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Power of Community-Owned Eco-Tourism: Celebrating the Koija Star Bed on World Tourism Day, 2023.

At Laikipia Conservancies Association, we've always been committed to providing support and helping our member conservancies in their journey towards sustainability. This is through the establishments and successful operation of eco-tourism lodges among our member conservancies. As we celebrate World Tourism Day 2023, we want to shine a spotlight on the remarkable Koija Star Bed, located in the Naibunga Lower Community Conservancy, and the transformative impact it's had on the community, as shared by Tom Naiptari, Chairman of the Koija Community Land.

The Koija Star Bed: A Beacon of Hope for the Community

Tom Naiptari emphasized that the Koija Star Bed is not merely an eco-lodge; rather, it represents the power of community-owned initiatives. He noted that this exquisite lodge, nestled within the magnificent Naibunga Lower Community Conservancy, had evolved into a symbol of hope for the local community.

Driving Sustainable Development Through Eco-Tourism

He further highlighted that the Koija Star Bed had not only provided tourists with a unique and immersive experience in the heart of nature but had also generated essential revenue streams for the community. According to him, these funds had played a pivotal role in realizing the goal of sustainable development, ensuring that the community could thrive alongside nature.

Investing in Education through provision of bursaries.

"The Koija Star Bed had gone the extra mile in alignment with the theme of 'Tourism and Green Investments' for this year's World Tourism Day. He mentioned that the eco-lodge had offered school bursaries to more than 117 students from the community, thereby ensuring that education remained accessible and inclusive, Tom Naiptari pointed out. He emphasized that this investment in education was, in fact, an investment in the future, perfectly aligning with the spirit of sustainable tourism."

Empowering the Local Economy

Tom Naiptari also underscored the significant role played by the eco-lodge in boosting the economic well-being of the locals. He noted that by providing direct employment opportunities, it had empowered community members to secure stable livelihoods. According to him, this not only enhanced their economic status but also fostered a sense of pride and ownership in the conservation efforts of their land.

Emphasizing Green Investments

World Tourism Day 2023 places a spotlight on the critical role of green investments in tourism. It highlights the importance of investing in:

  • People: By prioritizing education and skills development.

  • Planet: Through sustainable infrastructure and a commitment to green transformation.

  • Prosperity: By fostering innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship.

On this day, UNWTO will present its Global Tourism Investment Framework and convene high-level panels to address the challenges and opportunities surrounding investment in tourism. It's a day to recognize the immense potential of tourism to drive growth while also emphasizing the need for investments that make this growth inclusive and sustainable.

As we celebrate World Tourism Day, let's reflect on the incredible journey of the Koija Star Bed and the positive impact of sustainable tourism. It's a reminder that when communities and nature thrive together, we create a better, more inclusive future for all. The Koija Star Bed stands as a shining example of how responsible tourism can drive positive change, empower communities, and preserve our planet's natural beauty for generations to come.

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