The STTA Young Change Makers Program

The Young Change Makers program by Sustainable Travel and Tourism Agenda and partners( Uniglobe Let’s Go Travel, African Fund For Endangered Species, State Department Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife and Kenyan Universities) is an initiative for actively engaging undergraduate university students pursuing tourism and conservation degree courses in sustainable development.

The main aim of the program is to mentor young sustainability ambassadors, empowered with knowledge and skills, and who can be relied on for innovative ideas and solutions to the challenges we face today in the tourism and conservation sector

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How The Program Works

1. Knowledge Safe Space:
Monthly Inter-University Seminars

Every month, the Young Change Makers Organizes free inter universities seminar on sustainable tourism and conservation. Hosting institutions provide a hosting date, propose a topic of discussion and provide space for hosting the seminar. STTA mobilizes university students from different institutions to participate and engages motivation speakers from private and public businesses, organizations, institutions and agencies to present and discuss with the students on particular issues in sustainable tourism and conservation.

2. Motivation Safe Space:

The STTA Young Change Makers Program engages students in essay and social media sustainable tourism advocacy competitions. The best students essays are published in the STTA Sustainable Tourism East Africa Report. The best students in the essay, twit and community awareness competitions also are  sponsored to attend the annual Green Tourism Summit Africa to Network and present their opinions and share their success.  Students are also sponsored, guided and motivated to assess the sustainability of a tourism experience under the STTA-Uniglobe Let’s Go Travel Utalii Bora (Sustainable Tourism Product Watch) Program and present their experience in the form of a creative responsible tourism blog (

3. Creativity Space:
Problem Solving Internships

The Young Change Makers program gives students the opportunity to solve an industry problem or challenge using their own approach. STTA engages businesses and organizations to present their management challenges to the young innovative students to come up with a solution. The businesses/ organizations provide internship opportunities for students with the best solution to implement their solution at the establishment. Actively engaged students are also picked from time to time from the pool of young change makers to participate in other organization’s events and programs. The best students are also trained by STTA to mentor a community based tourism organization of their choice in their community to do business better. STTA follows the progress of the student and the community based tourism organization for a period of six months.

Innovative Sustainable Tourism Rising star

Using a point award system, Students who have actively engaged and translated learning from the 3 safe spaces will be recognized as Sustainable Tourism Rising Stars. The recognition will come with a certificate, support and linkages that are useful to their career.

Mentor Circle

The Mentor Circles ensures continuity and value for the Young Change Makers Program.  The mentors circle is a pool of knowledge, experience and resources that support development of students in the 3 safe spaces of the program and the Innovative Sustainable Tourism Rising Starts. Partner organizations and alumni of the program are eligible to enter the mentors circle. The circle has there main levels; Bronze, Silver and Gold depending on level of support provided.

Program Impact (2017-2020*)

Dialogue Summaries

Responsible Planning and Management of Mountain and Forest Based Activities

Introduction The origin of mountain tourism dates back to 1336, when an Italian poet, Francesco Petrach, ascended mount Ventoux in France, and wrote a poem about it. Later on, mountain tourism became a popular activity in the...

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Green Practices in Tourism for Sustainability

Introduction This seminar marked the start of the 4th year of inspiring a new generation of tourism professionals through monthly inter university seminars on sustainable tourism. Green practices aim at reducing environmental impact of different operations in...

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Developing Resilient Coastal Tourism Destinations

Introduction SDG 14, Life below water, requires tourism to increase economic benefits to small island destinations and least developed countries in target 14.7. For tourism, oceans are holiday destinations, a source of income, a vital protein source...

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Luxury and Sustainable Hospitality

Introduction Luxury is the ability to offer extremely differentiated products, with excellent quality, exclusivity, uniqueness, rarity and craftsmanship. Luxurious hospitality has inbuilt sustainability attributes is resilient and less wasteful. Thus it does not have to keep changing...

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Tourism and Climate Change Adaptation

Introduction In 2015, United Nations member states adopted a set of 17 aspirational Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as part of their agenda for sustainable development. SDG 13 calls for us to “Take urgent action to combat climate...

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Sustainable City Based Tourism

Introduction The future of city based tourism is anchored on SDG 11, Sustainable cities and communities. This challenges policy makers to come up with better frameworks that support sustainable city based tourism planning and management. Cities are...

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Tourism Development Disruptions and Management

Introduction Disruptor means something that alters or destroys known structures. Is sustainability at the core of disruptions in tourism or will it be affected by disruptions? These is the main question that was to be answered at...

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Quality Education Access and Sustainability of Tourism

Introduction The 17 Sustainable Development goals by the United Nations (UN), are an urgent call for action by all countries, to build a better place, for people and planet by 2030. SDG 4 calls for all of...

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Creating Value for Host Communities and Suppliers

Introduction Shared value in tourism is about companies achieving economic successes, through an approach that simultaneously creates co benefits for sustainable development of communities. Successes of tourism and social development are inter dependent. So tourism should promote...

