Research Key

The role of Campo Ma’an National Park in the Development of Tourism in Kribi

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The concept of National Parks started as a result of changes in land use practices, pressure was being exerted on certain species of fauna and flora.

Consequently, the National Park idea started to develop when it was felt in the industrialised countries that due to human needs and pressures, certain species of fauna and flora were beginning to disappear.

The study seeks to, examine the types of tourist products and services available at the Campo Ma’an National Park,

to assess the impacts of Campo Ma’an National Park in the development of trade and tourism in Kribi and evaluate the problems faced by Campo Ma’an National Park in the tourism development, to propose measures that can help enhanced the development of tourism in Kribi by Campo Ma’an National Park.

The study made used of both primary and secondary data that was obtain through field survey, questionnaires and interview and was analysed using percentages and tables.

Data obtain from the field proved that Campo Maan National Park improve trade in the area promoting tourism activities in this area,

but identified some key challenges that was affecting the park in terms of tourism development like Poor transport and communication network, destroying our crops especially elephant, and threat to safety and security of people.

It was on this basis some recommendations were made in other to ensure sustainable development in the Campo Maan national park.

                                          CHAPTER ONE

                                        GENERAL INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

The concept of National Parks started because of changes in land use practices as pressure was being exerted on certain species of fauna and flora (Green&Paine,1997).

Consequently, the National Park idea started to develop when it was felt in the industrialised countries that due to human needs and pressures, certain species of fauna and flora were beginning to disappear.

The first National Park, the Yellowstone National Park, was therefore setup in the United States of America in 1872. Gradually, the concept of National Parks began to be adopted by other nations of the world.

Globally, the area of land covered by the world’s parks and protected areas increased considerably from 1900 to 1996.By 1996, the world’s network of 30,361 parks existed, covering an area of 13,245,527square kilometres, representing 8.84% of the total land area of the planet.

This total land area occurs in 225 countries and dependent territories (Green&Paine,1997).

 The impressive growth of the world’s park network is the result of the widespread acceptance of the ecological ethic (Kellert, 1979) and aggressive political action.

It appears that the tourism activity occurring at these sites has created a self-perpetuating phenomenon of visitation, education, and desire for more parks, visitation and education.

The name national park is closely associated with nature-based tourism, being a symbol of a high quality natural environment with a well-designed tourist infrastructure.

Eagles and Wind (1994) found that Canadian ecotour companies frequently used the name national park as  a brand name to attract potential ecotourists to their sales offerings. This approach is similar to that of consumer corporations, the use of a well-known name to indicate quality and status.

However, with 3386 national parks in the world, anyone country has a major task to get its sites recognised globally as suitable destinations for international tourism.

Tourism stimulates a wide range of other creative economic segments. As the tourism economy develops, business openings for supplying the sector with goods and services advance accordingly.

This process supports to spread the benefits of tourism more largely within the economy.

Although such supply value chains progress gradually, contributing to the economy growth, they can also be caused and reinforced through a diversity of involvements that target at increasing the awareness of business opportunities and development market access to Small local and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) in particular.

Such initiatives are still in their beginnings but will begin to multiply once the growth rate of the hospitality economy speeds up following the injection of investment on a larger scale.

Infact, tourism creates meanings and authenticities, especially in those settings where its economic potentialities are highlighted as the only means for development (Edgell, Delmstro Smith & Swanson , 2008).

Wildlife tourism in national park is one of the fastest growing tourism sectors worldwide (Reynolds &Braithwait, 2001). Across the world the number of tourists seeking interactions with wildlife in their natural environment is increasing (Higginbottom, 2004).

National park tourism is tourism based on encounters with non-domesticated animals (Higginbottom, 2004).

Wildlife tourism occurs within a ‘spectrum of tourist-wildlife interaction opportunities’ ranging from captive settings completely constructed by humans, to semi-captive settings featuring containment but some freedom of movement, to wild areas in the natural environment (Kontogeorgopoulos, 2009).

