Find Tourism and Travel partners in Cameroon
The tourism industry in Cameroon is in a relatively infant stage of development but is experiencing dynamic changes. Travel and tourism contributed XAF675.4bn to the economy of the country in 2011. This supported around 231,500 jobs, or 5.1% of total employment (World Travel and Tourism Council – WTCC 2011). The country was placed 139th out of 181 countries in terms of the relative contribution of the sector to the country’s economy, with 5.8% share of GDP, compared to the world average of 14% (WTTC 2011). In 2010 the country saw 573,000 visitors, with by far the greatest proportion arriving from neighbouring central African states, followed by other African nations. The largest source market outside the continent is France. In 2011 visitor exports generated XAF84.8bn, constituting 3% of total exports in the country. The relative contribution of the sector to the economy is small in comparison to most countries, although the Government of Cameroon continues to actively promote the industry. The Ministry of Tourism is the national body responsible for the sector. Tourism offices can be found in North America and Europe.
The tagline ‘Africa in Miniature’ is often used to brand Cameroon because of the country’s diverse climate, culture, and geography. The government has undertaken sustained efforts to re-energise tourism in the country, which had suffered due to lack of promotion, the abandonment of tourist sites, and the need to develop services and infrastructure. The government’s campaign to promote the country in both the domestic and international market indicates the potential future growth of the industry.
The country saw a rapid growth in religious tourism with the visit of Pope Benedict XVI in March 2009, experiencing thousands from Cameroon and other African nations flocking to see him. Additionally, the cultural diversity of Cameroon offers great potential for cultural tourism.
Cameroon is also a prime destination for the development of an ecotourism industry thanks to its abundant natural resources. Its parks and nature reservations are major attractions, being home to some of the rarest animal and bird species on the planet. The government has made efforts to protect and conserve these important sites while encouraging sustainable tourist development. The coast of Cameroon offers a different tourist experience, with beaches stretching along about 400km of the Atlantic coast.
In 2011 investment in the travel and tourism industry was XAF48.5bn, constituting 2.3% of total investment. This was expected to rise by 8.5% in 2012, and then continue to rise by 4.6% pa over the following ten years, reaching XAF82.3bn by 2022.