Introduction 1.1. Background to the studyTourismessentially entails the movement of people (called tourists or visitors), fromtheir routine places of work and residence to another (called a touristdestination), for the purposes of business, leisure and personal motives.
Theactivities they participate in during their stay in the destination, the typeof facilities and available services to provide for their needs, and for whichthe length of stay in the destination does not go beyond one year (UNWTO, 2014). Tourismcontribution in the cultural, economic and social wellbeing of a nation wasformally articulated during the Manila Statement in October 1980, where tourismwas recognized as a tool that can help eliminate the widening economicdisparities between industrialised and developing states (UNWTO, 1980).For many economies in both the industrialised and developing nations, tourism isa powerful tool for strong economic performance, creating jobs and bringingabout significant economic growth (WTTC, 2017).Matias, et al (2016) states that tourism produces a substantialamount of revenue, through income spent by visitors in the demand for tourists’facilities and services such as accommodation, food and drink, transportation,tours, entertainment services, excursions, air tickets, currency exchange, anda host of other assorted services. About twenty economies, mostly islandcountries, centredon tourism as the most prominent source of revenue. Seychelles and Maldives,are examples of the nations that strongly depend on tourism for economicexpansion (Lizzie, 2016).Apublication from the World Bank Group by Christie, et al (2014) show that African countries are endowedwith important tourism potential which if well harnessed and managed, wouldsubstantially add to the innovation and dramatic transformation of Africaneconomies. Tourism can contribute to significant economic growth, by promptingthe provision of infrastructure, the creation of employment, increasingdomestic spending, stimulating tourism-related investment, fuels theendorsement of national heritage, and raises environmental preservation.
Tourismis now considered to be a key pillar in the strategic framework for sustainableand inclusive growth in Africa. It can produce significant positive spilloversand positive externalities, which can energise the economy and foster growth(UNCTAD, 2016).According to WorldEconomic Forum (2015), tourism contributes to approximately 9% ofAfrica’s domestic product, while the sector has been forecasted to grow byalmost 5% in the next few years. Additionally, the OSSA (2016) reported that the African tourism sector is expandinggradually. The continent now claims approximately 5% of the number of globalvisitors and 3% of all tourism receipts. In 2014, the travel and tourism GDPfor Africa was up to $83 billion.
The tourism sector employs approximately ninemillion people, causing it to be one of the most prominent sectors foremployment in the continent. Duringthe last 10 years, there had been gradual increase to the total number ofvisitors to Cameroon. In year 2006, tourists in Cameroon amounted to 451.000,with a constant increase in the number of visitors in following years of822.
000 in 2014 (World Bank,2017). WorldTravel and Tourism Council (WTTC) tourism report for Cameroon, from 2007 to2016, shows a progressive increase in tourism’s share of Cameroon’s GDP. Thus,this suggests a correlation between increase in the proportion of Cameroon’sGDP produced by tourism and number of tourists.The WTTC 2017 report on ‘theEconomic impact of travel and tourism in Cameroon, indicate that in 2017, thedirect contribution of visitor exports amounted to 12.
4 percent of totalexports in 2016 and it is suspected to rise by 3.7 % and increase by 5.2 %yearly from 2017-2027. Tourism and Tourism Investment in 2016 was 3.
9 percentof the total investment and expected rise by 3.8 % in 2017. Also, 3.8 % yearlyfor the next 10years for a total of 2.2 % (WTTC, 2017).1.
2 Problem statementAs per thestandards of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), there is a directrelationship between income spent by tourists, and the proportion of tourism’scontribution to a country’s GDP. During thelast ten years, Cameroon has experienced a progressive increase in the numberof tourists (world bank, 2017).There had also being a noticeable increase in the proportion of Cameroon’s GDPgenerated by tourism, alongside this increase in the number of tourists to thecountry. Though there appear to be a positive correlation between the number oftourists and tourism-generated GDP, very scanty of studies have been conductedto establish the exact nature of this relationship. Also, previous literatureson tourism in Cameroon made little or no effort to find out whether tourism haslong-run relationship with the GDP of Cameroon.
This is important becauseunderstanding the exact nature of the relationship between tourism and GDP isvital as it enables a country to fine-tune its tourism development andmarketing strategies, in a way that is carefully adapted to meet tourism andeconomic objectives of the nation. For example, based on its revenueobjectives, a government can decide whether to attract many low-spendingtourists, or a small number of high-spending tourists. It is therefore the planof this research to empirically investigate the impact of tourism on the GDP ofCameroon, while controlling for other variables.
1.3 ResearchobjectivesThe objectives of this research workare:· Toinvestigate whether tourism has significant impact on the real GDP of Cameroon.· Toexamine whether there is any long-run relationship between tourism and real GDPof Cameroon.
This paper is further organized asfollows: section two provides literature review on the impacts of tourism onGDP. Section three deals with the methodology employed to model tourism impactin Cameroon. Section four follows with Data analysis and results discussion,while section five gives summary and conclusion.