Role of Recreational Facilities in the Promotion of Tourism in Limbe II Municipality
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This chapter presents the background of the study, the problem statement, research questions which are sub-divided into general question and specific questions, research objectives, further broken down into general objective and specific objectives, research hypotheses, scope of the study, significance and operational definition of terms.
- Background of the Study
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the urban working classes in Europe started to demand access to the countryside to escape the slums(Sun &Uysal, 1994). In 19th century, railways made remoter areas accessible to the masses. National park movements developed to protect scenery while encouraging access.In the 20th century, especially post-war, improved roads and mass car ownership made further areas became available and the boom in cheap air travel made visiting places even further afield much easier (Sun &Uysal, 1994).The development of parks and recreational areas during the Middle-Ages (13th to 15th) saw the need to enclose cities within protective walls thereby necessitated building within a compact area that left little for public gardens or sports areas.
Following the Restoration period in England (1660-1685), Hyde Park and St. James Park became fashionable centers for promenading by the upper classes and during the early afternoons(Kozak, 2003). Varied amusements were provided by the parks: wrestling matches, races, military displays, fireworks and illuminations on special occasions. Aristocrat merchants and tradesmen all rode drove carriages and strolled in the parks. Horse racing, lotteries and other forms of gambling became the vogue. Among the lower classes, taste in entertainment varied according to whether one lived in the country or city. Countrymen continued to engage vigorously in such sports as football, cricket, wrestling and enjoyed traditional country or Morris dancing and the singing of old folk songs (Metz, 2000). Some of the sports invented in England are Soccer, Cricket, Tennis, Golf. These sports have played a major role in the Britain economy with the premier league being the most watch if not the best league in the world.
In North America and the United State recreation and leisure began as early as the 19th century with the USA having a recreation movement with the city’s own bathhouses functioning as early recreation centres(Dallen 2009,). The Americans in the 19th century had social clubs, museums, concerts and even toy theatre which we know today as puppetry, all of which served as important American past-times of daily life and in many instances, are still part of their culture and keep the US citizens amused and entertained today. In 1972, the US congress established two National Recreational Areas (NRAs) in urban areas as the first urban national parks: Golden Gate NRA in the San Francisco Area and Gateway NRA in New York City both with beaches, historic military sites, and natural conservation areas. The first sporting activity in America was the “lacrosse”. Jesuit missionaries from France saw hundreds of native men playing a ball game with sticks that they thought resembled a bishop’s crosier, so they call the game “Lacrosse”. That makes Lacrosse the oldest sport in America and in the 21st century it has become the fastest growing sport in the USA. Today, National Basketball Association also known as NBA is the most played and watched sports in the USA(Dallen, 2009).Some example of popular recreational facilities in the USA today that have meaningful impacts on tourist development are the FOLLYBeach, Minnesota originals up North, the beach of Florida, the Hawaii and Alaska.
In Asia, recreation and leisure started as far back as 1900 BC, in the Vedic age, during the era of Ramayana & Mahabharata. Men of status and honour were expected to be competitive in sports like Archery, horsemanship, wrestling, weight-lifting, swimming and hunting. Some of the recreational activities that originated from India are Chess, also known as Ashtapad, judo and karate, Polo and ludo just to name a few. Today, India is one of the best cricket playing teams in the world and it has very beautiful facilities in the form of the JakdumMonasin Stadium, that host a lot of cricket lovers around the world.Some example of popular recreational facilities in Asia today that have meaningful impacts on tourist development are : the Museum of Wander in malysia, the Komodo National Park in the town of Labuan Bajo in flores Island Indonesia, and the Salt farm and BanteayChhmar Temple in Cambodia.
Early forms of tourism in Africa 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.
Over the past half century, tourism has developed into one of the world’s most influential, so
far controversial, socio-economic forces. As ever, bigger numbers of people have reached the
ability, means, and freedom to travel, not only has tourism become increasingly
democratized but also both the scale and scope of tourism have developed inevitably.The Egyptians made domestic gardens and temple gardens. The Assyrians also made hunting parks and the Greeks added public gardens, as meeting and market places protected within city walls. The Romans continued to make public meeting places, but the other three types of park became fused in the imperial villa and its progeny. Roman palace gardens, such as those made by Hadrian and Diocletian, merged the historic objectives of park-making. Parks were made for domestic pleasure, for exercise, for hunting, for the fine arts and for celebration of the emperor’s godlike status. As such, they became models for Renaissance villas.
Thegeographical, 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. The region remains unarguably the most pitiable on all
economic and human development documents. The colonial era laid the grounds for nature based tourism in forms of several safaris in east and southern Africa. Nevertheless, culturaltourism is a very important element of current tourism in Africa in spite of the comparativelysmall-sized companies compared with other regions, as well as the size of the continent(Dallen&Gyan, 2009, 170.)
The sub-Saharan Africa’s tourism potential is essentially unfulfilled, this can attributed to basic transport network, the common poor organizational framework, and the little level of industry development of most countries, however, some African countries have identified tourism as an area for expansion to attract foreign currency.
