Research Key

Recreational Tourism Development in Limbe: Challenges and Prospects

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Tourism and Hospitality Management 
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International: $20
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This study was aimed at evaluating recreational tourism development in Limbe: Challenges and Prospects in the case of the Limbe Municipality. The study was guided by four specific objectives which were:

To identify the various recreational potentials in Limbe, To asses how these recreational potentials have contributed to the development of recreational  tourism in Limbe, challenges faced in the development of recreational  tourism, and prospects solution to the problem.

Thematic-content analysis was used for open-ended/qualitative data responses. Data was collected from top management personnel and other workers from the attractions as well as tourist or individuals who visited these recreational attractions; 10 and 384 questionnaires were administered respectively giving a total of 394.

The findings showed that many of the workers as well as the tourists or individuals expressed dissatisfaction with the state of infrastructural facilities at recreational sites such as the Beach, the LBG, LWC, and Mbimbia Slave  trade center. 

Many of them stated that there is need for renovations, that the road is bad, the infrastructures are inadequate and lack modern technology and that the management is poor. However, despite all these, findings showed that while many of the workers and even some tourists said they are moderately satisfied with the infrastructural facilities, some of them said they are not satisfied at all.

Thus, it was suggested that there is need to carry on with renovation in these recreational attractions, building of more infrastructures, provision of finance, construction of a new fence and intensifying security and a host of others.



The word ‘tour’ is derived from the Latin word tornus, meaning ‘a tool for making a circle’. Tourism may be defined as the movement of the people from their normal place of residence to another place ( with the intention to return) for a minimum period of twenty-four hours to a maximum of six months for the sole purpose of leisure and pleasure.

According to WTO (1993)” Tourism encompasses the activities of persons traveling and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business, and other  purposes. Tourism can be classified into six distinct categories according to the purpose of travel. And they are as follows

1) Recreational: Recreational or leisure tourism takes a person away from humdrum ( boring, dull moments) of everyday life. In this case, people spend their leisure time at the hills, sea beaches, etc.

2) Cultural: Cultural tourism satisfies cultural and intellectual curiosity and involves visits to ancient monuments, places of historical or religious importance, etc.

3) Sports/Adventure: involves trips taken by people with the view  of playing golf, skiing and hiking, either participating or observing as way of gaining pleasure.

4) Health: Under this category, people travel for medical treatment and the use of health  care services or visit places where there are curative possibilities, example includes, hot springs, spa yoga, etc.

5) Convention Tourism: It is becoming an increasingly important component of travel. People travel within a country or overseas to attend conferences or meetings relating to their business, profession or interest.

6) Incentive Tourism: They’re holiday trips offered as incentive by major companies to dealers and salesmen who achieve high targets in sales as a way of motivating them.This is a new and expanding phenomenon in tourism. From the above definitions we will be focusing on recreational tourism since it’s our main area of study

 1.1 Background of Study

Historically, recreational tourism already existed in the classical world and, even earlier, in Egypt under the pharaohs. In the latter, there is evidence of journeys emanating from a luxury lifestyle and the search for amusement, experience and relaxation.

Tourists writings tell us that they visited famous monuments and relics of ancient Egyptian culture, including, for example, the step pyramid of Sakkara, the Sphinx and the great pyramids of Gizeh buildings that had been constructed a good thousand years earlier all in Egypt. 

According to Toirik (2009) tourist travelled to Delphi in Greek in order to question the Oracle, participated in the Pythian Games (musical and sporting competitions) or the early Olympic Games.

Herodot (485–424 B.C.), the well-travelled writer with an interest in both history and ethnology who visited Egypt, North Africa, the Black Sea, Mesopotamia and Italy, pioneered a new type of research trip.

According to Gosh (2002) classical Rome also gave impetus to recreational tourism as a form of holiday. Holiday travel became increasingly important due to the development of infrastructure.

Around 300 A.D., there existed a road network with 90,000 kilometers of major thoroughfares and 200,000 kilometer of smaller rural roads. These facilitated not only the transport of soldiers and goods, but also private travel.

Above all, wealthy travelers seeking edification and pleasure benefited from this system. The well-off Romans sought re-laxation in the seaside resorts in the South or passed time on the beaches of Egypt and Greece.

