Factors affecting civil servant’s participation in domestic tourism. A case study of the civil servants living in Yaoundé V subdivision of Cameroon
|Tourism and Hospitality Management|
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This study was aimed at investigating on Factors influencing civil servants’ participation in domestic tourism, a case study of the civil servants living in Yaoundé V subdivision of Cameroon.
The study was guided by three main objectives which were: to assess how often civil servants living in Yaoundé V practice domestic tourism, to determine the major factors that influence civil servants’ participation in domestic tourism and finally to propose solutions to the stated problems to promote development of this sector.
For this study, 100 questionnaires were administered to civil servants living in Yaoundé V subdivision (Essos, Nkolmesseng, Mfandena, Djoungolo, Ngousso and Nkoul-mekong) through a form of sampling known as snowball sampling.
Primary data collected was mainly quantitative with the use of close-end questions. The statistical package for social science (SPSS version 25) with the aid of descriptive and inferential statistics was used in analyzing the data.
The descriptive statistical tools used were frequency count and percentages while the Likelihood ratio test that works in association with the Chi-Square test and regression modelling were used in testing hypotheses.
Results from findings showed that out of 100 civil servants sampled, only 38% was found to participate in domestic tourism while the remaining 62% did not. The factor that had the greatest influence on their non-participation was the economic (35.2%), followed by political (21.1%), then technological (19.5%) followed by social factors (17.2%) and lastly environmental factors (7.0%).
The respondents linked to their non-participation some reasons such as a poor living standard, limited access to information, poor infrastructure, inaccessibility to sites, instability and insecurity within the country which are their recommendations for an enhanced growth of this sector in Cameroon.
This introductory chapter elaborates on the background to the study, the problem statement, research questions, objectives and hypotheses as well as the significance of the study, the scope and limitations and finally the definition of terms.
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 (Chin, May-Chiun, Songan, & Vikneswaran, 2014).
Over the decades, tourism has experienced continued growth and deepening diversification to become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world. Modern tourism is closely linked to development and encompasses growing number of new destinations.
Tourism can either be at the local, national or at the international level. It could either be domestic; whereby the residents of a country travel within their own country, or inbound whereby tourists move to other countries visit or outbound whereby residents of a country move across international borders (Aramberri, 2005).
These people are called visitors (which may be either tourists or excursionists; residents or non-residents) and tourism has to do with their activities, some of which involve tourism expenditure.
According to UNWTO (2002), 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. Domestic tourism is described as one involving residents of one country travelling within their own country.
It does not involve the crossing of international borders at entry points. It is concerned with travelling and does not need a passport and visa, or any conversion of one currency in to another.
This form of tourism as a broader scope in countries of large dimensions such as India, compared to smaller countries. From a geographical point of view, domestic tourism can range from local excursions, regional trips to national level travels.
On the basis of purpose of the tour or motives of the tourists, domestic tourism can be for (a) common interest tourism, (b) holiday tourism and (c) business tourism. As early recorded history provides a glimpse into ancient tourism activities, domestic tourism is in fact the ﬁrst form of tourism practiced (Archer, 1978).
It has been a well-established practice, happening in every country or region in the world. A strong relationship among tourism and visiting friends and relatives and religious pilgrimage has been found in countries with a long history of domestic tourism (Rogerson and Lisa, 2005).
On the contrary, mass domestic tourism has only recently emerged due to increased disposable income, introduction of labour rights associated with leisure and vacation, governmental policy about the deregulation of internal movement (Scheyvens, 2007).
While countries often tend to focus on international tourism due to revenue earned through exports, domestic tourism remains the leading form of tourism representing an important tool for regional economic growth and development (WTTC, 2016).
With over 50% of the global population now categorised as ‘middle class’ more and more people can afford to travel. Research suggests that domestic tourism demand peaks up at an income level of about 35000 US dollars, while international travel takes off at 50000US dollars.
In 2017, domestic tourism represented 75% of the total global tourism spend (971 billion US dollars). However, significant variations in domestic tourism contributions were observed in countries such as Brazil 94%, then 84% in India, Germany, Argentina and China; with China accounting for 62% of absolute growth in domestic tourism for the past ten years.
This growth has enabled China to climb from fourth position in 2008 to top position in 2017, overtaking the USA to become the largest domestic travel in the world (WTTC 2016).
The domestic market represents a great proportion of tourism demand in many regions all over the world (Amelung, Nicholls, & Viner, 2007); even for many countries domestic tourism has become more important than international tourism (Bigano et al., 2007).