As the Renaissance period began, European town planning was characterized by wild avenues, long approaches, handsome buildings, and similar monumental features. The nobility decorated their estates elaborate gardens, some of which were open to public use as in Italy at the end of the thirteenth century. There were walks and public squares, often decorated with statuary. In some cases, religious brotherhoods build club houses, gardens and shooting stands for archery practice that were used by town people for recreation and amusement.
Gradually, the concept that city governments should provide recreation facilities programs and services became widely accepted. By 1906, 41 cities were sponsoring public recreational programs and by 1920, the number was 465. More and more states passed laws authorizing local government to operate recreational programs and between 1925 and 1935 the number municipal recreation buildings quadrupled. Municipalities were also discovering new ways to add parks. Many acquired outside their city limits, while others required that new real estate subdivision plans include the dedication of space for recreation. Some cities acquired major park properties through gifts. The pattern that began to develop was one of placing a network of small, intensively used play grounds though out the cities, particularly in neighborhoods of working-class families and placing larger parks in outlying areas. The number of recreation sites has expanded at a rapid rate over the years, with eight times as many sites as in the 1980s and often entirely new types of locations (Metz, 2000).
Recreational sites and tourism development interrelate in one way or the other. Recreational sites are an integral part of physical infrastructure which is an indispensable pillar of overall economic and tourism development this can be seen in the situation where the activities carried out in the recreational sites by the tourists turn to contribute to tourism development in cities. (Khadaroo and Seetanah inJafari and Xiao, 2016). As such, we have parks located in London such as the Green Park, Hyde Park and Crystal Palace Park which the activities carried out the park has brought about tremendous change and increase in tourism development in London. As such, we have gardens such as the Monet’s Garden in Giverny, France, the Kylemore Abbey Garden in Connemera which has increased tourism activities hence contributing to tourism development in Ireland (Khadaroo and Seetanah in: Jafari and Xiao, 2016).
Recreational sites have played a great role in the development of cities and towns such that they increase tourism development as Parks and recreation space serve as a hub of social activity in a community and people will often spend money when they gather together. Restaurants and businesses located near the recreational sites report an increase in customers when games or event are held in these facilities (Kozak, 2003).
Tourism in Cameroon, as we discover it today has been shaped among other things by its
history, land, economic and socio cultural traditions. Cameroon is one of the developing
countries in the world; full of natural scenes and tourist attractions but due to deficiency ofresources, it is unable to completely benefit from these natural gifts. Cameroon is a land oftourist attraction, for lovers of adventure and culture including mountains, lakes, and seasideresort. Like the majority of African countries. Nevertheless, Cameroon stands out with anunaffected identity uttering diversity and stability, modernity and traditions, dynamism andcalm, at once. In short, the country concentrates all the beauties of Africa; which explainswhy people ponder that nobody could really discover Africa without having visitedCameroon.Tourism has become the fastestdeveloping industry in Cameroon as a result of the fact that Cameroon commonly known asthe Africa in miniature is blessed with diverse cultural and historical events.
The South West Region is a place of such beauty with the mount Cameroon being the highest Mountain in central Africa. This provide it environment with the opportunity to be a touristic site and Limbe happens to be a beneficiary of this opportunity.
Recreational facilities are known for their beautiful environment and attractiveness; as a result, they are known to be at the fore front of tourism development in any city or nation of the world. In Cameroon, there are many recreational facilities that have had great impact on tourism development in the country. A good example is the kribi and its beach which is well known to have had a great impact on tourist attraction, destination and tourism development. This is not the case with Limbe II which has a lot of recreational facilities such as the Fini Hotel, Eze 1 Restaurant, Musango Beach Hotel, , Labban beach hotel, Macsons Hotel, Ominisports Hotel and Splendeur Hotel just to mention a few. With all of these facilities, one will expect that tourism development in Limbe II should be at its peak however, this is not the case, since recreational facilities in Limbe II have not sufficiently impacted on tourism promotion. Abandonment of some recreational facilities like Krata Junction Resort, lack of renovations as the case with Labban Beach Hotel, inadequate promotional strategies and outreach programs, and political instability, while some recreational facilities like DH Etuide are yet to be exploited for recreation and tourism.
Cameroon being the host of the AFCON2022, meant an addition of recreational facilities nationwide and Limbe II saw the addition of new recreational facilities in the municipality such as the Omnisports Hotel, the Ngeme Stadium, Musango Beach Hotel, Limbe Lodge, and Villa Lanita amongst others. The expectation therefore was that, these recreational facilities should have a positive impact on tourism development.
Despite these recreational facilities in Limbe II municipality, tourism development remainstimidly low. These recreational facilities have failed to meet this expectation and have left one to wonder why it is so.It is as a result of this phenomenon that this study seeksto develop a frame work through which recreational facilities will provides possibilities to promote tourism in Limbe II municipality.
Based on the problem statement, this study seeks answers to the following research questions:
What is the potential of recreational facilities in tourism promotion in the Limbe II Municipality?
- What are the distinguishing features of recreational facilities in the Limbe II Municipality?
- How are recreational facilities in Limbe II impacting on tourism promotion?
- What are the challenges plaguing the management of recreational facilities inLimbe II Municipality?
- What are strategies necessary for upgrading recreational facilities in Limbe II Municipality?