Influence of Core Resources on Performance of Cultural Heritage Tourism in Kenya

Philip Omondi Abiero, Maria Onyango, Vitalis Mogwambo


Competition among tourism destinations has become more severe in the modern global world, in terms of attracting new visitors who hopefully get emotionally attached and their repeat visit create and sustain a high competitive advantage. This study sought to establish the Influence of Core Resources on Performance of Cultural Heritage Tourism in Western Kenya. Descriptive embedded case design and survey design was adopted for the study. The target population consisted of 6 selected sites, 18 Focus Group Discussion for respondents, 16 Key informants and 8,014 members of households living within the selected Cultural Heritage sites in Western Kenya. The selected heritage sites were: Kit Mikayi, Crying stone, Sikele Sia Mulia, Thimlich Ohinga, Obama Kogelo Cultural Heritage and Kisumu Museum. A sample size of 357 respondents from 6 heritage sites was sampled for the study using purposive for heritage sites and household heads, stratified random sampling for respondents from household heads, and saturated sampling for key informants under the study. Validity was tested by making clear statements and by use of expert judgement by university lecturers. Reliability of the instruments was ascertained through a pilot study of two sites and 15 respondents that did not participate in the final study. Internal consistency was obtained by computing Cronbach’s Alpha coefficient, which was valued at 0.858. Primary data was collected by use of Questionnaires, Focus Group Discussions and Interview Schedule. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistical techniques. Statistical tests, Pearson product-moment of correlation were used to investigate the relationship between independent and dependent variables. Qualitative data was analyzed using thematic framework. Statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 20 was used to analyze data. Hypothesis was tested at 95% confidence level (α = 0.05). A two tailed test was carried out to test if there was significant relationship between the independent and dependent variables.  The findings of the present study indicate a positive correlation between Core Resources and Cultural Heritage Tourism. For instance Core Resources had a significant influence at r= 0.752. However, tangible resource had a higher correlation (r=0.763) than intangible core resource (r=0.724).  Western Kenya was endowed with adequate tangible and intangible Core resources. Historical icon and monuments were the highest tourist attractor. Most of the cultural heritage sites in the study revealed poor performance due to poor image of the core resources in most of the sites. Study recommended upgrading the core resources in all heritage sites in western Kenya to make them more competitive. The study recommended development of a Cultural Heritage Gallery as depository for cultural artifacts and exhibition of the narrative documentation of the mythology and entrenchment of Cultural Heritage tourism policy in Kenyan Tourism Act .

Keywords: Core resources, Cultural Heritage, Tourism, Western Kenya, Performance

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