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 Government plays an important role on the success of its local tourism industry. Its safety, however, has become a major concern to the food industry given that the consumption of contaminated food and water contributes to a myriad of health problems the world over. Although food prepared and served at the restaurants may look clean and taste delicious, it may have been contaminated by biological, chemical or physical hazards during the preparation procedures from the source through to service. Food workshops (kitchens) are viewed as the major sources of contaminations from poor sourcing and handling practices which include undercooking, poor personal hygiene, and use of unclean equipment, inappropriate storage and incorrect holding temperatures. Despite extensive investment in training of food handling personnel, food-borne diseases remain a contentious problem to both developed and developing nations. This study was designed to examine “Effects of Food safety and Hygienic practices in the operations of hotels and restaurants in Buea”. From the main Research Objective, three specific research objectives were formulated which were; to assess the level of awareness of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points, establish the level of implementation of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points system in hotels and restaurants, barriers to food safety and hygienic principles in hotels and restaurants. The methodology of the study employs a survey research design with a questionnaire for customers with close and open-ended questions and an interview guide for management and staff. Accordingly, the target population included customers, staff and management of the sampled hotels and restaurants. The instruments used to collect data were questionnaires, interview and photographs. Both descriptive and inferential statistical techniques were used to analyze the quantitative data analysis whereas qualitative data was analyze through thematic-content analysis. Analysis of quantitative data in SPSS employed the use of descriptive statistical techniques including: frequency tables, percentage analysis and charts to present the distribution of subjects/indicators. As for the inferential statistical techniques, measures of association using the non-parametric correlation (the Spearman rank correlation coefficient) was adopted to test the underlying hypothesis of the study that Food safety and hygienic practices have a significant effect on the operations of hotels and restaurants in Buea. Results of the statistical test revealed that there is a weak (r = 0.057) and insignificant (P value 0.506; >0.05) positive relationship between the independent and dependent variables. Hence, the null hypothesis is rejected in favor of the alternative hypothesis (H1) which states that ‘Food safety and hygienic practices have a significant effect on the operations of hotels and restaurants in Buea.’



1.1 Introduction

This chapter delineates the background of the study of the influence of government regulation on tourism performances in Limbe; problem statement, research questions and specific objectives of the study, research hypothesis, significance of the study, assumptions, the delimitations and limitations of the study. The following chapter 2 reviews the literature relating to the main concepts, including theoretical framework borrowed by the study. Chapter 3 presents the methodological approaches carefully selected in the current research project and outlines how the author engaged with relevant ethical issues within the research project. Chapter 4 provides the results of this study which are presented following objectives of the study. Chapter 5 concludes by expanding the discussion of the findings and provides recommendations base on field study

1.2 Background

Governments play important roles on the success of its local tourism industry, as well as have a strong influence in conserving its resources. Vital to this approach is the contribution of a full range of stakeholders and the community in planning and decision making in order to determine the community’s long-term interest. On this basis, the local government can have a profound influence on the local tourism industry, and plays a part in conserving the very asset on which its future depends (Okoli, 2001). Government regulatory framework, in tourism is defined as those elements that are policy related and generally under the purview of the government (Okoli, 2001). It is a series of steps taken by the government to develop responsive actions in the tourism industry to foster performance of the tourism industry. It explains various laws, regulations, decrees and policies officially developed and approved by the government, for the purposes of regulation (Lester et al, 2000). Regulatory framework is an accountability mechanism: a method by which the regulator accounts for the responsibilities conferred upon it (Okoli, 2001). It also means the regulations, decisions, directives, regulatory policies, guidelines, recommendations and procedures made by the authorities from time to time including, any revisions or amendments made to fore see the growth of tourism and hospitality enterprises (Okoli, 2001).

The main task of state policy in the field of tourism is to implement the interests of the local population and all subjects of the tourism industry through mutual agreement (Williams, 2003). At the target level, policy interests are determined and implemented by government agencies in conjunction with other structures (Lester et al, 2000). State regulation of tourism the aims at conceptual reflection of role and place of tourism in human life and society which is based on public consent and definition of priority directions of tourism development. The regulation of inbound and outbound tourism, developing local and state programs, legal, financial, personnel and information security constitute state role in Tourism (Williams, 2003). The concept of state regulation is developed taking into account two factors: provide for national interests that are determined by each state independently in accordance with the economic, political, social and other circumstances that take place in the country’s economy, the political environment, tourism potential, the level of infrastructure development and the influence of other factors.  Government also has a role to play in international agreements, areas of international cooperation, regulatory and legal conditions that ensure the right of tourists to free movement within her national territory, defining the tasks and role of the state in the development of domestic and international tourism, taking into account environmental, socio-cultural and safe conditions to encourage overall performance within tourism organizations (Williams, 2003).