It includes activities historically classified as ‘non consumptive’, such as viewing, photography, and feeding, as well as those that involve killing or capturing animals, particularly hunting and recreational fishing (Higginbottom, 2004).

Additionally, national park tourism based upon wildlife has become the leading foreign exchange earner in several countries (Reynolds &Braithwait, 2001).

In the developed nations of the world precisely in America, a notable example of National park that has led to the development of tourism is the Everglades National Park.

The Everglades National Park is the largest sub-tropical wilderness reserve that has been designated on the North American continent (Cook & P.S, 2011).

It contains a vast mix of subtropical upland and marine ecosystems that are characteristic of the Greater Everglades ecosystem and which include freshwater marshes, tropical hardwoods, rock pinelands, extensive mangroves and sea grass ecosystems that support world-class fisheries.

Its relatively unaltered mangrove forest belt stretches between Florida Bay to Flamingo and Everglades City, and is one of the longest remaining in the western hemisphere.

The Park includes sites of Red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis),American Crocodile (Crocodylusacutus), and Bald eagle (Haliaeetusleucocephalus), and it provides important habitat for more than 400 bird species, as well as being a major corridor for migratory bird populations.

The Multi-Species Recovery Plan, developed by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, provides a comprehensive strategy for addressing habitat needs of the 68 endangered species in the area, and it is integrated with the CERP.

The Park’s nearly one million visitors each year come to enjoy tourism activities that include wildlife viewing, especially bird watching, hiking, kayaking, and sightseeing tours by boat and tram. Some recreational fishing is also allowed subject to park regulations (Stynes& D. J, 2011).

The Park’s tourism facilities include 156 miles of trails (including canoe trails),five elevated boardwalk trails, two campgrounds providing a total of 400 camping spaces and a further 48 designated backcountry campsites that are accessible by boat, five visitor centres and two environmental education camps (Everglades News Release. 2012).

Furthermore, Cuc Phuong National Park was the first to be established, officially recognized as a protected area by the Vietnamese government in 1962 and accorded National Park status in 1966 (Vo Quyet al., 1996).

About 120 km south-west of Hanoi, the park covers an area of 22 220 hectares of relatively undisturbed limestone forest and contains a wide range of tropical flora and fauna, including some species now known to be unique to this national park (The Forest Inventory and Planning Institute,1998).

With its large areas of primary forest and its ancient limestone caves, Cuc Phuong is known for its natural beauty and important biodiversity.

the park has attracted millions of touristic in recent years with its attractions and activities such as Cuc Phuong offers various attractions to the visitor and is marketed to both domestic and international tourists as being conveniently located near the highway en route to several major tourist attractions, including Bich Dong Pagoda, Hoa Lu and Sam Son Beach.

Organised package tours for overseas visitors to Vietnam frequently include a stopover at Cuc Phuong. According to statistics provided by the Tourist Office at Cuc (Cao Van Sung, n.d.).

In Africa, one of the most visited national parks in Kenya is Amboseli National Park. Despite its small size,

it has the greatest increase in ecotourism that has significant contributor to the country’s tourism industry, bringing in over 150 million Kshbeen observed in countries with the greatest number of protected areas and the establishment and (approximately US$2 million) in income each year (Okello et al., 2001).

The park provides one of the continued existence of protected areas depends largely on market forces. Therefore, it is important highest revenues per unit area of protected land.

Amboseli offers many attractions to tourists, in that tourists coming to Kenyan parks are satisfied enough to repeat visit and/or recommend Kenya cluding a high density of large wild mammals, ease of viewing wildlife, a backdrop of Mt. Kili-to other potential tourists.

Nature based ecotourism has shown an unprecedented growth in recent manjaro, and cultural Maasai presentations. In a survey by Okello et al. (2001) on tourism in 40times and is expected to grow well into the next century (Dharmaratne et al., 2000). Parks and protected areas, Amboseli achieved high scores for attractions based on cultural activities.