The classical world did not only have the “bathing holiday”, but also developed an early form of “summer health retreat” in swanky thermal baths and luxury locations visited by rich urban citizens during the hot months.

Something that had its origins primarily in healthcare soon mutated into holidays for pleasure and entertainment, which could also include gambling and prostitution. An early form and precursor of modern recreational tourism was the grand tour undertaken by young nobles between the 16th and18th centuries.

This possessed its own, new structures that were clearly defined by corporate status: the original goal was to broaden one’s education, mark the end of childhood and acquire social skills over time, leisure and pleasure became increasingly important.

On the one hand, this created the differentiated paradigm of recreational tourism “as an art” as individuals search for amusement and enjoyment. This also involved activities like race, sequence and contacts, not to mention the educational programmes.

Many tourists travelled with an entourage of equerries, tutors, mentors, protégés, domestic servants, coachmen and other staff. These provided for safety, comfort, education, supervision and pleasure in accordance with their specialized area of responsibility.

From England, the tours went on to, for example, France and Italy. Trips to the classical sites of Italy represented the highpoint of the journey, but large cities in other countries were visited:

London, Paris, Amsterdam, Madrid, Munich, Vienna and Prague had considerable drawing power. During the tour, the young aristocrats visited royal courts and aristocratic estates for, after all, one goal was to teach them the appropriate etiquette and social practice.

According to Tribe (2011) recreational tourism can be is the pursuit of leisure activities during one’s spare time and can include vastly different activities such as golfing, sport fishing, and rock climbing. Defining recreation as it pertains to tourism, however, is more challenging.

However, it can be divided into passive and active tourism. Passive tourism involves outdoor recreational activities, such as nature observation, hiking, and canoeing or kayaking, that require a minimum of facilities or development and that have minimal environmental impact on the recreational site.

While active tourism is a new travelling philosophy that combines adventure, ecotourism and cultural aspects of a discovery tour. It aims to combine recreation, education and bring benefits to both the tourist as well to the visited land.

Active Tourism has many aspects in common with ecotourism and nature tourism and it also integrates some activities of action and adventure tourism. Additionally it also includes some aspects of cultural tours and academic and scientific expeditions.

In Africa, early forms of recreational tourism can be marked out far back to the Roman occupation of Egypt. The Romans discovered the loss of Thebes and tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Followers of Islam and Christian missionaries also travelled widely in sub–Saharan Africa.

The geographical, historical, and cultural diversity of Africa makes it a region with vast prospective for economic development using tourism as a tool for diversification further than the main traditional economic events.

According to Synap (2014) by 2030, consumer spending on tourism, hospitality, and recreation in Africa is projected to reach about $261.77 billion, $137.87 billion more than in 2015.

Given these trends, the travel and tourism industry has significant potential in Africa, notably due to the continent’s richness in natural resources and its potential to further develop cultural heritage, e.g., music.

Aware of the potential for recreational tourism, most countries in the region have already drafted strategic plans to develop the sector as an economic opportunity and development catalyst.

For example, Gambia, Kenya, South Africa, and Tanzania are all putting significant efforts into advancing travel and tourism development. Botswana, Mauritius, Rwanda, and South Africa are working particularly hard to improve their business environment for recreational tourism investment.

Recreational tourism  in  Cameroon  has  been  shaped  among  other things  by  its history,  land,  economic and socio cultural  traditions. Cameroon is a land of tourist attraction, for lovers of adventure and culture including mountains, lakes, and seaside resort.

Cameroon  stands  out  with  an unaffected identity uttering  diversity and  stability,  modernity  and  traditions,  dynamism  and calm, at once. In short, the country concentrates all the beauties of Africa; which explains why people ponder that nobody could really discover Africa without having visited Cameroon.

The country is full of sentimental and contrasting views, which provide tourists with a unique sight. Cameroon commonly known as the Africa in miniature is blessed with diverse cultural and historical events.

The central and  western  parts  of  Cameroon  are  dominated  by  high  mountains  and Plateaus  respectively.  Both  the  western  range  and  the  Central  high  plateau  are  affected  by volcanic and tectonic activities giving rise to faults, volcanic cones and volcanic lakes.

