Cameroon’s Minister of State, Minister of Tourism and Leisure, Bello Bouba Maïgari has said government is determined to spa-re no effort in order to boost the tourism industry. In this regard, the Minister revealed that the law governing tourist activities and the tourism development strategy document is currently being revised besides investment incentives that have been enacted. Bello Bouba Maïgari made the pronouncement yesterday October 17 at the newly renovated Buea Mountain Hotel while officially opening the 38th annual congress of Africa Travel Association (ATA).
Minister Bello Bouba Maïgari who was representing the Prime Minister, Head of Government, disclosed that the measures are intended to significantly boost tourism and meet up with the expectations of ATA and American tourist who are increasingly getting interested in Cameroon. In order to do this, Minister Bello Bouba pointed out specific objectives set by government which include amongst others marketing of Cameroon’s tourist products, increase public and private investments in the tourism sector and develop partnership between Cameroon and American stakeholders.
In spite of Cameroon’s political stability, rich cultural and natural resources which make her an Eldorado of tourism, the Minister of Tourism and Leisure regretted, the tourist potentials are not fully exploited. He opined that it is important to transform the tourist potentials into innovative products which are likely to sell better in major international markets. The number of international tourists visiting Cameroon increased from 572,000 in
Earlier, the Executive Director of ATA, Edward Bergman commended Cameroon for its active role in ATA adding that the relationship between Cameroon and the Association has taken a greater dimension. The congress, Bergman went on, is timely as Cameroon is experiencing an impressive economic growth. ATA, he insisted, serves as a bridge between North America and Africa with the sole aim of increasing Africa destination, reason why the ATA organizes annual events in Africa. The ATA congress holding in Buea, according to the Executive Director will preview ways of both short and long-term benefits to Cameroon amongst which buying of Cameroon artifacts, visits to hotels and a change of perception of Cameroon which will inadvertently increase arrivals in Cameroon.
The Buea confab, is holding under the theme, “Cameroon, a destination to rediscover: Emerging products and Niche markets”. The congress that ends on 22 October has brought together more than 300 tourism stakeholders from across Africa and the United States of America including the Ugandan Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Hon. Agnes Akior Egunyu and the Zimbabwean deputy Minister of Tourism and Hospitality.