Skip to main content

Tourism Research Institute

The object and purpose of TRI are stated in Tourism Act No. 28 of 2011. The Act states that; TRI will undertake and co-ordinate tourism research and analysis in accordance with its provisions. This will ensure that the research and knowledge gaps that exist in the sector are adequately addressed in line with the mandate of the Institute. TRI will therefore be a principal reference point for generating data and research information to inform decision making by the government and private sector on tourism matters.

Our Core Functions

The Act gives the core functions of TRI’s as follows:

  1.  Collect and analyze information, for the sector and other clients in the private and public sectors, relating to:
    • Tourism products and services at the local, national, regional and international levels;
    •  Trends in tourism;
    • Processes or activities likely to impact on sustainable tourism.
    • Tourism statistics
  2. Assess strategies and techniques for product development and marketing;
  3. Undertake market intelligence;
  4.  Determine, in consultation with lead agencies, the carrying capacities of the various tourism destinations and conservation needs and priorities;
  5. Assess information, that is the basis of integrated tourism development area plans;
  6. Research on sustainable tourism and other emerging areas;
  7. Give information on early warning, disaster management, impacts and mitigation and adaptive strategies to climate change;
  8. Organize symposia, conferences, workshops and other meetings to promote the exchange of views on issues relating to tourism research and analysis;
  9. Publish, annually, research findings and communicate recommendations to the relevant lead agencies, institutions and other stakeholders in the tourism sector; and
  10.  Perform any other functions that are ancillary to the object and purpose for which the Institute is established.


Principal Secretary, State Department for Tourism

John Lekakeny Ololtuaa

John Lekakeny Ololtuaa was born in Trans-Mara West Sub County in Narok County. He holds a Bachelor of Education (Arts) Degree and a Masters Degree in Education Administration both from Kenyatta University. Ololtuaa is an educationist who rose through the ranks to become the Regional Director of Education in charge of Eastern then Nairobi, Rift Valley and finally Central Region. He also served in the Transition Authority overseeing the transition to Devolved system of governance specifically as the County Transition coordinator in charge of Narok County. He is a mentor of the youth where he supports several youth development initiatives across the country. In 2020 he participated in Global Schools Partnership Program by visiting schools in Richmond, North Yorkshire in England which entailed a program being implemented through the British Council in developing learning Partnerships between schools in Africa,Asia ,Latin America and the Caribbean.

Ololtuaa is also a community organizer who has in his engagement with the community, helped in building of churches and supporting philanthropic activities in Narok and beyond where he has participated in promoting community initiatives for women, youth, and underprivileged sectors of the society. Ololtuaa is passionate about Youth Counselling Programes, Fight against Drug and Alcohol Abuse. His faith in community service saw him contest for the Kilgoris Constituency seat to represent the ideals of community progress in the August house as a Member of the National Assembly. He continues to support community programs such as scholarship support for orphans and vulnerable children, welfare development for the old and widowed in the community.

Hon. John Ololtuaa is a transformative leader who believes in the ideals of strategic management and high standards of professionalism, transparency, integrity, and accountability. He was appointed Principal Secretary in the State Department for Tourism in the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife in December 2022 where he is in charge of tourism promotion, policy formulation, and development of the tourism industry in Kenya.


Beth Njeri Ndungu

Beth Njeri Ndungu holds an MBA in Strategic Management from Kenyatta University and a BA in Economics & Business Studies from Kenyatta University. She works at the National Treasury, Kenya in the Financial and Sectoral Affairs Department. She previously worked in the UN Agencies and Americas UK & IFAD Divisions of the Resource Mobilization Department. She previously also worked as a Competition Analyst in the Competition Authority of Kenya and as a Monopolies officer in the Ministry of Finance, Kenya She has Certificates in International Trade and Development, Project Planning and Implementation, Economic Policy Analysis, Best Practices in Financial Processes and Controls, Results Based Management among others.
Director General KNBS

Mr Macdonald Obudho

Macdonald G. Obudho is a long serving public servant who has risen through the ranks from Economist /Statistician II to the current position of Director General, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. He holds a Master of Science degree in Statistics from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from the same university. He is currently pursuing PhD course in statistics.