Most of the studies are in favour of modelling and forecasting the international tourism market, while modelling domestic tourism demand has not received considerable attention in the past years (Eugenio-Martin & Campos-Soria, 2010).
One of the reasons may be the frequent lack of information on domestic tourism. In the analysis of tourism demand in general, the specification of determinants included in a model is very important. Several review papers indicate that tourism demand modelling and forecasting mainly focus on economic factors such as income, price and substitute price (Li, Song, &Witt, 2005; Lim, 1999; Song & Li, 2008).
However, apart from the effect of economic factors, there might be other important variables that affect tourism demand (Morley, 1992) such as non-economic factors. Among these non-economic factors, climate and weather conditions may be key variables for domestic tourism demand (Eugenio-Martin & Campos-Soria, 2010; Maddison, 2001).
It has indeed been found that tourists are sensitive to seasonality and to climate change (Lise & Tol, 2002; Maddison, 2001). For example, tourists may have to delay the chance to visit some interesting places or cancel outdoor activities if there is heavy rain or high wind.
Obviously, climate change will have effects on the relative attractiveness of destinations. Although the potential impact of climate and weather change on tourist flows is high, only a few quantitative studies have considered their role in tourism demand analysis and destination choice. For example, Hamilton and Lau (2004) and Lise and Tol (2002) argue that climate conditions have important effects on choice of destination.
The shortcoming of research on the effects of climate change on tourism demand may be due to the limited availability of data and a lack of variation in climate over the years (Amelung, Nicholls, & Viner, 2007).
According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) domestic tourism contributes 56 percent of Africa’s revenue from tourism with the other 44 percent comes from foreign tourists. Although African tourism adverts are targeted at foreigners, several African countries are experiencing a strong increase in domestic tourism, notably Rwanda, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania and Ivory Coast. E-commerce Company Jumia released a 2019 hospitality report on Africa with research conducted across 40 African countries. ‘‘Domestic tourism is already a reality. Africa has not been left behind when it comes to promoting both inbound and domestic tourism in particular. Between 1990 and 2000, both the number of tourists visiting Africa South of Saharamore doubled (Stock, 2004). Further, Stock (2004) provides that in 2000, 17.6 million visitors to Africa spent $6.6 billion, representing 8.4 percent export earnings.Africa‟s market share of global international tourism is projected to be five percent by 2020. South Africa, in a move to strengthen her stake in the global tourism market, notably put together information and packages on a range of different “affordable” holiday options, including city breaks, bush retreats, coastal getaways, and so on to market her tourism industry. (Rogerson and Visser, 2007). People are travelling more and more across their country and in the continent as well. For instance in Kenya, domestic tourism has been a key growth driver in the industry in the recent years with an increase by about 30 to 40 percent in 2018. Hence it is seen that the volume spent by the local traveller in Africa is higher than the international tourist even if the local travel spend per person is often lower. All the economy around tourism and travel represent 8.1 percent today of the African GDP which is great,’‘said Abdesslam Benzitouni, head of communication & public relations, Jumia. With over 1.1 billion Africans expected to be middle class by 2050. African governments need to invest in infrastructure, reduce local flight tax and create initiatives to promote new locations for local tourism. Similarly, previous studies in the tourism field have largely focused on existing customers and examined the reasons behind the destination choices of existing tourists. However, the understanding of why some people do not choose certain leisure vacations is limited (Hudson & Gilbert, 2000; Park & Petrick, 2009). Although not generating external earnings, it can contribute significantly to local economic development because domestic tourists typically purchase more locally produced goods and services than other tourists, thus supporting small-scale enterprises and the informal sector (Telfer and Wall, 2000). While tourism is generally subject to a range of global influences and events that can impact on its sustainability, domestic tourism is less sensitive to crises and less seasonal or fragile to external conditions which could limit continuous tourism development (Sindiga, 1996), thus portraying its advantages over international tourism. In addition, domestic tourism was found to be a more practical way of achieving local economic development than international tourism for some countries. Using as example China, Xu (1998) demonstrated that domestic tourism can result in more employment and income opportunities, an expanded private sector, and increasing social mobility. Furthermore, it is suggested that domestic tourism does not require extensive investment and change, as the international market could become a basic element for a socially and economically sustainable regional development. Domestic tourism is also more sustainable than international tourism, particularly for underdeveloped countries (Scheyvens, 2007). While some countries in the world are experiencing growth in domestic tourism, others are greatly affected by factors such as political, economic, social, technological and environmental, since the hospitality and tourism industry are characterised by continuous flow of people and their properties are seen as targets for potential harm to the safety of people (Henelly, 2009). Although Formica (2002) remarks that studies of destination attractiveness are limited, it may be suggested that negative image factors are easier to measure and monitor. This situation together with a drop in the GDP because of the pandemic Covid19, have greatly affected the domestic tourism of Cameroon. Though in Cameroon, domestic travel and tourism spending has substantially dropped since 2000 to 2019, it stood at a 4.5% slight increase at the end of 2019 (www.worlddata.info-Tourism in Cameroon). However, the constant fluctuations in domestic tourism in Cameroon can be attributed to factors such as political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal constraints which are impacting various sectors, among which the tourism industry, preventing its growth and development perpetually.
