Gastronomic Tourism: Making Cameroon’s Destination Attractive
Following is the press release from the 19th session of the National Tourism Board.
“The Prime Minister, Head of Government, His Excellency Philemon Yang, this Tuesday, 4 December 2018, chaired the 19th session of the National Tourism Board (CNT) at the Prime Minister’s Office, on the theme “Culinary Excellence in Cameroon: A Factor of Attractiveness of our Destination”. Three items featured on the agenda: • A report on the execution of the resolutions and recommendations of the 18th session; • A statement by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development on the theme “The Agro-pastoral Stakes of Gastronomic Tourism”, • A statement by the president of the Union of Caterers for the Promotion of Cameroonian Cuisine (CRESPAC) on the theme: “Development and Promotion of Innovative and Distinctive Culinary Products”. Speaking after the introductory statement of the Prime Minister, Head of Government, the Permanent Secretary of the National Tourism Board presented a report on the implementation of the recommendations adopted during the eighteenth session, which revealed that the action of the various stakeholders have been intensified. These actions include: (i) the systematic monitoring of tourism establishments to ensure compliance with applicable standards, and (ii) the dissemination of information through the publishing of the directory of cultural events in Cameroon. He pointed out that local authorities received significant allocations for the development of different sites and the conduct of cultural and heritage initiatives. Furthermore, important measures have been taken to improve the quality of the urban and railway transport systems. The Board then listened to the statement by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development on the agro-pastoral stakes of gastronomic tourism. He presented the diversity of agricultural, pastoral, aquaculture and fishery products produced in Cameroon and the resulting cuisine as indisputable factors that attract tourists. The Minister further re commended some actions likely to contribute to the promotion of agro-tourism in our country. These include, among others, providing caterers with various ingredients and products, organizing agricultural and agri-food trade fairs, developing and protecting the geographic indications of foods. The floor was then given to the President of the Union of Caterers for the Promotion of Cameroonian Cuisine (CRESPAC) who gave an overview on the development of innovative and distinctive culinary products. After mentioning the main dishes of the various cultural regions, she focused on identifying the elements that underpin the peculiarity of local eating habits. She ended her presentation with a panorama of events that contribute to the popularization of local gastronomic specialties. Subsequent discussions allowed participants to address various issues related to the development of the tourism industry, including the protection and promotion of tangible and intangible heritage and the “Made in Cameroon” label. Following the discussions, the Prime Minister gave instructions to optimize the relevant proposals that had been made. The Board meeting was adjourned at 11.45 am after the resolutions and recommendations were adopted”.