KWITA IZINA Ceremony at the Volcanoes National Park

-The inauguration of Rwanda Community Tourism Association (RCTA) Head offices in Musanze



At the Gorilla Naming KWITA IZINA Ceremony 2022

With the objective of improving the competencies, skills, and abilities of the workforce in the community-based tourism space in Kenya, the project rolled out an online survey targeting community-based organizations and enterprises towards the end of the month. It was run on Ecotourism Kenya’s social media platforms and circulated within her networks. This was to help identify areas that could inform better planning and engaging CBTOs.

October Highlights

A three-day capacity-building forum was organized in Nairobi on the 4th-6th of October 2022. This involved a two-day training and one-day coaching at the Magical Kenya Travel Expo(MKTE) 2022 at the Bomas of Kenya. The training topics were Marketing & Communications, Product Pricing, and Sales and Networking techniques. The ten CBTO representatives went through coaching on business linkages with Travelife certified tour operators who are also within the GreenTour Kenya project. They also had the opportunity to meet and connect with other industry players at MKTE 2022.

CBTO representatives and the GreenTour Kenya project team at the Nairobi Training

CBTOs at the Magical Kenya Travel Expo 2022 at Bomas of Kenya

Il Ngwesi Eco-Lodge was nominated for the 29th World Travel Awards in the World’s Leading Eco-Lodge category. They also won the Ecowarrior Awards 2022 in the Best Community Tourism Initiative category. They serve as an encouragement to other community-based enterprises/organizations that responsible tourism is rewarding. We are delighted to have them make such strides in the tourism industry.

Programs Officer Mercy Onyango presenting the Ecowarrior Award trophy to James Kasoo

Administration & Finance Manager Lynnet Kamonde presenting the Ecowarrior Award 2022 Certificate to James Kasoo

November Highlights

The final upskilling activities for CBTOs within the project were done recently in Naivasha and Malindi from the 14th-18th November 2022. A total of seventeen CBTO representatives, 7 in Malindi and 10 in Naivasha underwent an interactive training that was informed by the online survey conducted in August 2022. The capacity building was focused on CBTO Product Development and Diversification, Financial Management, Community-Led Conservation, Organizational Development and Assertive Behaviour, and the Concept of Artisanal Centres and Souvenir Shops.

GreenTour Kenya Trainer Angela Njihia taking the participants through practical exercises using a flip chart at the Naivasha training.

The CBTO representatives gave Angela Njihia their gift to show their appreciation.

The training was complemented by practical coaching through visits to artisanal centers. These locations were Malindi Tourist Market, Bahari Women Group, Anzuki Recycle Designers and MSO Over the World in Malindi, and Cresent Island and Eserian Cultural Center in Naivasha. In addition to the knowledge gained, new networks were formed among the CBTOs, and healthy competition, collaborations, and knowledge sharing were encouraged.

Kate Mwikali(GreenTour Kenya trainer) emphasizes the importance of standing out in the market over replicating the same ideas of tourist souvenirs at the Malindi training.

The CBTO representatives and the GreenTour project assistant

The GreenTour Kenya project has assisted in identifying gaps in the community tourism space and has made considerable efforts to fill them. The number of CBTOs actively engaged in the project has increased over time as well. This signifies the project is delivering quality and timely support. All these activities are highlighted on Ecotourism Kenya’s social media platforms under #GreenTourWednesday.

Are you interested to be a part of community-based tourism organizations/enterprises activities or engagements?

Kindly contact Marxine Waite

P: 07266366080


Isiolo Drought Relief Response

The World Environment Day celebrated on the 5th of June annually, pushes the campaign of Only One Earth this year. The focus theme is Living Sustainably in Harmony with Nature.

The theme is urging us to adopt sustainable lifestyles that respect and care for the natural surroundings. This in turn, will attempt to undo or at least ease the adverse effects of climate change such as disruptions of rain patterns or prolonged drought, severe storms, hotter temperatures, loss of species, more health risks, poverty, and food insecurity among others.

For three years, Kenya has been suffering from droughts. Yet again, Kenya is undergoing another drought season and parts of the country are hard hit facing severe food and water shortage. These areas are mostly the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs). The underlying cause for these changes is global warming. The build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere caused by a number of factors, such as uncontrolled deforestation, use of fossil fuels for production and transportation, human consumption, food waste, etc. is one of the key contributors to global warming.

Why should you care?

We have #OnlyOneEarth.

Left unattended, the negative effects of climate change will concern us all, they already do. No one is exempt from it.  Take climate actions now! We need to restore the earth now. Live sustainably.

According to the Kenya National Drought Management Authority, the number of people in need of assistance has increased since February this year from 3.1 million to 3.5 million this month.