Mr. Obudho has vast experience in conducting population and housing censuses including the first ever Kenyan digital census that was conducted in 2019. He has competency in designing and carrying out statistical sample surveys and compilation of official statistics. He has successfully spearheaded many surveys during his long service in the Bureau.

He has experience in top management spanning over 13 years and has a number of certificates to his name that arise from short and long courses, workshops, conferences and seminars attended both locally and abroad.

He serves in a number of Boards including Hazina SACCO Ltd. As a result of exemplary work in design and execution of the 2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census, Mr. Obudho was honoured with a State Award; The Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear (MBS).

Alternate to Executive Director – KIPPRA

Nahashon Mubichi Mwongera

Mr. Mwongera is a Research and Development professional with over 12 years experience covering both public and private sectors. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Economics and Mathematics) degree from Egerton University, a Master of Arts (Economics) degree from the University of Botswana and is currently a PhD (Economics) student at Kenyatta University. He possesses hands on experience in conducting national-wide surveys; reviewing public sector polices; implementing market research methodologies for product and new innovative ideas development (including market intelligence, competitor analysis, mystery shopping, product attribute ranking); conducting training needs assessments; Training of trainers; preparation of technical and financial proposals; results-based project monitoring and evaluation; and writing of technical reports. He is multi-skilled in environment, natural resource and Tourism-related policy research; analyzing large quantitative and qualitative data sets; and econometric analysis. Currently, Mr. Mwongera is a Researcher / Economist at the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA) where his areas of research focus include Tourism, Environment and Natural Resource Management, and Financial sector analysis.

While at KIPPRA, he has actively participated in research dissemination forums, workshops, policy round tables, policy task-forces and technical working groups. In 2014, he was the team leader in a study that estimated the contribution of meetings, incentives, conference and exhibitions (M.I.C.E) tourism to the Kenyan economy; and in 2015 he was part of the technical team that prepared the Kenya Green Economy Strategy and Implementation Plan. Prior to joining KIPPRA, Mr. Mwongera worked in the private sector as a research manager and consultant focusing mainly on market research for product development in financial services, covering Banks, Microfinance Institutions and SACCOs.

Acting Chief Executive Officer

David G. Gitonga

David G. Gitonga holds Masters degree in Tourism Management, Bachelor of Science in Tourism and a Post Graduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship. He has 20 years experience in the public service. He has served in the Ministry of Tourism mainly in the area of policy, planning, strategy and innovation. He was the National Co-ordinator in the development National Tourism Blueprint 2030 which is the overarching strategic document the entire sector is aligning to. He has also played a key role in the development of other policy, legal and strategic documents of the sector including the National Tourism Policy, Tourism Act 2011, tourism product diversification strategies among others.

Gitonga’s leadership in tourism also includes having set up the Regional Tourism Office for the North Rift in 2002 and managed it as the Regional Tourism Officer up to 2007. It is under his leadership, that tourism was mainstreamed as a key economic activity in the region. The momentum created for tourism growth in that region extended to other regions where tourism was previously little known particularly Western Kenya and tourism is now a priority sector in most of the country.

In April 2014, Mr. Gitonga was seconded to the then newly created Tourism Regulatory Authority where he was involved in setting it up and in developing its regulations. He then went on to start its Regional Office for Mount Kenya and Upper Eastern based in Nyeri being the first Regional Manager from April 2014 to August 2015 when he was recalled back to the Ministry of Tourism.

He was deployed to the Tourism Research Institute in January 2018 as the Acting Chief Executive Officer where he is leading the process of setting up the operational structures and the strategies for the Instuitute to deliver on its mandate

Close Menu

Utalii House,7th Floor,

Utalii Lane, off Uhuru Highway.
P.O. Box 42131-00100, Nairobi, KENYA
Telephone: 0202001084