Dr. Bernard M. Kitheka


Role: Faculty
Campus: Springfield

Postal mail

Missouri State University
901 S. National Ave.
Springfield, MO 65897



  • PhD, Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, 2015, Clemson University – SC
  • MS, Environmental Sciences (Sustainability), 2010, Miami University – OH
  • BSc, Wildlife Management, 1997, Moi University – Kenya


  • Ecotourism
  • Community recreation and tourism
  • Private/commercial recreation and tourism
  • Leisure education
  • Tourism and sustainable development

Research and professional interests

  • Sustainable tourism
  • Urban change & sustainability
  • Human dimensions of sustainability
  • Community-based ecotourism
  • Conservation education
  • Community empowerment
  • Sustainable development
  • Environmental interpretation
  • Travel & tourism competitiveness
  • Recreation in human wellbeing linkage
  • Recreation, play & social inclusion

Selected publications

  • Carmen, N., Kitheka, B. & Sabuhoro, E. (2017). Regional tourism development within the East African Community. Book Chapter in: Tourism and Political Change, Edited by Butler, D. & Suntikul, W. (in press).
  • Kitheka, B. M., Baldwin, E. D., White, D. L., & Harding, D. N. (2016). A different "we" in urban sustainability: how the city of Chattanooga, TN, community defined their own sustainability path. International Journal of Tourism Cities, 2(3), 185-205.
  • Kitheka, B. M. & Backman, S. K. (2016). Gaps identified in tourism-environment policy in Kenya: a content analysis to assess sustainable tourism policy in the country. International Journal of Tourism Policy, 6(3/4), 235-255.
  • Kitheka, B. M. (2012). Urban Tourism and Urban Change: Cities in a Global Economy, by Costas Spirou. Tourism Analysis, 18(5), 617-618.

Other interests

Dr. Kitheka has research and consulting experience on travel and tourism competitiveness in the East African region. Other works include supporting preservation of open spaces and advocating for plays and recreation programming in developing countries and supporting sustainable tourism development initiatives in East Africa and Jamaica. He enjoys study abroad programs that expose his students to other cultures and ways of life.