ASSESSMENT OF TOURIST ACTIVITIES AT DEBARCADERE BEACH IN KRIBI OCEAN DIVISION
|TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT|
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|MS Word & PDF|
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This study seeks to assess tourists’ activities at Debarcadere Beach in Kribi for the promotion of sustainable tourism.
Specific objectives of the study were: to identify the potentials of the beach and determine the most dominant activity at the beach, assess the level of development of each beach activity, examine the problems faced by the beach users and propose measures to alleviate the situation to ensure the sustainability of the beach.
To realise the study, both secondary and primary date were sourced, using questionnaires, reconnaissance survey and the review of documents. The former was administered to tourists at the beach.
Data were analysed using nominal measurements, notably in frequencies and percentages. These were accompanied by graphical analysis.
Results show that the Debarcadere beach has a gamut of natural and human tourist potentials that could leverage the development of sustainable tourism, if well manage.
The natural tourist potentials include: the beautiful shingle deposits with their characteristic yellowish-brown colour that show that they originate from the weathering of the metamorphic rocks of the South Cameroon Low Plateau, transported and deposited in the region, Impounding constructive waves, condusive climate, a vast shoreline that offers avenue for beach recreational activities like swimming, jogging, volleyball and football and some mangrove vegetation that offer shading or oasis effect.
The human tourist potentials include statues like the ‘‘Mammy water statue’’, light house, artifacts and modern fish bank. Majority of the population (94%) strongly agreed that beach activities contribute to the socio-economic development of the beach. 40 % attest that swimming is the most dominant activity at the beach while 64% positif pollution it curbed,
it will go a long way to preserve the activities at the beach and enhance beach refurbishment. It was observed using Correlation analysis that tourists’ perception of Debarcadere Beach is impacted by the activities. To enhance the sustainability of the beach, a plethora of recommendations have been proposed.
Beaches provide many recreational opportunities for millions of people. Boating, fishing, swimming, beachcombing, bird watching, playing and sunbathing are among the common activities beachgoers enjoy.
Beaches provide protection to residents living near the ocean by acting as a buffer against the high winds and waves of powerful storms or rough seas and they also play an important role in the economy.
Spending time at an ocean beach is one of the fastest-growing nature-based outdoors. Beach tourism is one of the best types of tourism because it gives high income to a place and it attracts more tourists.
The Best for beach tourism category seeks to demonstrate that all kinds of tourism can and should be run with communities and the environment in mind. This category will shine a light on beach holidays that conserve beach environments and respect local communities.
Beach tourism like other sectors of tourism generates both positive and negative impacts on the environment and the quality of the environment, which is both natural and man-made, is essential to tourism, notwithstanding its complexity.
Beach tourism is one of the earliest modern forms of tourism. This kind of tourism at coastal resorts is often considered to result from an inevitable attraction to the beach, but the relationship is one in which tourism and leisure are an inherent part of the formation of the desirability of beaches.
As a resort-styled destination, the beach is almost synonymous with the makings of modern tourism. This is partly because the beach as a desirable pleasure space did not become notable until the 19th century, following the defeat of sentiments of danger and strangeness through its gradual reinvention as a coastal resort and playground for pleasure(Travis, 1993).
Although pleasurable beaches have become naturalized and seemingly inevitable, they were developed through distinctly modern principles and rules of engagement. Cautionary tales of the sea and coast have a longer history than modernity and modern forms of travel.
Today’s taken-for-granted coastal attraction was inconceivable as little as 200 years ago and depended on cultural processes that demystified coastal areas, first as medicinal havens for the wealthy in the early development of popular resorts, for example the Judeo-Christian coast was always the result of catastrophe, a remnant of ruination caused by the destructive force of the Biblical flood, in the era of Noah, the sea was a mysterious and dangerous place, unknown and unknowable, sporadically delivering havoc on land that was completely alien to it, continued to align the beach with danger and undesirability.
This incited distrust and fear until the Enlightenment, challenging both of these, marked the beginnings of a modern system of appreciation of beach(Hunstman,2001).
People were able to relate to the sea in a rational as well as romantic way, the latter most notable through the aesthetic of the sublime. Sublimity and science opened up a beach that became both safe and poetic, setting the stage for what we recognize as beach tourism today the appeal of the beach as a place of pleasure and also experiences was able to develop.
The restless movement of the sea served as a reference point to its unpredictable and tempestuous nature that, crucially, formed the basis of excitement that propelled the allure of the beach as a space for reinvention, rejuvenation, and recreation.
