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This study was conducted to assess the role of tourism potential and development in Limbe II Municipality and see challenges which hinder these attractions from promoting sustainable tourism development and propose planning measures. In this light the objectives of the study were as follows: to examine the touristic attractions in the Limbe II Municipality, to assess the state of tourism development, to probe into the management challenges of tourism development, to propose planning measures to enhance sustainable tourism development in the Limbe II Municipality. To gain more insights on the subject matter of this work, a review of the literature was done and the models used for this study were the Butlers’ Tourism Area Lifecycle Model (1980) and Alternative Development Theory.

The target populations for this research are the council, tourism operators, residents and visitors in Limbe II Municipality. This study made use of stratified and random sampling techniques to select the respondents. To realize the study, both secondary and primary data were collected using different techniques. Questionnaires, as well as interview guides, were used as means of data collection. Quantitative data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 25 (SPSS). The qualitative data were analyzed using thematic content analysis. Descriptive and inferential statistical analyses were done clearly and logically.

The results were presented in the form of percentages and bar charts. Based on the findings, Mount Etinde, Mile 6 beach, hotels, beaches, the municipal restaurant, volcanic mountains, Omnisport Stadium, and cultural animation groups are some of the major touristic attractions in Limbe II Municipality. Some challenges faced are political insecurity, inaccessibility of some touristic sites, lack of information about touristic potentials, poor infrastructure, exploitation of touristic potentials, inadequate government, and poor management among others. Certain planning measures were made for various tourism stakeholders and they include Effectively and efficiently managing resources, improvement in communication, political stability, and government/private investments in tourism activities. Finally, the researcher made propositions for further study



1.1 Background to the Study.

We can trace the modern concept of tourism, from the 17th century to the present date, when young nobles from western and Northern European countries, made what was called the Grand Tour, a trip around Europe, usually covering France, Germany, Italy and Greece, with the main purpose of soaking up history art, cultural heritage, It was considered a perfect way to be educated.

 By the 18th century, this custom was widespread, among wealthier classes and it spread to other parts of the world, such as America. Similarly, religious pilgrimages that were already popular during the Middle Ages continued during this period.

The industrial revolution started in the second half of the 18th century, and produce a major economic, social and technological transformation that would spread to the rest of the world. As a result of these changes, the was an exodus to growing big cities, which needed labour for the new industries. Therefore new social classes appeared. Development in transport was also key.  The improvement in flights and passenger transport contributed to the birth of leisure, new forms of entertainment and travel. People travel mainly by train, taking advantage of the fact that railway networks connected the destinations in Europe and other parts of the world.

The 19th century saw the creation of the first travel agencies, one of the pioneers was Thomas Cook and sons, which were the first to offer excursions and holidays for groups, which included, transport accommodation and food tickets, thus making costs cheaper. This will be the origin of what we now know as package holidays.  In the first half of the 20th century, the tourism industry continues to grow, thanks to the mass production of buses and cars. Coastal tourism began to gain importance and after world war 11, the Mediterranean coast quickly grew in popularity. Also improvements in air transport as well as progress in labour legislation and growth in, social, welfare led to a boom, in tourism.

The tourism sector suffers a recession, during 1970, mainly due to the energy crises, leading to lower costs and prices. That’s when mass tourism emerges. Travelling went from being something only for an exclusive group to becoming a leisure activity within the reach of many.

 In the following decades, there was a progressive internationalization of hotel companies, travel agencies and airlines. New products and new leisure activities were also offered, revolving around sports and health, among others. Today the tourism sector has become one of the great economic engines of many countries, forming part of the international political agenda. In recent years with low-cost flights and the existence of alternative accommodation, managed by online companies, it is much easier for tourists to afford to travel and they can design their itinerary and experiences to their liking. Tourism not only impacts the local economy, but it also starts to affect the social structures, cultures and lifestyles of the destinations visited. Therefore the challenge now is to provide solutions by developing a tourism awareness that is respectful of the environment and the local way of living its inhabitants.

Since the end of world war 11, in 1945, the African tourism industry has boomed, as commercial airlines made travel faster and less expensive, and many more people could afford to make overseas visits. Tour companies developed and advertised package tours, or preplanned vacations, of a week or two in Africa. Tourists, come to Cameroon to enjoy a wide variety of experiences- from natural wonders to cultural landmarks. Ski resorts in the mountains of Morocco and Algeria attract tourists from the Middle East. Archaeological and historical marvels, such as Egypt’s Pyramids and the stone ruins of Great Zimbabwe, also draw crowds. The most popular countries for mass tourism have been South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. However, the operators of package tours now offer visits to more remote parts of Africa.

Tourism is a tool used to generate economic stability and if properly taken care of, it has the capacity for wealth creation and also empowers the people and generates employment opportunities. The sector has been the economy’s mainstay of many countries worldwide. The authors affirmed that many countries, such as France, Egypt, Greece, Lebanon, Israel, the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Thailand, and many island nations, such as Mauritius, Bahamas, Fiji, Maldives, Philippines and Seychelles are seriously reaping the benefits of this growing sector. The economic contribution of tourism as of 2011 was globally put at about $6.3million in GDP with about 200 million jobs directly created, thus, showing that the industry is contributing significantly to the service economy of the world with enormous potential for socio-economic development.

