Development of eco-tourism products in the area of Kribi (Cameroon)
A ST-EP project for the development of eco-tourism products in the area of Kribi, in the south of the country, was completed after five year of activities with financial contributions from the UNWTO ST-EP Foundation and from a regional project “COAST” on sustainable tourism in coastal areas in Africa funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). This regional project, implemented by UNIDO, covers nine countries in East and West Africa.
The ST-EP project in Kribi aims to enhance the quality of and local benefits from tourism activities through capacity building, sustainable planning of coastal tourist sites, construction of tourism facilities, and the development and promotion of SMEs in the tourism supply chains. After an initial planning process, activities in the field started in 2012 and will be finalized in December 2016.
Kribi is a beach resort and sea port in Cameroon, lying on the Gulf of Guinea Coast, 170 km south of Cameroon’s largest city Douala. The Kribi area is particularly popular among domestic tourists from Douala and Yaounde, the two main cities of the country. Several interesting ecotourism excursions can be made in the surrounding area of Kribi town, e.g. to the Campo Ma’an National Park, the Lobé waterfalls, the beach of Grand Batanga and Pygmies’ settlements.
Project intervention in the following three eco-tourism sites have been identified, based on a Value Chain Analysis carried out in 2011:
- The Lobe Falls Cultural Landscape;
- The Grand Batanga, the historic site of the former capital of the Batanga people; with attractive beaches; and
- The fishermen village of Londji.
The project formulated sustainable management plans for the ecotourism sites, with active consultation of communities, private sector, and local stakeholders. These plans gave good guidelines to develop ecotourism products and take measures to protect the sites beyond 2016, and formed the basis to develop small tourism facilities at the sites where local entrepreneurs can sell food, beverages and handicrafts.
The project also built the capacity of local Pygmy groups to develop tourism circuits and organize excursions in their area. Further, trainings were organized on agro-tourism, on-line marketing and environmental sustainability for hotels, and brochures were developed to promote the different tourism activities in Kribi.