Kenyan reserve’s tourism monitoring app builds revenue and transparency

Kenyan reserve’s tourism monitoring app builds revenue and transparency

Nature reserves frequently operate with scarce resources, relying on revenue from tourism or donations for their survival. When managers of the Mara Triangle portion of Kenya’s renowned Maasai Mara National Reserve’s assessed the revenue it was losing to cheating by tourist guides and park entry staff, they automated their capacity to monitor tourist payments and ticketing. Giraffe buddies in Maasai Mara in the tall grass during rainy season, before the start of the massive animal migration from Serengeti National Park begins. Photo credit: Sue Palminteri Mongabay-Wildtech spoke with Alfred Bett, Director of the Mara Conservancy’s wild animal harassment and ticket monitoring section, about an app his team uses to ensure transparency in tourism revenue collection. A wonder-ful natural phenomenon Bett explained that after the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) designated the Serengeti-Maasai Mara massive wildlife migration as one of seven natural wonders of Africa in 2013, tourism to the Reserve exploded. Nearly one and one-half million wildebeest, zebra and gazelles migrate north from Serengeti National Park in Tanzania each year to graze on fresh grass in Maasai Mara, and most of them cross the Mara River. Rushing waters and hungry crocodiles make this a perilous crossing, but the determination of so many animals to reach their dry-season feeding grounds inspires visitors. Entry gate to the Mara Triangle, which makes up the western portion of the Maasai Mara National Reserve in southern Kenya. Photo credit: Sue Palminteri The influx in migration-oriented tourists led the managers of the Mara…

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