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Graduand Spotlight; George Thande- Biggest Beneficiaries of Kenyan Tourism are Foreigners

Top student George Thande Ndiho, aspires to change the tourism sector through use of technology, in a country where tourism is no longer the top-dollar earner. The 24-year old George, studied a Bachelor of Science in Tourism Management, in  the Centre for Tourism and Hospitality in Strathmore University.


Graduating with  1st class honours, in June 2016, the first born of two children, believes his achievement of top marks is a result of a talent he has in learning. He attained a mean grade of A- in his KCSE national examination from Lenana School.

Why did you choose to study Tourism?

I was interested in destination development and marketing destinations. While in highschool, a representative from Utalii College came to speak to us on the tourism course. He talked about travelling, airlines and national parks, and this piqued an interest towards this wonderful dream.


I thought I would join Utalii College but before enrolling into a university course due to the one year break between highschool and university, I decided to study a Diploma in Business Information Technology (DBIT) from Strathmore.  I found the course to be quite easy, I completed it and earned a distinction.

How did you get a scholarship?

While studying DBIT, we were advised that if one graduated with distinction, it was possible to get a scholarship to study the degrees we aspired to study. I was therefore very blessed to receive a 90% student scholarship for a the Bachelors in Tourism Management and with that my Strathmore journey continued.


As scholarship beneficiaries we were advised to sponsor some students once we get into employment. I plan to fulfil my part of the bargain once I land a good job.

What activities were you involved with while at Strathmore?

In my 1st and 2nd year I played volleyball for the school.


I then join HATTS club (Hospitality and Tourism club) where I served as secretary.


As CTH students we also got involved in naming of trees around the university. We would identify a tree, name it – local and scientific names, and name the uses. This is in an effort to create awareness of all 47 trees around campus. The project is still underway, we hope to complete it soon.

Are you a natural A’ student?

Yes I am an A student. Being a top student is something rich in our family.

I feel like being a top student is my talent, I don’t read much. I am keen on listening to what is taught and I grasp the concepts quickly.

What have you been upto since completing your studies? 

In the Tourism calendar, new hires take place from June to coincide with the famous wilderbeeste migration, and therefore being in the low season, I still have not secured a job.

A classmate and I are however working to establish our own tourism company. We can also be employers you know…

What motivates you to excel?

Coming from a developing County of Kiambu, I aspire to enhance young students to study hard and enjoy education. This will help in boosting the County. One of the major challenges currently being faced, is that people do not believe in education. I teach in the local schools as a way of motivating students. I advise them to focus on education even as they aspire to get into business, which is an aspect most people believe in.


The advantage of studying tourism, to other sectors, is that you cannot automate tourism. It’s a peoples’ industry, therefore you need highly skilled people, and to grow employees, the sector will need to improve drastically. I hope to be a good aid to help.

Who do you look upto as a role model?

I look up to Richard Branson, he has a good work life balance, which is very encouraging.

In Kenya I’m motivated by one of my former lecturers Mr. Fredrick Owuor.

What do you hope to achieve in the next 5-10 years?

I want to invest in tourism using IT, afterall, I have also studied IT. I want to enhance communication in tourism, create mobile apps or communication platforms that create an awareness of the salient features of tourism in Kenya. This will increase information of what we have to offer, and hopefully drive up the numbers. 

How is Tourism in Kenya?

The biggest beneficiaries of Kenyan tourism are foreigners. Kenyans will majorly get money from tips, tour guiding and transport.


This can be changed when local airlines and the tourism industry in general find a way of improving their services to attract more business from the fellow kenyans.

What do you do with your spare time?

I spend most of my time in church and I am involved in planning safaris for the youth groups and preparing presentations for the church. 





We wish George all the best in his future endeavours.