In Cameroon, tourism is a growing but relatively minor industry.

Since the 1970s, the government of Cameroon has cultivated the industry by creating a ministry of tourism and by encouraging investment by airlines, hotels, and travel agencies.

The government describes the country as “Africa in miniature”, promoting its diversity of climate, culture, and geography. Cameroon’s wildlife draws both safari-goers and big-game hunters, as Cameroon is home to many of Africa’s iconic animals: cheetahs, chimpanzees, elephants, giraffes, gorillas, hippopotami, and rhinoceroses.

Apart from the different activities carried out in these several wildlife reserves, the country has a series of national park like the Korup national park reputedly one of Africa’s oldest and richest tropical forests in terms of flora and fauna.

It is the most accessible rainforest National Park in Cameroon with basic lodging infrastructure and a large network of trails open to visitors.

The park is a popular bird watching destination and famous for primate viewing (including species such as the drill, Preuss’s red colobus, red-eared guenon and Nigeria chimpanzee), campo maam national park and  including the largest and best-run in West Africa, Waza National Park. These parks offer both animal viewing and big-game hunting.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

One of the greatest challenges of our time is undoubtedly the reconciliation of economic development to sustain communities’ livelihoods and the preserving of nature for future generations.

In the past, the sustenance of nature give way to economic development through tourism that has led to the development of many tourist resorts over the world .

Generally, national parks play important roles in the development of nations and these include; wildlife and environmental conservation, tourism and recreation, education and scientific research purposes, and protection of sites and objects of cultural and historical heritage.

 However, unsustainable management of the park is another key issue as the employee who works in the parks are not well trained in the domain of tour guiding, using new communication technology to market this park and as well as illegal poaching whereby most inhabitant of this area depends solely on this forest vegetation for their survival, hostility towards tourist.

Again, some plants and animals are being extinct such as the mangrove forest whereby trees are cut down to produce furniture and animals such as elephant, lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, hippos, giant pangolins, black colobus, mandrills and leopards which are poach and sold for consumption has led to the poor record of visitors to this park and there by contributing a little in the development of tourism in this area.

Following the construction of the new seaport in Kribi, there has been an influx of people into the region.

One will expect that based on the influx, the conservators at the Campo National Park shall do all they could to protect the 2680 km2 park and ensure sustainable tourism from the high volume of tourists that shall be visiting the site but on the contrary, nothing has been done in this direction.

 Furthermore, open confrontation with park authorities by local communities that own the land on which the park was created as there, are not only denied access to park or forest,

but also not involved in the day-to-today operations of the area which are their major sources of livelihood has acted as a speed break in slowing the development of tourism in Kribi by the national park.

Also, poor government police in promoting sustainable tourism development in this area through the lack of infrastructures development like roads, hotel, reduces the chances of tourism development in this region as this park is not well accessed by tourist.

1.3 Research Question

 From the problem statement, this study seeks answers to the following questions:

  • What are the various touristic products and services being offered at the Campo Ma’an National Park which are of interests to people?
  • To what extent have the activities of Campo Ma’an National Park lead to the development of trade and tourism in Kribi?
  • What are some of the problems faced by the Campo Ma’an National Park in tourism development?
  • What measures can be adopted by Campo Ma’an National Park to further promote tourism develop Kribi?

1.4 Research Objective

1.4.1 General Objective

The general objective of this study is to identify the main tourist attractions in the Campo Ma’an National Park, examine the problems faced and propose measures to ensure the sustainable management of the park.

1.4.2 Specific Objectives

Specific objectives seek to:

  • Examine the types of tourist products and services available at the Campo Ma’an National Park.
  • To assess the impacts of CampoMa’an National Park in the development of trade and tourism in Kribi.
  • To analyse the problems faced by Campo Ma’an National Park in the tourism development.
  • To propose measures that can help enhanced the development of tourism in Kribi by Campo Ma’an National Park.

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