TPA is provided for in the Tourism Act 2011, which is the legislation responsible for the development, management, marketing, and regulation of sustainable tourism and tourism-related activities and services in Kenya. Section 4 of the aforesaid statute establishes the Tourism Regulatory Authority.
The establishment of TPA is brought about by the need to form a self-regulating professional association as envisaged in Section 11 (1-4) of TRA Regulations Act 2014 as follows:
We are currently working on the establishment of programs that will build strong collaborative partnerships between industry, academia, and government.
TRA Regulations at Regulation 11 provide that;
(1) There is an established tourism professionals and practitioners’ body to be known as the Tourism Professional Association.
(2) The object and purpose for which the Association is established are to provide a framework for tourism professionals and practitioners for self-regulation.
(3)The Authority shall keep a register of all tourism professionals and practitioners.
(4)The Authority shall, in consultation with the Association and other relevant stakeholders, develop and implement the tourism sector Code of Practice.”
Justifications for TPA today:
Section 11 TRA Act: TPA operationalizes what has been stipulated in this act, as cited above.
Devolution: With the devolution of counties, small local tourism associations have formed in different parts of Kenya. Through TPA, these associations can attain national representation of their tourism practitioners.
Operational standards: Many hospitality and tourism facilities and training institutions have been established and operated by owners with little or no knowledge of industry standards. TPA, in conjunction with TRA, endeavors to establish regulations that ensure these facilities and institutions are managed by hospitality and tourism professionals to meet the required industry standards.
Membership in a professional body: EAC hotel classification criteria include a provision for all heads of departments of 3-5 star hotels to be members of a professional body. TPA provides an avenue for all hotel managers and other hospitality and tourism practitioners to meet this criteria.
Trends the world over for professionals to self-regulate: Owing to the nature of the hospitality and tourism industry, there abounds a diversity of professionals operating under different specializations and categories within the broad hospitality and tourism sector. TPA provides a platform that harmonizes, unites, strengthens, and develops hospitality and tourism professionals.
TPA aims at promoting the growth and enhancement of professional standards in the Kenyan tourism industry.
We endeavor to:
- Liaise with relevant departments to administer a comprehensive code of ethical standards and procedures to guide professional behavior;
- Provide learning opportunities through Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs;
- Provide networks for professionals to meet and discuss their field of expertise;
- Ensure members are well informed and knowledgeable about the operational procedures of the strategic plans and professional projects being implemented in the tourism and hospitality industry;
- Provide career support and opportunities for students, graduates, and the current workforce;
- Oversee the development of training programs and the certification of professional qualifications;
- Deal with complaints against professionals and implement disciplinary procedures;
- Affiliate to any other association having similar aims and objectives in, and or outside Kenya;
- Expand and form branches within and or outside Kenya for the furtherance of its aims and objectives;
- Publish professional journals and magazines.