(Business in Cameroon) - Cancellations have been pouring in for rooms and meetings held and financed by western lenders while restaurants lie deserted. According to hoteliers in Northern Cameroon, this is what hospitality entities have been facing daily in the three northern regions of Cameroon for several months now.
Speaking about this in the Cameroonian government’s daily publication, Mr Saliou, deputy director of the Relais St. Hubert Hotel in Garoua, in the North, confessed that, “occupancy rates and restaurant patronage have fallen drastically. From the former average of 100 tourists per month per resort seen in previous tourism seasons,” he specified, “we have now fallen to barely two tourists per month.” The same knell has sounded for Benoué Hotel.
According to internal sources of the Extreme-North Regional Tourism Board, the situation is more serious. Without going into the figures, our sources declared that the current tourism year has been depressing in the region where most of the country’s most significant touristic sites are found, such as Waza Park.
Indeed, it is the rising insecurity in this part of Cameroon for several months that is at the root of the deterioration of tourism across the three northern regions of Cameroon. Several western embassies have placed these regions on their black list and have advised that their citizens not come to these destinations.
One can recall that two Italian priests and a Canadian nun were kidnapped by armed men in Extreme-North almost a month ago. This is the third kidnapping in two years following those of the Moulin Fournier family (seven were taken) and Father Georges Vandenbeuch, respectively in February and November 2013. In the night of May 1-2, 2014, 18 Cameroonians were taken hostage then later freed by the Cameroonian army not far from Garoua Boulaï in the East, neighbouring the country’s Northern provinces.