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Measuring and Reporting Net Impact of Tourism

Introduction Information on measuring tourism impacts can inform planning, management and promotion of tourism at policy and business level. This information also justifies tourism importance to Sustainable Development. Tourism may be making significant contribution to the economy,...

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Sustainable and Innovative Tourism Experiences for the Blue Economy

Introduction Innovation means doing something better or differently than in the past, and creating value for which customers will pay. Experiences innovation means constantly evaluating and improving where need be, what we are doing today to ensure...

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Designing Sustainable Experiences Around Attractions

Introduction The success of any attraction is in its ability to create an environment that offers visitors the opportunity to have experiences they consider engaging, positive and memorable. Consuming tourism is all about consuming experiences. Destination experience...

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Achieving Sustainable and Inclusive Growth in Tourism Development

Introduction The 17th STTA change makers at Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, which was held on November 24th 2018, brought out discussions on how to spread benefits of tourisms growth equitably across diverse interest groups in the...

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What is the Future for Sustainable Tourism

Introduction One thing that we know for a fact is that travel will not stop. We have already surpassed 1 billion international travelers per year in less than 4 decades and the forecast is that the number...

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The Role of Communities in Sustainable Tourism

Introduction Local communities or host communities are the original inhabitants of a tourism destination. They are the people who have lived in these destinations before tourism, deriving a livelihood from the resources and managing and shaping the...

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Innovating for Sustainable Cultural Tourism; Nomadic cultural experiences

Introduction Culture is defined as ideas, beliefs, social behavior and a way of life that is shared among a group of people. Culture can be passed down from one generation to the next. It can be manifested...

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Student Testimonials

  • When I look back at how much this program has influenced my career choice,I’d say it gave me the bearing I so much needed. Young Change Makers program has given me the chance to help the upcoming generation with regards to career choices in the tourism sector as well as achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in relation to Tourism through the mentorship program under GTTP-EA. I am currently working on my final year project whose topic has greatly been influenced by the various seminars held through this program and I hope to one day put my recommendations into action.

    Joan Nanjala
    Nairobi University
  • The Young Change Makers is the right platform for every student who is looking to make it in the tourism industry in the coming years. You get to learn, relearn and unlearn a lot of stuff which puts you in a good place when looking for employment or even getting into entrepreneurship.

    Cornelius Musila
    Mount Kenya University (Former); CEO and Founder of Reconteurs Tours and Safaris
  • This program which is about sustainability, sparked an interest in me and provided my ‘aha’ moment. I realized my calling was in sustainable tourism. I learnt that communities are very important when it comes to sustainability, our wildlife is our heritage and we should protect our planet for future generations.

    Barbara Michoma
    United States International University-Africa
  • I joined Young Change Makers Students Seminar program in the year 2017 as a first year tourism student at the University of Nairobi. I participated loyally in the monthly inter-university seminars. Here I got opportunities to do presentations on different topics about sustainable tourism. I also undertook a training on Successful Community Engagement Process and Best Practice in Tourism, through this program.

    Ruth Mwangi
    University of Nairobi
  • Through the YCM program, I joined the #Bringyourownbottle challenge in the spirit of #Rethinkplastics. I learnt that single use plastic bottles take 450 years to decay. I have created awareness on this through my social media platforms and through promotion of the use of refillable bottles for trips organised by the Moi University’s Travel and Tours Association (MUTTA). The STTA Young Changemakers Program recognized my efforts in the promotion of sustainable tourism. I was awarded “ Rising Young Star in The Mentorship of Sustainable Tourism 2019”.

    Dominic Wanjiru
    Moi University
  • I got a rare opportunity to represent my university as a panelist at the 3rd Annual Green Tourism Summit. As a young person, I got a seat at the table with the highly ranked stakeholders and air out issues affecting the young people in the tourism industry.

    Lilian Wangari
    Technical University of Kenya (Former). CEO and founder Eko-form Tours


Download Report on Circular Economy Tweet Chat

Download The 2019 Young Change Makers Report

Download The 2018 Young Change Makers Report

Download The 2017 Young Change Makers Report

Program Partners

Program Partners

Uniglobe Lets Go Travel

African Fund For Endangered Wildlife

State Department Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife

Hosting Kenyan Universities

2020 Hosting Universities

Machakos University-January 2020

Chuka University- February 2020

Technical University of Mombasa- March 2020

United States International University- Africa-May 2020

Dedan Kimathi University of Technology-June 2020

Zetech University-July 2020

University of Nairobi-August 2020

Kenyatta University-September 2020

Maasai Mara University-September 2020

Pwani University-October 2020

Kenya Utalii College-November 2020

Download 2020 Full Calendar

Become a Partner

Become an Institutional Hosting Partner (Reserved for Universities and Colleges)

Become a Knowledge and Skills Development Partner

Become an Innovative Sustainable Tourism Rising Star Partner

To engage email or call +254718127557/+254705283658