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Cameroon: Cameroon Tourism Profile


 Cameroon Tourism Information Office

New flights boost visitor numbers

2012 saw Turkish Airlines, add its 96th country to its network by adding a four times weekly service from Istanbul Ataturk to Yaoundé returning to Istanbul via Douala. Two other international airlines commenced services to Cameroon in 2012, inclunding Karinou Airlines from the Central African Republic and Rwandair. Furthermore, Camair-Co, the national flag carrier, significantly increased its domestic operational capacity with plans to grow the airline’s fleet to 26 aircraft by 2018 and expand its network regionally and to Asia

Natural wonders kickstart ecotourism

While its road infrastructure and travel accommodation remain underdeveloped, Cameroon is a treasure trove in environmental terms, offering a high level of protected biodiversity. These natural wonders attract visitors from far and wide and the country’s larger cities offer a gateway to visiting some of these delights.

The wildlife, landscape diversity, stunning beaches and weather have boosted tourism, with large numbers of visitors looking to get in touch with nature, enjoy extreme sports and seek out new adventures.

38th Annual Congress of the Africa Travel Association promotes Cameroon

The Africa Travel Association, the leader in the promotion of tourism in Africa, held its 38th Annual Congress in Buea, Cameroon, under the banner of “Re-Discovering Cameroon” in October 2013. The event, which was attended by over 200 national and international guests, inclunding several ministers from Cameroon, Uganda and Zimbabwe, provided major media exposure for the country. Cameroon’s Tourism and Leisure Ministry hopes that such improved international visibility will attract new visitors and investors, boosting tourism over the coming years.

Natural resources attract business travellers

Cameroon is rich in natural resources, inclunding oil and timber; it as well provides an untapped array of natural assets such as gas, iron, bauxite and cobalt. Cameroon presents potentially lucrative investment opportunities to international companies from additional developed nations, such as the US and China. Inclunding its oil reserves attracting a large number of business travellers, the prospect of exploring Cameroon’s before unknown resources attracts additional visitors to the country than any other activity.

Personal security still a problem

Security continues to be a major threat to the development of tourism in Cameroon. With high levels of unemployment and a poorly equipped police force, crime is rife in major cities such as Yaoundé and Douala, and in other towns in Cameroon. Tourists are generally advised not to leave the major cities, but this means they lose the opportunity to experience the natural and cultural diversity that Cameroon has to offer. Unfortunately, the issue of personal security limits the potential for increase within tourism in Cameroon.

Revamping travel and tourism in Cameroon

The government of Cameroon has undertaken measures to revamp travel and tourism in the country. The industry has lacked vibrancy in recent years due to a lack of promotion, poor services and the abandonment of tourist sites. The government has prioritised the revival of tourism and relaunched a campaign to promote it both at home and abroad. With government support, the influx of tourists is expected to grow, which will be of benefit not only to travel and tourism in Cameroon, but the country’s economy as a whole.

Image boost from Pope’s visit

Cameroon’s image received a major boost following the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the country in March 2009. The country benefitted from religious tourism as thousands from both Cameroon and neighbouring nations flocked to see the Pope on his visit to the African country. The last Roman Pontiff to visit Cameroon was Pope John Paul II in 1985 and 1995. The country is a religious country and consists of a number of religions inclunding Christianity (40%), Islam (20%) and several indigenous religions (40%). The Pope’s visit to Cameroon has helped raise hopes for change in a country whose economy has been stifled by corruption. The visit is as well expected to help improve the country’s image globally.

Government launches anti-corruption drive

Cameroon is often listed part the majority corrupt nations in the world due to widespread malpractice in the country. Corruption has caused huge economic losses to the national by severely deterring foreign investment and, thus, slowing economic increase. Over the last few years, the government of Cameroon has undertaken measures aimed at reducing corruption and has launched a frontal attack on corruption in the government. To date, additional than 100 former ministers, public administrators and national corporation managers have been arrested and jailed on charges relating to the misuse of public funds and plundering of national resources.

A great ecotourism-friendly destination

Cameroon is an ecotourism destination par excellence due to its abundant natural resources and rich cultural diversity. The country is considered a haven for ecotourism, due to its numerous famous parks and nature reservations. Over recent years, the government has made efforts to protect and conserve significant sites while encouraging sustainable tourist development. Through the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, it has concentrated its efforts on the protection of natural resources, particularly the national parks, endangered species and other forest reserves. The parks and forests of Cameroon, which host some of the rarest animal and bird species on earth, are considered part the richest in the world.

Drop in internet prices to boost online access

Since the start of 2009, internet service prices in Cameroon have fallen by over 90% due to an increase in the number of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Up until recently internet provision in Cameroon was dominated mainly by four providers serving corporate customers. However, there are presently over 25 ISPs in the country. Due to the recent price decreases, a lot of additional people are presently able to afford internet access both at their homes and offices. However, cyber cafes, which dot the streets of major cities across the country, still remain the majority affordable option for a lot of. The use of mobile phones to access the internet has as well increased in recent times, as major mobile phone companies, such as Orange Cameroun, have introduced flat monthly internet access plans. There are as well plans by the World Bank to develop broadband internet infrastructures in 11 African nations, inclunding Cameroon.