an assessment of the tourist potentials in the west coast sub-division in the promotion of tourism in the region

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5000XAF
International: $20
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Analytical tool
 
Format
 MS word & PDF
Chapters
1-5

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OR

Chapter one

1.1 Introduction

The tourism sector is defined as an industry associated with leisure and travel (Cunha & Cunha, 2005). Additionally, it is considered as one of the top and fastest-growing sectors which can significantly contribute to a country’s economic growth (Osman & Zentosa, 2013; Chin, May-Chiun, Songan, & Vikneswaran, 2014). With the other major sectors of the economy not performing well, the tourism industry has emerged as the biggest contributor of the GDP since the early 1990s in most African countries and is viewed as the panacea of the African economies (Dieke, 2000; Gauci, Gerosa, & Mwalwanda, 2002). Unsurprisingly this does not go undetected by governments and the private sector.

Unarguably, tourism is considered as a leading industry the world over. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO, 1990, cited in Gheorghe, 2010), tourism denotes the act of travelling to and staying in a place outside one’s usual environment for at least one day and not more than one consecutive year, for leisure, business or other purposes. Cultural tourism is the subset of tourism concerned with a country or region’s culture, specifically the lifestyle of the people in those geographical areas, the history of those people, their art, architecture, religion (s), and other elements that helped shape their way of life (Rotich, 2012). Culture is considered as ‘ways of life’ (beliefs, values, social practices, rituals and traditions), including tangible (buildings, monuments, objects) and intangible (language, performances and festivals, craftsmanship) expressions and manifestations of society’s values ​​and beliefs (Robinson and Picard, 2006). Cultural tourism is conceptualized as the movement of people away from their normal places to cultural attractions with the intention to gather new information and experiences to satisfy their cultural needs (Richards, 1997; Atlas, 2009). 

The World Tourism Organization view cultural tourism to include ‘movements of persons for essentially cultural motivations such as study tours, performing arts and other cultural tours, travel to festivals and other cultural events, visit to sites and monuments, travel to study nature, folklore or art or pilgrimages’ (World Tourism Organization, 2010). Cultural tourism is conceptualized as the movement of people away from their normal places to cultural attractions with the intention to gather new information and experiences to satisfy their cultural needs (Richards, 1997; Atlas, 2009). 

The World Tourism Organization view cultural tourism to include ‘movements of persons for essentially cultural motivations such as study tours, performing arts and other cultural tours, travel to festivals and other cultural events, visit to sites and monuments, travel to study nature, folklore or art or pilgrimages’ (World Tourism Organization, 2010). Cultural tourism is conceptualized as the movement of people away from their normal places to cultural attractions with the intention to gather new information and experiences to satisfy their cultural needs (Richards, 1997; Atlas, 2009). 

The World Tourism Organization view cultural tourism to include ‘movements of persons for essentially cultural motivations such as study tours, performing arts and other cultural tours, travel to festivals and other cultural events, visit to sites and monuments, travel to study nature, folklore or art or pilgrimages’ (World Tourism Organization, 2010).

International studies have suggested that the prosperity of a place is directly related to its competitiveness (Porter, 2008). Since the 1990s the importance of tourism in the still developing countries has increased (Agel et al., 1998). The steadily increasing oversaturation of the European tourism market caused an improvement of new travel destinations especially in the Asia-Pacific region and parts of Africa.

Many countries count on tourist potentials which seem to be frequently available in many developing countries such as; tropical climate, sea, sand and sky, exotic cultures and splendid landscapes. As research shows, there is a growing awareness that regions may build their competitiveness leveraging their cultural heritage (Storper & Scott, 2009; Bandarin & Hosagrahar, 2011; Pereira Roders & Von Oers, 2011; Boix, Lazzeretti, Capone, De Propris, & Sánchez, 2012). Likewise, there is a large consensus that tourism plays a key role in the development and competitiveness of some regions (Lazzeretti & Petrillo, 2006). But not only when it comes to the development and competitiveness of some regions, but prior research also shows that cultural heritage has gained increasing importance at different levels of the economy (Florida, 2002; Hesmondhalgh, 2002; Scott, 2002

). Due to the fact that Cameroon is still, touristically speaking, a relatively unexploited country, cultural tourism can bring new and fresh resources to the cultural sector and an entire region (Jackson & Murphy, 2002; Novelli, Schmitz, & Spencer, 2006; Ferreira & Estevao, 2009). Cameroon, in regards to its German colonial past, has the advantage over those other West African countries, which do not have this kind of historic, possible tourism, sites.

Cameroon is blessed with different touristic sites which include cultural and historical events, some of which are celebrated annually. Diverse cultural activities found in more than 250 ethnic groups (Yenshu, 2011). This cultural diversity is manifested by a rich and diverse folklore, arts, handicrafts and way of life. Over the past years, cultural tourism has become a source of attraction, as the country has witnessed an increase in national and community activities. This led to her designation as a tourist destination in 2010 (Awa, 2010). The Southwest Region of Cameroon is endowed with lots of cultural touristic potentials which attract both national and international tourists. Mundema Sub-Division has rich touristic potentials (natural and man-made). The extent to which these attractions contribute to development through income,

In 2010, Cameroon was designated as a tourist destination thanks to the fact that it crossed the 500,000 tourists mark. The crucial role of tourism in the country’s development is further captured in Cameroon’s development vision where tourism is expected to contribute about 13% of the country’s revenue by 2035 (Cameroon Vision 2035). For such targets to be met, touristic potentials in all forms need to be developed. This includes the promotion of cultural tourism. Cultural tourism has gained recognition fairly recently because of the need to promote the preservation of cultural heritage while sustaining development. It is therefore a subset of sustainable tourism. 