There are 23 counties that are in dire need of food support. The Red Cross team has managed to support approximately 56,000 households in 16 counties. The GreenTour Kenya team- the Ecotourism Kenya and the Kenya Association of Tour Operators, is collaborating with the Kenya Red Cross to continue reaching out to affected families through the initiative Isiolo Drought Relief Response.


The drought has robbed people in the affected areas of physical and mental well-being. These areas are mainly agricultural areas, relying on pastoral and farming for livelihood. The delayed rains have presented problems of low food which leads to food rationing, sale of livestock to sustain themselves, low expense on health and health deterioration, etc.

Isiolo Drought Relieve Response – raising money for food aid. The fundraiser starts on 3rd June 2022 and is targeting Kshs. 500,000.

Join us for a good cause.

The funds will be used to purchase basic food items that will be delivered to the affected households in Isiolo. Be a part of this initiative as we mobilize funds to acquire foodstuff to support families.

Join us!

You can participate in this through the M-Pesa M-changa platform.

Paybill Number: 891300

Account Number: FOODBKT


Follow this link to donate:

Your support is highly appreciated.

For any inquiries, reach Ms. Lynnet Kamonde through 0r Ms. Mary Kimeu through

The initiative was conducted and is closed.

Thank you for your support.


Breaking the Green Washing Chain

The travel and tourism industry is multi-faceted and involves different stakeholders. For the industry to run successfully or achieve sustainable tourism development, a sound communication strategy is vital. Marketing and communication of responsible tourism products, services, and practices help tour operators stand out as responsible tourism enterprises. This heightens the tour operators’ chances of attracting conscious travelers as their clients.

Read more

Sustainable tourism development for Kenyan Destinations

Before the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, over-tourism was common in popular Kenyan tourism destinations. The affected destinations experience overcrowding which in turn leads to littering and a lack of observance of the park and reserve rules put in place e.g. using designated walk paths. In many cases, there is little involvement of the local communities. Whether it’s in the supply of materials to be used in the destinations or employment positions, the communities miss out or are left out of the benefits enjoyed by the destinations. As a result of the usual all-inclusive packages in the destination, there’s is the limited purchase of local food offered by the local communities. Respect for the culture of the locals in the destination is sometimes ignored. For instance, some cultures in Kenya value modest dress codes for women. However, some tourists dress in a manner that upsets the community. Habits such as these are picked up by the younger generation who often end up looking down on their culture’s values on clothing, as an example. This is where the appropriation of culture comes in. There is the pressure of maximizing positives obtained from tourism and minimizing the negatives but we would need to do things differently.

In order to do things differently; to have the tourism we engage in to respect the environment, the local community, and to be economically viable, we need to adopt sustainable tourism. Sustainable tourism is an approach that looks into developing the environmental, socio-cultural, and economical aspects of tourism. Ecotourism Kenya has put in efforts to lead and encourage practitioners of tourism in Kenya to learn and pick up sustainable tourism practices. We have achieved this through the eco-rating scheme we run for accommodation facilities mainly hotels, camps and lodges. We are also part of the key implementation partners of the GreenTour Kenya project that aims to replicate tourism industry sustainability best practices into the Kenyan and wider African tourism supply chain through an integrated business-led approach. Through the project, we support sustainability training, coaching and certification of tour operators on the Travelife online platform. We have also offered sustainability coaching sessions to tour and driver guides.

Introducing Green Destinations Pilot Program in Kenya

We would like to get as many stakeholders of tourism as possible to better understand sustainability and eventually practice it. We have collaborated with the Green Destinations to further advance this goal with different destinations. The Green Destinations pilot program offers an opportunity for destinations managers to join in and have a seat at the table.
The program, currently active in 60 countries, uses recognized principles and the re-known Sustainable Development Goals to support destinations in implementing suitable solutions and in delivering sustainable and responsible tourism, while actively involving their local community and business sector. It assists different destinations in sustainable tourism development in the following ways.

The different sectors include;

● Destination management, monitoring, training, and support; uses 30 criteria guidelines
● Green Destinations Awards; uses 85 criteria and four advance levels; Bronze, Silver. Gold & Platinum Awards. Top 100 Competition, GSTC certification
● On-site training; get assistance from coaches
● Involving your tourism businesses; using the Good Travel Guide to increase visibility and make business more responsible.

List of the benefits of joining the Green Destinations pilot program

Who can participate in the program?
Municipalities, cities, counties, protected areas such as parks, conservancies, and private destinations. Local tourism communities can also participate.

For inquiries please contact Mercy Onyango on or Call 0726366080

Ecotourism Kenya welcomes you to join the Green Destinations Pilot Program