Now, not only was this an intimate way to meet people that are equally interested in the country, but it was a fantastic learning experience about an up and coming destination that is working hard to gain our support. There’s no better way to learn than from the people that know the land, and are well placed to share their passion with new-comers like myself.
With a group of around 60 attendees and a well-run question and answer session, there was plenty of opportunity to identify the potential for the country and hear first-hand about the challenges that the country in West Central Africa is working hard to overcome.
After the introductions has been made, His Excellency Mr Nkwelle Ekaney, High Commissioner of Cameroon, explained a little about the history of the country and the main priorities as it develops.
- Safety and security of tourists is high on the agenda, all tourists to the country are open to contact the Ministry for an introduction to the country and support during their visit.
- An improved communications infrastructure is being developed, particularly for internet access.
- Quality of accommodation – hoteliers such as Sofitel have already invested to accommodate tourists in the main cities, but this is an ongoing development for other parts of the country to ensure that adequate facilities are available for the increased footfall at an international standard.
- The tourist board is striving to increase accessibility to the country with a growing number of airlines that fly to Cameroon. Airlines such as Ethiopian Airline, South African Airways, Air France and Brussels Airlines already depart from London.
- The diverse socio-cultural landscape of the country provides a suitable climate for seaside, business, cultural city breaks and mountainous terrain for the adventurous. There is literally, something for everybody.
Did you know….
- Cameroon has a population of around 20 million people and attracted 572,000 tourists in 2010, 600,000 in 2011 and has a goal to attract 3 million tourists on an annual basis.
- The country is showered with around four months worth of rain per year.
- The best times of year to visit are from November to May.
- English and French languages are widely spoken in the country.
- The food is largely very naturally produced, perfect for adopting a healthier diet and sampling the lcal cuisine.
- The ‘Big 5’ animals of wildlife (largely associated with Kenya) are able to be witnessed here as well amongst the protected areas and natural reserves.
- Public transport is available, as are private taxis at a very affordable rate.
I left the conference feeling intrigued, informed and keen to feed my interest to experience the wonders that this land of ecotourism will be sure to offer. Having listened to the detailed descriptions of the country, I imagine a vivid, colourful country, with a depth of culture and natural culinary expertise to be explored as part of the rich history of the region. It’s certainly on my ‘must-see’ list.
Have there been any less-familiar destinations that you’ve hoped to visit? Or have you visited an undiscovered destination and has it lived up to your expectations?