Domestic tourism has to do with the promotion of local tourism products and hence is an aspect of local tourism Blackstock, K. (2005). It is important in ensuring sustainability because the residents of that country already know the value of their touristic potential.
Many countries prefer focusing on international tourism than domestic tourism. Compared to international tourists, domestic tourists are more knowledgeable about the destination, its culture and custom, its language and food, and other general features, so they are more demanding for the quality of products and services (Pierret, 2011).
Tourism in general can greatly be affected by political instability, as is the case for Thailand and Afghanistan whose tourism sector have collapsed because of insecurity and instability (Crouch, 2012).
Also, we have same scenario in Cameroon for example in the Northern part of the country with Boko haram and kidnappings. Such situations have not favoured the growth of domestic tourism, since this part of the country makes up 56% of the touristic potential of the country (Laurea, 2012).
While in countries such as Malaysia where the living standards are high, people have more disposable income to undertake domestic tourism and promote their local economic development, in Cameroon, the economic crisis have not been an advantage for every industry, among which the tourism industry.
Because the prices of goods and services have increased, the monthly incomes earned tend to be limited to necessities, undertaking leisure trips is not a priority. In the sub-Saharan Africa, tourism is considered as one of the major sectors which can significantly contribute to the economic growth.
Yet this has not been realised by the relevant decision makers within the government (Markus, 2016). Meanwhile, Cameroon has enough touristic resources and is nicknamed ‘Africa in miniature, its touristic potentials is more explored by the international tourists than the domestic tourists.
According to a report from www.indexmundi.com international tourist arrival have been continuously increasing since 2000 to 2016 where it stood at 994000 arrivals, with the lowest count; 176000 in 2005.
These values are far greater than those of domestic tourism which have been witnessing a constant fluctuation in its growth since 1995 to 2017. It is only in 2019 that a slight increase by 4.5% was observed due to people becoming more and more aware of the importance of leisure trips.
This makes us to ask ourselves why with all these touristic potentials in Cameroons domestic tourism is not promoted enough. The country is endowed with variety of workers among which are civil servants who are more secured in their payments and can really plan and budget their trips but yet, the increase in domestic tourism is not considerable.
Looking at the Yaoundé V Municipality, there are many high standing quarters, urban quarters and low standing quarters. Most of these high standing and urban quarters are occupied by civil servants working in different services.
Yaoundé being an administrative town gathers a good concentration of civil servants well spread in accessible areas like the quarters of Yaoundé V; Ngousso, Mfandena, Djoungolo, which are close to the Centre of the town and thus many civil servants locate there to reduce transport cost.
If with all these touristic potentials, Cameroon is still not upgrading its domestic tourism, then we ask ourselves what is really stopping Cameroonians in general and civil servants in particular from practicing domestic tourism. Could it be linked to the instability of the country or the economic crisis or the covid19 pandemic or other social factors?
In order to achieve the above objectives, the following questions were formulated:
1.3.1 Main Research Question
What are the factors influencing domestic tourism among civil servants living in Yaoundé V municipality?
This main question was broken down into the following specific questions:
1.3.2 Specific research questions
- How regular do civil servants living in Yaoundé V practice domestic tourism?
- What are the major factors affecting the participation of civil servants living in Yaoundé V Municipality in domestic tourism ?
- What can be done in order to improve on these factors and promote domestic tourism?
1.4.1 General objective
The main objective of this research is to determine the factors influencing domestic tourism among civil servants living in Yaoundé V municipality
1.4.2 Specific objectives
The specific objectives include:
- To assess how often civil servants living in Yaoundé V municipality practice domestic tourism.
- To determine the factors influencing the practice of domestic tourism by civil servants living in Yaoundé V municipality
- To propose solutions to the stated problems