By Mbom Sixtus
Organisers of the fair say it is expected to improve the sector’s contribution to the growth of the national economy.
The third edition of the Sustainable Tourism International Exhibition, codenamed MERCATOUR, opens at the esplanade of Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde today. The fair which is in its third edition is bringing together professionals and associations in the tourism and leisure sector as well as other stakeholders.
Armand Blaise Bilack Garka, Technical Adviser to the Minister of State, Minister of Tourism and Leisure, told journalists in a news conference on July 24 that the event adds to other initiatives intended to project Cameroon as a tourist destination. He said it aligns with other initiatives that will enable football fans and delegations that will travel to Cameroon for the AFCON 2019 to explore other interesting venues of excitement besides football pitches.
The brains behind the MERCATOUR, Biboum Bi Ngwem II, told reporters that the tourism sector which makes up 7.8 per cent of Africa’s GDP has the potential to boost economies of countries endowed with natural tourist sites and diverse cultural attractions.
He stressed that some countries with few elements of interest to tourists, are making more revenue from the sector than Cameroon which prides itself as all of Africa in one country, better yet referred to as Africa in miniature.
He said exhibitions like the MERCATOUR which is not only a platform for display but also an avenue for meaningful debates and conferences as well as public-private sector exchanges would go a long way to boost the sector.