The southern section of the country is dominated by a plateau which gently slopes to the east (Congo basin) but falls by steps to the Atlantic coast. Volcanic and tectonic activities affected this area too.

While the far North is dominated by the lake Chad Basin, its southern periphery is characterized by the River Benue Basin. The southern coastline region is rocky, cliffy and strewn with artifacts; rocky islets, dating from the early volcanic period. All these features have made the country a touristic attraction.

John (1995) opined that recreational tourism can act as a catalyst for physical development within the host region. Likewise, it brings a variety of social and cultural changes to host communities, and it promotes sustainable development.

Georgia for example, tourism is the state’s second largest industry and recreational tourism is its fastest-growing segment. Georgia is among the top 10 states in the country in recreational tourism visitation.

More travelers than ever are walking the historic streets of Savannah visiting the remnants of Native American culture exploring antebellum plantations learning about the Civil Rights Movement and discovering agricultural history around the state.

The historic and cultural resources associated with people, events, or aspects of a community’s past give that community its sense of identity and help tell its story. These resources are the most tangible reflections of a community’s heritage.

The recognition of an area’s historic resources can bring about neighborhood revitalization, increased and sustainable tourism, economic development through private investment, and citizenship building.

When communities’ travel-related entities partner with public or private organizations, the historic, cultural, and natural resources are more effectively promoted to meet the heritage traveler’s desire for an integrated and enriching experience hence, country like Hong Kong is still littered with reminders of its imperial past. Prisons, schools and parks bear the names of British monarchs. There are still public statues of them.

The islands harbor its hilly peak and a main road in the business district is named in honour of Queen Victoria. According to Eua (2000) almost all of the British colonial governors are remembered in street names and these places have continued to attract millions of tourists.

In Egypt, it has attracted a large number of tourists from various countries of the world, because of its fascinating beaches on the White and Red Sea that extend for about 3000 km, its Nile River extends from south to north, and its many desert and mountainous areas that provide fun and adventure for safari tourists.

1.2. Statement of the Problem

The present urbanization drive in most developing nations posed a major threat to most touristic and historical sites. As noted by Kendall (2007) “Urbanization accompanied modernization and rapid process of industrialization” consequent upon this, Bill and Hassan (1983) posit that, “traditional religious belief and cultural traits usually become less important as modernization takes hold”.

It is on this premised that major threat to recreational sites are noticed, as some of these colonial relics, and sacred tombs are gradually giving ways to urbanization in the form of residential and office building, roads construction, and other economic activities. Also, the Europeans and Africans cemetery is being threatened by the activities of the road transport construction workers.

Today, the increase inflow of tourists in particular destinations depends on the potentials offer by the area. The increase growth of tourists into an area like Limbe is due to the presence of it huge touristic potentials which promotes nature for recreational tourism that has actually brought about a lot of benefits to the town.

The historic town of Limbe offer different touristic potentials such as birds, animals and climate, soil, landscapes which has attracted most tourists both national and international as well as cultural activities. However, despites these touristic potentials, most the recreational facilities in the town still need much to be desired.

After taking notes of the touristic potentials of the city, the researchers observed that there exist a lot of infrastructural challenges such as low standard hotel and restaurants, poor transport network, financial constraints, managerial problems of sites, neglect of customs and traditions, urbanization and political instability.

Hence, this study is to examine recreational tourism challenges and prospects.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the various recreational potentials in Limbe?
  2. How effective are these recreational potentials in the development of recreational tourism in the Limbe municipality?
  3. What are the challenges faced in the development of recreational tourism?
  4. What are the proposed solutions to enhance recreational tourism?

1.3 Research Objectives

1.3.1 General Research Objective

This research seeks to investigate Recreational tourism development in Limbe municipality, Challenges and prospects for development

1.3.2 Specific Research Objectives

Specific objectives will seek to:

  • To identify the various recreational potentials in Limbe
  1. To assess how these recreational potentials have contributed to the development of recreational tourism in Limbe
  2. Challenges faced in the development of recreational tourism
  3. Proposed possible solutions to the problems
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