Before this, the earliest developments of beach tourism began as a form of health tourism as people were drawn out from rapidly urbanizing hinterlands towards the sea. By the mid-18thcentury, the “seaside,” as a comparatively tamed version of the coast, was attracting wealthy patrons to the curative properties of salt water and sea air.
They, and their entourages, brought with them a set of expectations that developed opportunities for the provision of services and entertainment in coastal places.
New tourist practices and trends are now pushing the limits of beach tourism in the opposite direction, developing complementary hinterland attractions, including rural, culinary, and wine tourism as well as increasingly developing attractions “out to sea.”
This expanded horizon of pleasure beyond the litoral zone exploits the increasing willingness of tourists to immerse in undersea environments and encounter new innovative leisure attractions, including underwater museums, art galleries, restaurants, and hotels. Coastal hinterlands are also being drawn on to differentiate the limitations of the resort model by expanding the destination offerings to include adjacent cities or rural areas and diversify the tourist product(Demars,1979).
At the same time, coastal areas are increasingly attractive to the competing interest of residential development as beachfront property vies for a space on the coast and with this, exclusive rights to adjacent beachfront areas.
In these cases, tourist resorts are often regarded as unruly and unwanted catchments for undesirable behavior with detrimental environmental and cultural impacts.
The prominent beach tourist destination in the world are listed below, although many have multiple role and do not fit neatly into a well-defined category.
They are:Whitehaven Beach in Australia,Lanikai Beach in Hawaii,Horseshoe Bay in Bermuda, Cayo Coco Beach in Cuba, Bávaro Beach in Dominican Republic,Boulders Beach in South Africa Bournemouth Beach in United Kingdom, Pink Sands Beach, Bahamas,Ao Nang Beach in Thailand,Playa Paraiso Beach in Mexico, Dreamland Beach in Indonesia,Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos,White Beach inBoracay, Philippines, Sunset Beach North Island, Seychelles, Blue BeachinVieques, Puerto Rio,Banana Beach, Koh Hey (Coral) Island, Phuket.
All the beaches named above have been developed for tourism. In Cameroon, only few beaches exist in Kribi, Douala, Tiko, Limbe, Idenau, and EkondoTiti. Debarcadere beach in Kribi is the beach of interest in this study.
Debarcadere Beach at Mboa Manga in Kribi that once appeared as a main tourist destination is currently facing a downward trend or decline. The beach is plagued with a good number of problems that are occurring in different intensity or magnitude.
Firstly, some tourist activities are taking place at Debarcadere Beach, but little has been done to ensure their sustainability and the protection of the tourists.
Secondly Kribi is one of the main tourist destinations in Cameroon, resources have not been fully allocated to the development of beach tourism. This is evident at Debarcadere which is suffering from abandonment.
Beaches are known to generate tourist revenue and to leverage socio-economic development in coastal areas if properly developed and managed but the situation of Debarcadere Beach is a contrast.
Although the beach is under CECOPAK and the Ministry of Tourism and Leisure, it rather appears as a common property resource. As such, there is little or no coordination of activities and most of the sites are not fully developed.
For instance, there is no coast guard or swim master as in other beaches like the Acapulco bay and Miami in the U.S.A, or Seme Beach in Limbe Therefore, tourists are exposed to various forms of risks.
Likewise, the little enforcement of beach management strategies by CECOPAK has exposed the beach to various forms of threats like erosion from tidal incursion/climate change and pollution.
All of these are affecting tourists activities in Debarcadere Beach. Another issue of concern is that there is a poor coordination. The outcome is that there is financial leakage or poor accountability
and unsustainable practices. Although Kribi have many beaches such as: Lobe beach, Koppar kabana beach, Grand Batanga beach, Debarcadere beach and Longi beach. But this study is focus only on Debarcadere Beach.
- What are the potentials of Debarcadere Beach?
- What are the different types of activities carried out at the Beach?
- What is the level of development of each of the activity?
- What are the problems faced by Debarcadere Beach in the promotion of recreational and leisure tourism?
- How can the problems be resolved?
- The main objective of the study is to assess tourists activities at the Debarcadere Beach and propose recommendations to enhance the sustainability of the beach.
- Identify the potentials of the beach and determine the most dominant one.
- Assess the level of development of each beach activity.
- Examine the problems faced by the beach users.
- Propose solutions that may go a long way to ensure the development of sustainable tourism at the beach.
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