Rendering Potentials More Productive

Unlike what some people ignorantly think, tourism is not aimless movement. Even if one were to accept that it is movement without an aim, the fruits that this sector have yielded annihilate this hypothetical thinking. Tourism in the real sense of the word and taking into consideration its contribution to national development has elevated itself to the rank of a serious industry. As an industry, it comprises the activities of persons travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business, or other purposes. The industry is vital for the success of many economies around the world as it is known to be a revenue booster, avenue for job creation, infrastructure development and enhancer of a sense of cultural exchange between foreigners and citizens. This year’s World Tourism Day, celebrated yesterday, September 27, had as focal point, “Tourism for Inclusive Growth”, a theme carefully chosen to tell the story of the contribution tourism can make to growth and development if well harnessed.
It was certainly with a marked degree of pride that Cameroon joined the international community to celebrate tourism as an industry. For a country that is endowed with so much tourists potentials, it was but quite normal to be part of the international banquet.  There is surely nothing wrong in celebrating a day as significant as this. The trouble however is that Cameroon with its enormous potentials has very little to show to the rest of the World. The reason is simple; the so-called potentials for which the country has been beating its chest remain far undeveloped. Potentials one would say, do not develop a country. The twin lakes of Kupe Muanenguba in the Southwest Region, the crater lakes of the Northwest, the beaches of Limbe and Kribi, and the natural features of the northern Regions just to name a few have no meaning if they are left fallow.
Some years back, it was all celebration when Cameroon obtained the status of a tourist destination. The feasting of course, could not be complete especially as the whole idea of developing the sector remained disappointingly low for the most part. All that it takes to make a country a real tourist destination leaves much to be desired. The government has been quite worried about this state of affairs, a worry that is not unfounded. The tourism sector is not and ought not to be the affair of government alone. The role of the government remains that of coordination and policy formulation. In effect, tourism is business that can be best handled by the private sector. Tourism begets infrastructure development, services such as hotels, restaurants, transportation, and sports among others. As an activity that has a direct impact on the revenue of the State, it however remains imperative for the State to ensure its development and enhance all efforts aimed at boosting it.


 

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