1.1. Backgroundto the studyTourism essentially entails themovement of people called tourists or visitors, from their habitual places ofwork and residence to another place called a tourist destination, for thepurposes of business, leisure or other personal reasons; the activities theypursue in the course of their stay in the destination, the range of facilitiesand services available to cater for their needs, and for which the duration of stay in the destination does not exceed oneyear (UNWTO Glossary oftourism terms, 2014).
The contribution of tourism in thesocial, cultural and economic welfare of a nation was formally articulatedduring the Manila Declaration in October 1980, where tourism was acknowledgedas a tool that can help eliminate the widening economic disparities between industrialisedand developing nations (UNWTO: The Manila Declaration (1980). For manyeconomies in both the industrialisedand developing nations, tourism is a powerful tool for strong economicperformance, creating jobs and bringing about significant economic growth (World Travel and Tourism Council(WTTC), 2017).According to Matias, et al (2016) tourism generates asubstantial amount of revenue, through income spent by visitors in the demandfor tourists’ facilities and services such as accommodation, food and drink,transportation, tours, excursions, air tickets, entertainment services,currency exchange and a host of other assorted services. According to The Telegraph Newspaper (2016), there are abouttwenty economies, mostly island nations, whose economies are centred on tourism as theprincipal source of revenue. The Maldives and Seychelles, are among the nationsthat are heavily dependent on tourism for economic growth (The Telegraph,2016).According to the World Bank e-Library (2014), African is endowed with significanttourism potential, which if properly harnessed and managed, would substantiallycontribute in the invigoration and dramatic transformation of Africaneconomies. In particular, tourism can contribute to significant economic growth,by prompting the provision of infrastructure, the creation of employment,increasing domestic consumption, stimulating tourism-related investment, fuelsthe validation of national heritage, and fosters environmental preservation (WorldBank e-Library, 2014). Tourism is now considered as a keypillar in the strategic framework for inclusive and sustainable development inAfrica.
Tourism can produce significant positive spillovers and positiveexternalities, which can energisethe economy and foster growth (United Nations Trade and Development (UNCTAD,2016).According to WorldEconomic Forum (WEF, 2015), tourism contributes to approximately 9% of Africa’sdomestic product, while the sector has been forecasted to grow by almost 5% inthe next few years.According to United Nations Office of SpecialAdvisor on Africa (OSAA, 2016), the African tourism sector isexperiencing progressive expansion. The continent now claims approximately 5%of the number of global visitors and 3% of all tourism receipts. In 2014, thetravel and tourism GDP for Africa was up to $83 billion. The tourism sectoremploys approximately 9 million people, making it one of the most prominentsectors for employment in the continent (OSAA, 2016). During the last ten years, there hadbeen a gradual increase in the number of visitors to Cameroon. In 2006, thenumber of tourists to Cameroon was 451.
000, with a progressive increase in thenumber of visitors in subsequent years, reaching 822.000 in 2014 (World Bank Data on touristarrivals, 2017). According to World Travel and TourismCouncil (WTTC) tourism report for Cameroon, from 2007 to 2016, there had been aprogressive increase in tourism’s share of Cameroon’s GDP (WTTC, 2017). Thus,this suggests a correlation between increase in tourist numbers, and the proportionof Cameroon’s GDP generated by tourism.TheWTTC 2017 report on the Economic impact of travel and tourism in Central AfricaRepublic (Cameroon, Congo, Gabon etc.
) show that in 2017 the directcontribution of visitor exports amounted to 7.6 percent of total exports in2016 and it is forecast to rise by 9.0 percent and grow by 2.
6 percent per annumfrom 2017-2027. Tourism & Tourism Investment in 2016 was 3.9 percent oftotal investment and expected rise by 1.3 percent in 2017, and 4.6 percentevery year over the following 10years to a total of 3.5 percent (WTTC, 2017).