The Federation of Community Based Tourism Organizations (FECTO) is an umbrella body of all community based tourism enterprises in Kenya that acts as a platform for presenting one voice on community based tourism and conservation issues. It was formed in 2010 with an aim of stimulating and facilitating the involvement of local communities in tourism growth and development in Kenya. FECTO has a national mandate covering practically all the 47 counties.
Most of Kenya’s tourist attractions today, which provide unique tourism experiences, are located in community areas outside wildlife national parks and away from the coastal beaches. Each county has tourism potential with unique attractions, tourism carrying capacities and local community capabilities. Apart from generating substantial economic benefits for the counties, local communities have great potential to benefit immensely from tourism within their respective locations.
Since tourism is the second largest contributor to the GDP, FECTO’s question and desire is that this is translated to the local level where tourism happens or where tourism potential exists and has not been exploited. Thus the five-year goal of FECTO is that “community cultural tourism subsector becomes the leading subsector in Kenya’s tourism industry”. FECTO’s idea and goal is aligned to Kenya’s Vision 2030 that has earmarked tourism as one of the leading contributors to the targeted 10% annual growth rate of the GDP. FECTO believes that this vision can indeed be translated to the local level where FECTO members exist. To achieve the long term goal, the Strategy designs that FECTO’s five-year outcome will be “improved performance and competitiveness of CBTEs in Kenya”. In this regard, FECTO will work towards ensuring that CBTEs:
quality, timely and effective services to its members.
To ensure the achievement of the above overall goal and the delivery of the outcomes above, FECTO will focus on the following program areas:
1. Marketing: Effective and efficient marketing opportunities for CBTEs are developed and/or expanded; and implemented. CBTEs are basically small and medium sized enterprises. Therefore, the capacity to market as individual is limited, and the need to collaborate and market collectively as a unit is inevitable. The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) will only consider the marketing of a CBTE if it is a member of an industry association. FECTO will play an important role in facilitating formation of such associations as well as linking its members to KTB.
FECTO will ensure that products and services from such associations and members meet the minimum standards and requirements of the marketing body.
2. Product Development: CBTE products and services developed within an agreed standard. To achieve quality products and top notch service delivery among the FECTO CBTEs requires awareness creation and training on the product and service level standards. This program aims to build strong business capacity among CBTEs. Further, FECTO will promote networking among CBTE and other stakeholders to create and strengthen the voice, ownership and visibility of the CBTES in the value chain.
3. Business Skills Enhancement: Skills enhancement for business, product and services development: business acumen and management skills enhanced among CBTEs.
4. Resource Mobilization and Partnerships: FECTO is sufficiently and increasingly resourced from a diversity of sources and partnerships. FECTO will require marshalling a formidable and efficient fundraising mechanism that involves working with partners that include private and public sector partners.
5. Institutional Capacity in Place: FECTO is formalized and structured to become robust, value based, efficient organization, with a clear membership structure; governance systems and accountability practices in place and with a functional secretariat. This will be facilitated by a strong and efficient institutional structure, well resourced and with solid partnerships.
6. Lobbying and advocacy: FECTO was formed to promote community participation in community tourism business through capacity building, marketing and policy advocacy. Some of the advocacy interventions that the organization will be involved with are enhancing community participation through the circuits in the formulation and implementation of relevant tourism policies and linking locals in the fair trade business.
The goal of FECTO is to provide quality services to communities who seek to manage and utilize their natural resources in an equitable and sustainable manner through tourism.
The under-pinning philosophy of forming FECTO is to harness the wide range of skills, knowledge and resources available within the local communities, conservation NGOs, universities and other development agencies to improve on the CBTEs products and expose them to local & international markets