Tourism and hospitality are industries that heavily depend on human contact, with the sheer volume of traffic and increasing spending power has resulted in a rapid economic boom and also boosted the business travel market (Joffres et al., 2004). Tourism appears to many developing countries a promising source of economic development (Smith et al., 2003). Adventure tourism, given its emphasis on pure and pristine natural environments, lower barriers to entry for small businesses, and frequently reduced requirements for new construction, in particular, is promising for countries with lower levels of capital investment and existing infrastructure. In some places, it is already worth more, in terms of export revenues and share of GDP, than traditional commodity-based or manufacturing exports, and seems to offer employment opportunities, earning foreign exchange and encouraging investment and economic growth. Many developing countries, therefore, are prioritizing attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in their tourism sectors. However, this form of FDI is complex, and its dynamics and impacts are not well understood. Today, tourism is important to the economy of over 125 countries. Stating the benefits tourism can bring, a 2004 UN World Tourism Organization news release explained that tourism can al1eviate poverty through the creation of small and medium-size tourism businesses and as such raise “environmental, cultural and social awareness”. International tourism has become one of the world’s largest and most rapidly expanding economic activities and tourism has now become an important and dynamic sector of the economy in many countries, particularly developing countries that depend on primary exports like Cameron.

Traditionally, tourism was placed below manufacturing or agriculture in terms of economic development potential since it was not seen as a significant or appropriate source of growth (Walle, 1997). In contrast, today, there is a significant re-appraisal taking place, which values tourism as a potential means of earning export revenues, generating large numbers of jobs including for young people and women promoting economic diversification and a more service-oriented economy, helping to revive urban areas and cultural activities, and opening up remote rural areas. Adventure tourism, although not called out specifically in this study, clearly has an edge over other forms of tourism in its ability to attract young business entrepreneurs and in addressing specific consumer demands also values and rewards local cultures; A significant part of tourism’s development potential stems from the fact that it links together a series of cross-cutting activities involving the provision of goods and services such as accommodation, transport, entertainment, construction, and agricultural and fisheries productions. Its industry structure encompasses a wide diversity of players, ranging from global TNCs to MSMEs. This enables participation in the industry at different scales and levels of the market; On the other hand, tourism has its downsides like; vulnerability to external shocks economic, environmental and political; ability to create problems of its own such as social and economic costs to communities and the environment; potential low wages and a lack of good human resource development practices; and an association with an undermining of traditional values.

It has been discovered that in America, tourism served as an important source of tax revenue for local jurisdictions and this led to higher quality public services and lower local tax rates (Brown, 2009). Studies by scholars such as Rilley and Love (2000), Aniah et al. (2009) etc, have shown that tourism can be an important source of jobs creation and also offers business opportunities to residents as well as but it can serve as a firm to yield returns to start a business locally.

Tourism was also said to support local culture in rural areas by encouraging the restoration of local and regional historic sites and a relatively clean industry that fostered local conservation efforts. With the establishment of tourist attractions centres such as Bimbia Slave Port, in limbo, Mount Fako in Buea, Waza national park in the Far North Region, Bafut Palace Building, in the North West Region, Ekom-Nkam Falls, in the Mungo community traditional and found that while local people were generally happy with tourism development in their community, the motivation for their participation in tourism activities was more of community-driven than on their economy.

1.2  Statement of the Problem

Over the years in Limbe municipality, the ssouthwestregion of  Cameroon, there has been so much dependence on crude oil exports and the growth of, the nation has been subjected to whatever fluctuations that take place in the oil sector. To generate a stable growth rate, the economy would have to be diversified to minimize the impact of changes in the crude oil industry. For most of the last three decades, economic growth in Limbe Cameroon has been very unsteady; it is being driven majorly by the oil sector. The Discovery of oil has contributed to the negligence of other sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism. In this regard, Cameroon’s economy has been characterized as a mono-product or an economy that is faced with Dutch disease.

 More generally poor governance and corruption among other factors have been the cogs to the wheel of progress toward economic growth and diversification of Cameroon’s economy.

Given this, the government can increase production in the non-oil sector of the economy by creating a level playing field for private sector-led activity. The increased economic activity in the non-oil sector will support stronger and steady increases in real GDP growth. Such non-oil sectors identified to achieve this include; Agriculture and Agro business, Solid minerals development, manufacturing, Natural Gas and Tourism. Tourism is now viewed as one of the key sectors to achieving economic development in limbo, I Cameroon.

1.3   Research Questions

The following are some of the questions that this study intends to answer:

  1. i)  What are the contributions of the tourism industry to economic development?

  2. ii)  What are the contributions of the government to the tourism industry to ensure economic development?

What are the challenges facing the tourism industry towards economic development of limbe I municipality

  1. iv) solutions to the problems facing the tourism industry in limbe I Municipality

1.4   Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to investigate the importance of the tourism industry on the economic development of limbe I municipality. The specific objectives are:

To investigate the contributions of the tourism industry on economic development in Limbe I Municipality

  1. ii) To inquire about the contributions of the government to the tourism industry to ensure economic development in Limbe I Municipality

iii)     To assess the challenges facing  the tourism industry toward economic development


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