UNDP promotes South-South Tourism in Cameroon, with focus on Chinese visitors
Shanghai – A UNDP global programme based in Shanghai this week facilitated a forum to promote the development of the tourism sector in Cameroon, as a way to promote economic development in that country and the conservation of natural resources. The forum was sponsored by the Cameroon Ministry of Tourism, the Embassy of the Republic of Cameroon in China, and UNDP’s Special Unit for South-South Cooperation. It focused on promoting increased visits from Chinese nationals, one of the fastest growing segments of the tourism industry.
Major tourist destinations around the world have seen surging numbers of Chinese visitors in recent years. In 2010 alone, 57.39 million Chinese traveled abroad, spending $48 billion overseas, according to figures from the China Tourism Academy (CTA).
“Cameroon is not as well known as a tourist destination but we have many wonderful sites to visit, with a lot of geographic and ethnic diversity,” said Bello B. Maigari, Cameroon State Minister of Tourism, who spoke at the event.
Ms. Hongmei Cheng, the Deputy Director of Shanghai Municipal Tourism Bureau, said tourism was a way to both promote economic development abroad and to promote understanding of the world among Chinese people. “Many people visit China every year, which greatly benefits our economy and local businesses,” said Cheng. “Now, increasing numbers of Chinese are traveling abroad to visit other countries, and doing the same there.”
The 2012 Cameroon Tourism Forum also established a Tourism Memorandum of Agreement between Cameroon and China, strengthening cooperation and cultural exchanges between the two countries. “This kind of cooperation will not only help tourism companies in Cameroon to expand their business in Chinese market,” said SS-GATE CEO Dr. Jian Lin, “but should also, in the long-term, contribute significantly to the economic development and infrastructure improvement of Cameroon.”
The event was held at the South-South Global Assets and Technology Exchange (SS-GATE) in Shanghai, one of the four pillars of the UNDP Special Unit for South-South Cooperation within its multilateral support architecture. SS-GATE provides a global platform to support enterprises in developing countries to develop themselves through technology exchange, project cooperation, financing assistance, and investment.
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