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Cameroon Tourism Industry

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Since the 1970s, the government of Cameroon has developed the Cameroon Tourism industry by starting a ministry of tourism and by boosting investment by airlines, hotels and travel agencies. The government now considers the country as “Africa in miniature”, promoting its variety of climate, culture, and geography. Cameroon’s wildlife attracts both safari-goers and big-game hunters, as Cameroon is home to many of Africa’s iconic animals: cheetahs, chimpanzees, elephants, giraffes, gorillas, and many other species rhinoceroses. Impediments to additional increase of the tourism sector include poor transport infrastructure and corrupt officials who may pester visitors for bribes.

Tourism infrastructure in Cameroon has gradually been improved. The country had 37 hotels with 599 rooms in 1960. This had grown to 203 hotels with 3,229 rooms in 1976. In 1980, the country had 7,500 hotel rooms. However, the huge mainstream of these rooms are in two major cities, Douala and Yaoundé. In 1971, 29,500 tourists visited Cameroon. These figures had risen to 100,000 tourists in 1975 and 130,000 in 1980. The industry has made significant strides since the 1990s.

The Cameroonian government facilitates the country as “Africa in miniature”, asserting that the country provides all the variety of Africa—in climate, culture, and geography—within its borders. Other touristic appeals sometimes used include “the melting pot of Africa” and “Africa in microcosm”. Cameroon’s tourist destinations are in four general areas: the coast, the major cities, the Western highlands, and the north. The coast offers two major beach resort towns: Limbe is English-speaking with black, volcanic sand; and Kribi is a French-speaking city with white-sand beaches. Mount Cameroon on the coast is the uppermost mountain in Central and West Africa and attracts hikers and climbers. The stepping-off point for climbing Mt. Cameroon is the city of Buea, where guides can be hired and tools can be rented. There are several tin-roofed huts for hikers to sleep in during their trek up the mountain.

Yaoundé is home to most of Cameroon’s national monuments. It also has several museums. The Western highlands offer picturesque mountain scenery, waterfalls and lakes, and the altitude provides a cooler climate. Bamenda is the main city in the western highlands, and is the capital of the Northwest province. This area is known for its traditional culture and crafts. The city of Bafoussam is especially famous for its wood-carving culture and artifacts. In fact, the area produces more crafts than any other in Cameroon. The West is also home to conventional chiefdoms and fondoms, such as the sultanate of Foumban. Each chief naturally has his own palace or amalgam which visitors may visit for a fee.

The Adamawa, East, and South provinces offer a new front for expansion of the tourist industry, but poor transport conditions keep the industry small in these regions. Forest reserves in the south have little tourist-oriented infrastructure, but guests there may see chimpanzees, elephants, gorillas, and other rainforest fauna.

Cameroon’s north is the nation’s primary tourist draw. The area has several wildlife reserves, including the largest and best-run in West Africa, Waza National Park. These parks tender both animal viewing and big-game hunting. Animals in this region include cheetahs and elephants. Maroua offers a large crafts market and museums which are bound to make any visitor to Cameroon stay back for a long time and enjoy the fully what Cameroon tourism has to offer.[From]

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