BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN ECOTOURISM AND HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT

Rationale

The tourism and hospitality industries are among the fast expanding industries in the world and are important top forex earners for Kenya. Kenya is endowed with rich faunal and floral biodiversity characterised by a myriad of terrestrial and marine plant and wildlife, natural and physical scenic features, and a growing diversity in the social-cultural heritage of the people. To date conventional tourism has dominated the tourism sector in the region. However, the demand on land for agricultural use and other development activities is rising threatening the future sustainability of tourism resources.

The new tourism policy has put emphasis this on involvement of the local communities in managing tourism resources. The Government is determined to encourage and facilitate this approach. To achieve this the emphasis must be directed to sustainable ecotourism development as the core in this industry supported by expansion in the hospitality service sector. There is inadequate skilled manpower in this sector but the future of tourism needs product diversification, opening up of new tourist circuits, promotion of domestic tourism and provision of skilled manpower. The programme in Ecotourism and Hospitality Management is designed to train manpower to meet these challenges.

Development of ecotourism offers opportunities for diversification in tourism and has potential to transform economies,conserve the environment and culture. This can be realised through increased involvement of all stakeholders in decision making and sharing of benefits. In order to actualize the above positive attributes of ecotourism, an expanded hospitality service network should be established. The degree programme in Ecotourism and Hospitality Management will provide competence to service providers in this industry by training new entrants or upgrading skills of those who are already in the industry.

Tourism is a complex industry governed by the laws of supply and demand. The modern time tourist, especially ecotourists, demand more information and guidance on the tourism product‘s natural history than the amateur naturalist, who is sufficiently rewarded if he/she can see a great eagle soar across the sky or come upon a pride of lions resting in a thorn bush. The programme will provide the competence needed to take the client to the next stage beyond identification i.e. to appreciate the ecology, behaviour and the tourism product‘s interrelationship with the environment. In the case of animals, behaviour is the most intricate and revealing part of an animal‘s natural history.

Programme Objectives

The aim of this programme is to equip the students with relevant technical and professional knowledge that will enable them to effectively manage the ecotourism and hospitality industry. The specific objectives of the programme is to:

i) Provide training and knowledge to new entrants in ecotourism and hospitality industry.

ii) Upgrade skills of those who are already in the industry

iii) Enhance conservation of biodiversity through nature based tourism

iv) Equip stakeholders with relevant education in the ecotourism

v) Create entrepreneurship attitude among graduates ofthis program

At the completion of the training the B Sc. Ecotourism and Hospitality Management graduates should be able to:-

i) Analyse and explain the physical environment, ecology and behaviour of major African fauna, floral communities and educate the client beyond simple identification, which is the current practice in tourism.

ii) Identify, prioritize and map various tourist products, infrastructure and tourist

circuiting and associated land use in destination areas.

iii) Determine marketing and branding for destination areas.

iv) Determine realistic potential and carrying capacity for tourism development in destination areas.

v) Establish planning and management guidelines for environment, business and community involvement in tourism products.

vi) Where possible run their own enterprises including consultancy.

Admission Requirements

In addition to satisfying the minimum admission requirement for Egerton University, the candidates should obtain at least grade C in Mathematics, C+ in Biology or B- in Biological Sciences, C in Chemistry, B- in Geography or History and Government, and at least C+ in English or Kiswahili at K.S.C.E. Admission will be granted to diploma holders in Hotel or Tourism management from a recognized institution. Degree holders from other institutions interested in this program will be considered on individual merits.

Course Structure and Duration

The programme shall cover four academic years. Each semester shall consist of fifteen 15.weeks with two weeks for examination. At the end of Year 3 semester 2, the student will undergo an eight-week industrial attachment. The duration for Diploma and other degree holders will depend on the number of credit hours transferred as per the University regulations on credit transfers. Diploma students who qualify for credit transfer may complete their programme in a minimum period of 2 ½ years, whereas those on part-time basis may do so in 3 ½ years.The Self Sponsored Part-time students‘ Programme will be offered at the Town Campus. The cost for SSP Programmes per year will be as per University rates of fee payments for the SSP Science based courses. The course involves extensive academic field trips which will require additional cost for the trips.

The coding for the courses offered in this programme is represented by TOHM followed by a three-digit figure. The first digit represents the year in which the particular course is offered. The second digit represents the discipline of study. For instance; 0-introductory course, 1-principle courses, 2-ecology, 3-climate, 4-management, 5-applied, 6-planning courses, 7- seminar, research and student projects, 8-policy, law and administration. The third digit is the serial number of the course within that field e.g. TOHM 101 is first year introductory course and the first in the series.

Examination regulations

All examinations for the B Sc. in Ecotourism and Hospitality Management shall be conducted in accordance with examination regulations as stipulated in Egerton University

Statute XXVIII.

Grading

The grading of examination for B Sc.in Ecotourism and Hospitality Management shall be in accordance with Egerton University Statute XXVIII.

Graduation Requirements

To graduate a B Sc. in Ecotourism and Hospitality Management a student shall be required to take and pass all required courses within the stipulated time.

Degree Classification

The classification for B Sc. in Ecotourism and Hospitality Management shall be in accordance with Egerton University Statute XXVIII for undergraduate students