1.2 Background of the study area

The main employment opportunities in Mundemba revolve around agricultural goods (esp.Palm oil, trading, and the public sector. Probably the biggest local employer PAMOL Plantations, a public limited company that maintains a large African Oil Palm plantation adjacent to the township. Some sections of the local economy benefit from tourists visiting the renowned Korup National Park, located 8 km west of the town.

Mundemba is accessible by car from  Kumba via a dirt road. Public transportation is undertaken exclusively by Bush Taxis which run daily several trips to and from Kumba, Ekondo Titi and to a lesser extent (or on hire) other local destinations. The public road to Kumba is often in very bad condition during the rainy season (June–September) and maybe impassable for some days. A “car park” (a.k.a. bush taxi station) is located near the soccer field, adjacent to the public market. Transportation within the town is either on foot or by local motorcycle taxis, referred to as okadas.

Transportation of goods to and from Calabar, Nigeria, is to a large extent undertaken by wooden motor-boats that depart from Mbulu Beach, a small port on Ndian River a few kilometers outside Mundemba. There is no customs here, however, so this is not a formal entry/exit point for tourists intending to reach Nigeria. Establishing a boat service for tourist transportation to and from Limbe via the impressive mangroves of the Rio del Rey has been long discussed but is currently not established. It is, however, possible (but not very straightforward) to arrange for such a trip from Limbe, which could be an interesting option for larger (nature-, birdwatcher) groups. During the raining season, the rural council truck helps to transport people freely to and from Mundemba to the nearby villages along Toko subdivision.

Large sections of Mundemba are connected to the electrical grid which is generated locally by petrol generators run by SONEL (the Cameroonian State Energy company). Similarly, many households have running water provided by SNEC (the Cameroonian State water provider). There are no telephone landlines but both major mobile telecommunication providers in Cameroon (MTN Group and Orange (brand)) offer network coverage in town. As of 2008 there was no internet connection.

There is a Police station, Gendarmerie and Army barracks in town. There are currently no commercial banks within Mundemba (closest is in Kumba). Nevertheless,a national cooperative bank operates a branch in Mundemba where it is possible to carryout secured financial transactions as well as send or receive money within Cameroon through a money transfer system.

There is a public hospital in town and a PAMOL hospital a few kilometers outside the town. There is no pharmacy in town but basic medication may be available at the hospital(s).

Twice weekly (Wednesday and Saturday), there is a large market in town (next to the soccer field), where local produce and goods are sold. In addition, there are several small stores that sell daily basic amenities (i.e. rice, milk powder, coffee, beans, biscuits, local batteries, cans of sardines, bottled water).

There are no western-style restaurants in town There are a few local eating places serving basic Cameroonian food and in the evening there are often street vendors selling goat meat, pork and beef skewers (called soya) or grilled fresh or (more typically) frozen fish. There are several drinking places servicing local Cameroonian and some Nigerian but no Western drinks except red wines and Scottish whiskies. You can also get all brands of Cameroonian, African and western music in Mundemba.

A Government nursery and primary school are located in town, as well as a grammar and a technical high school, and a teacher’s college. There are also a couple of denomination-affiliated primary schools in town. Below is a map showing the location of Mundemba subdivdion

Figure 1.1 showing Map of Mundemba subdivision(Generated from Google map)

1.3 Statement of the Problem

Mundemba sub division has abundant tourist resources, but unfortunately, few tourists visits the area and significantly contribute to the socio-economic development of the place. Another problem identified is the fact that Tourists resources are laying fallow, that means resting for a period of time. There is no participating management, and tourism that could hold a mechanism for the growth of Mundemba subdivision has failed to play its role. Many people are moving out of mundemba (Rural exodus) and this could partly explain that Mundemba is not a tourist destination in Cameroon

1.4 Research Questions

1.4.1 General Research Question

  1. What is the level of exploitation of tourists potentials in Mundemba

1.4.2 Specific Research Question

  1. What are the Tourist potentials in Mundemba
  2. What is the level of exploitation of tourist potential in Mundemba
  3. What are the challenges faced in the exploitation of Tourist potentials in Mundemba subdivision
  4. What is the way forward to enhance the development of sustainable Tourism

1.5 Objectives of the study

1.5.1 General objective

The general objective of this study is to critically asses of the level of exploitation of tourist potentials in Mundemba

1.5.2 Specific Objectives

  • To identify the Tourist potentials in Mundemba
  • To examine their level of exploitation
  • To determine the challenges affecting the exploitation of tourists potentials in Mundemba
  • To proposed the way forward to enhance the development of sustainable Tourism
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