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Hotel Industry

Bustling For Modernisation Heightens

ameroon’s hotel industry can be said to be on the move to modernity with renovations and construction of modern lodging facilities burgeoning in different parts of the country. Statistics obtained from the Ministry of Tourism and Leisure indicate that as at April 2017, the country boost of some 766 registered hotels of different categories spread across the ten administrative regions of the country. The number of beds according to the President of the National Syndicate of Hotel Proprietors, Chantal Lewat is estimated at 30,000. The Centre Region that also happens to have the lone five-star hotel (Hilton Hotel) in the country for the moment tops the chart with 172 hotels followed by the Littoral Region with 134 hotels amongst which four four-star and 11 three-star hotels of high standing. The West Region that is also earmarked as one of the host for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations is next on the line with 124 hotels even though only five are of three-star standard. In terms of the quality of services offered, high standing hotels are aligned to international standards. Public authorities have not been relenting in emphasising on the necessity for standards to be upgraded. In July 2016, the Prime Minister, Head of Government and chairman of the National Tourism Board chaired the 14th session of the board that focused on “developing the hotel industry in the perspective of Cameroon’s Emergence.” Meanwhile, during the 13th session of the said board, the PM harped on the need for the drawing up of a harmonised training programme for operators to boost performance. This explains why the Ministry of Tourism last year organised a series of seminars for hotel managers and receptionists for regions earmarked to host the two continental football tournaments few weeks to the 2016 Female Africa Cup of Nations and in prelude to the 2019 AFCON. The hotel industry in Cameroon plays a pivotal role in enhancing the country’s economic growth. The 2017 Finance Law in its Articles 221-224 for instance instituted a tax per night spent in a hotel room ranging between FCFA 1,000 to 5,000 depending on the category though not to the satisfaction of hotel owners; the measure is aimed at generating revenue for the State from the industry. The World Economic Forum in its 2017 Tourism and Competitive Index estimates that the travel and tourism sector in Cameroon makes about 450 million USD (over 264 billion F). The industry created over 100,000 jobs in 2016 from the over 145,000 jobs created by the tourism and leisure sector as reported by the World Economic Forum. As 2019 is approaching, investors are seizing the opportunity especially in the host regions to construct new hotels. Douala for instance, is gearing up to have its first five-star hotel soon among the 40 new hotels under construction. Two four-star and six three-star hotels are in gestation in the economic capital. Meanwhile in Yaounde, some hotels like Djeuga Palace and La Falaise carried out some modernisation projects last year to match up with the standards of Article 25 (3) of the Confederation of African Football (CAF). Atlantic Beach hotel in Limbe, Mountain Hotel and Parliamentarian Flat in Buea, all State owned upgraded in terms of quality and capacity while some other private hotels sprout up in the Fako Division of the South West, which is just about 45km away from Douala.

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