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Tom Ondicho

Doctor of Philosophy, (Social Anthropology)
Study Completed: 2010
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Tourism, Power and Politics: The challenges of Maasai involvement in tourism development.

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Mr Ondicho’s study examined issues of power and politics associated with Masaai community involvement in conservation-orientated tourism development in Amboseli, Kenya. Using two case studies of communities involved in community-based wildlife and cultural tourism, Mr Ondicho analysed how and on what terms the Maasai were involved in tourism development, the nature of their engagement with external tourism stakeholders, the initiatives they have undertaken to gain closer control over the organisation and economics of tourism, and the opportunities and constraints associated with this development process. He found that competition and political rifts between clans, age-sets and political allegiances in the communities involved had prevented them from capitalising on the tourism potential in the area which was instead exploited by foreign tourism investors and tour operators, the government and a few local elites. Mr Ondicho’s research provides valuable insights into the vulnerability of indigenous communities in the face of global tourism. 

Professor Regina Scheyvens
Associate Professor Jeffrey Sluka