I am very concerned about Kenya.
Apparently it’s an ‘emerging market’. This is bizznuss speak for defenceless, ripe-for-the-picking and what-are-they-gonna- do-about-it-anyway-they’re-peasants.
Not content with exporting syphilis to the Native Americans, UK Ltd have moved on to great-plains-new and, in the same way that Busch Gardens is separate from the main Disney site in Florida, Kenya is becoming the ‘Safari-Ride’ for Thorpe Park goers.
The hotels however, are only able to give such great all inclusive rates because they are paying the hotel workers less than it costs me to feed my dog.
Unlike the hordes of tourists, the money that the holiday-makers are paying never makes it as far as Africa. The ensuing corruption and public unrest is undoubtedly going to spell the end of a ‘small-village-hunting-together’ way of life that until ‘we’ arrived, the inhabitants of the Masai Mara had been pretty much content with.
Luxury golf courses are springing up left right and centre, which is all fine in theory, except the indigenous population have not, historically needed to ‘own’ their land. As a result of this, when the walls go up, the locals are finding that their watering holes have magically turned into revenue streams instead.
Rabid consumerism is not known for ever having made a pretence of having a moral compass that points North, South or anywhere else for that matter, so maybe it’s time that we, the tourists, the ones that ultimately hold the purse strings, put our many feet down.
We have all embraced the idea of Fair Trade when it comes to our coffee powder so it seems, to me at least, a natural step to be asking for some evidence that our holiday-dollars are benefiting the communities that we will be visiting.
Even more so, when we know damned well that we will be visiting an area that is universally accepted to be utterly poverty stricken.
Sticking our heads in the sand and loudly claiming that the ‘totally-jammy’ package deal we just booked is better for the Africans than nothing, is as close to total crap as you are ever likely to get.
We need Fair Trade Tourism and we need it now.