Government regulations in tourism have increasingly become vital for both developed and developing countries that wish to employ tourism in their local, national and regional developmental strategy. To ensure its effectiveness, it is important to emphasize on the process of policymaking, planning, implementation and monitoring, which are habitually the major barriers to successful tourism development if not considered (O’Toole, 2016). Hall, (1994) also argues that the tourism policy process is established on the type of government, its political determination to develop tourism, the structure of tourism organizations and the stage of the development of the tourism industry which will have an influence on the organizational performance.

In the developed nations especially, within the European Union tourism is of national and regional competence. The Member States and their regions have full authorization to implement their respective tourism policies. Therefore, the European Union has only feeble competences in tourism as stated in the Lisbon Treaty of 2009. Due to this treaty, the European Union is able to support, coordinate or supplement the actions of the Member States in the field of tourism. The adoption of common rules is possible in other policy areas related to tourism in which the EU has exclusive or shared competencies with Member States (in areas of transport and consumer protection). All policies and initiatives established by the European Union in regard to tourism can be implemented voluntarily by the Member States (EU, 2006). After the Lisbon Treaty came into force, the European Commission prepared an EU tourism strategy which declares the main objectives of the EU tourism policy. Additionally, the Commission launched various projects and initiatives to provide (mostly financial) support for tourism in the (EU, 2006). The European Parliament has also worked on a number of tourism issues, providing input to the EU tourism strategy and adopting, together with the Council, different legislative acts in areas related to tourism. The Parliament has also organised several public hearings on tourism. The EU has therefore taken a wide range of measures in the field of tourism, which also take its sustainable development into account European Commission. (2006).

 In Kenya, the existing Government regulatory regime of the tourism sector in Kenya has developed and evolved over the years. The Government’s first stint at regulating the tourism sector dates back to 1965. This is the period when the tourism sector attracted the attention of the government and was included in the first National Development Plan of 1965-1970 (GoK, 1965). To this end, it’s Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife was created in 1966 as the main policy making organ of the state in tourism and wildlife matters (GoK, 1965).  This was closely followed by the enactment of the Tourist Industry Licensing Act (TILA) in 1968 (GoK, 2009). Thereafter, the Hotels and Restaurants Act (HRA) was enacted in 1971 (GoK, 2009). However, all these Acts were later repealed by the Tourism Act of 2011 which provides for the development, management and regulation of sustainable tourism and related activities in Kenya (GoK, 2011).

In Cameroon, Government programmes to increase tourism in Cameroon began on 3 December 1974 when President Ahmadou Ahidjo issued an Order that set the tourism industry aside as having special status and established the General Commissariat of Tourism. On 28 June 1975,president Ahidjo reconstituted the body as the General Delegation for Tourism, whose purpose was to encourage private investment by airlines, hotels, and travel agencies. The delegation publishes tourist literature and publicises Cameroon through advertising. Ahidjo and his successor, Paul Biya, have set aside several game and forest reserves as further touristic draws. Improving air, rail, and road transportation to popular tourist sites has been a priority (Hudgens, Jim, and Richard Trillo, 1999).These laws and policies have been developed and they have extent to which the policy supports tourism business investments. For instance Law N° 2019/016 of 24 December 2019 to authorize the President of the Republic to ratify the amendments of the statutes of the World Tourism Organization, adopted since its establishment in Mexico on 27 September 1970. Again the law n° 94-01 of 20th January 1994 to lay down forestry, wildlife and fisheries regulations in Cameroon and its texts of application in order to safe guard tourism activities and ensure its smooth functioning. With the development and institution of these laws Regional Delegate and Divisional Delegation were created to see into the implementation of both national and international convention policies that regularizes tourism activities in the country (Hudgens, Jim, and Richard, 1999). Limbe  Subdivision being a town blessed with diverse tourism potentials is not left out of Government plans in promoting tourism activities, with its divisional delegation of tourism and leisure present, tourism activities have been making significant contribution to the growth of the town.

1.3 Statement of Problem

Generally, the Government of Cameroon have developed different policies and regulations adopted from international convention to foresee the smooth functioning of the tourism industry particularly in Limbe but as suffered from, lack of evaluation of tourism policies

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