Buea Mountain Hotel and Its Contribution to the Development of Buea Community, Fako Division, South West Region Cameroon

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Buea Mountain Hotel and Its Contribution to the Development of Buea Community, Fako Division, South West Region Cameroon

Department: Tourism and Hospitality Management

No of Pages: 80

Project Code: THM4

References: Yes

Cost: 5,000XAF Cameroonian

 : $15 for International students

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the contribution of Buea Mountain Hotel to it local environment in Buea municipality. The study was guided by the following research questions. To what extend has the Buea Mountain Hotel contributed to the local environment in the Buea municipality?


At what level has the Buea Mountain Hotel mostly contributed to the development of the local environment in Buea municipality? The first research question looked at the contribution of Buea mountain Hotel to the development of local environment in Buea municipality.


Most respondents cited that employment of youth, provisions of information to researchers, serving as a training centre for students of internship, serving as accommodation for the local people, serving as touristic site for the local environment has been the most contribution of Buea Mountain Hotel to the local environment.


The second research question looked at what level the Buea Mountain hotel mostly contributed to the development of the local environment in Buea municipality. The study found out that most respondents cited that Buea Mountain Hotel has mostly contributed at the level of economy, socio- cultural and political in Buea municipality.

The study adopted a descriptive research design. The population of this study comprises of all the workers in Buea Mountain Hotel in the Buea municipality. The sampling frame for this study comprised of a list of all workers that work in Mountain Hotel, Ministry of Tourism and leisure and Buea municipality council.


The probability sampling technique was used with the help of the Pearson moment correlation coefficient in the study to select the respondents from the list of workers provided by the various units in order to capture the entire population, thus, the sample size of the study was 100.


Primary data for the study was collected using a structured, tailor-made questionnaire. Descriptive analysis was used to determine the proportions and frequency of the variables. Pearson correlation tests were used to draw inferences about the population from the sample and Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 24 was used to facilitate the data analysis.


The result shows that Buea Mountain Hotel has contributed to the development of the local environment socio-economically, politically and culturally. In recommendation the government should create a training centre for the local people to be train as to become expert and well train persons.





This chapter brings out the background of study in which the general ideas, Buea Mountain Hotel and its contribution to the local environment.


It contains the context (World, Africa, Cameroon and Buea particularly) which is the study area and the stake (socio-economic, political and cultural) contribution, the PROBLEMSTATEMENT, the research objective, research hypothesis, the significance of the study the scope of the study and conclusion


The hotel industry is any type of business relating to the provision of accommodation in lodging, food and drinks and various types of other services that are interconnected and which are intended for public service, both of which use the lodging facilities or who simply use the services or the production of certain of the hotel.


Hotels offer enormous range of guests’ services such as banqueting, conference and fitness, sport and facilities, beauty spas, bars, sophisticated restaurant, casinos, night clubs and casinos. The Hotel sector consists of more than 15% of all the people who worked in the hospitality sector.


Hotels falls into a number of different categories which includes the glamorous five-star resort international luxury chains, trendy boutiques, country house, conference, leisure or guest houses. This very dynamic sector offers good quality accommodation, great variety of food and beverage, together with other services for all types of customers.


With offering every kind of accommodation catering for every type of taste, the hotel sector is undeniably constantly growing and evolving, while refining its offering, improving its experience and creating new products to serve and satisfy customer on a local and global level. The hotel sector is always striving to offer excellent customer service throughout its operations.



The history of the hospitality industry dates all the way back to the Colonial Period in the late 1700s. The hotel industry has been the subject of important development and growth over the years as it has faced World Wars, The Depression and various social changes.


However, the hotel industry as seen today takes form in the early 1950s and 60s, leading the way for growth in to the dynamic industry. This had led to more and more people traveling not only for business but also for leisure reasons, leading to the development which can be seen nowadays.



The idea of renting an accommodation to visitors appeared since ancient times, and the modern concept of a hotel as we know derives from 1794, when the City Hotel opened in New York City; the City Hotel was claimed to be the first building designed exclusively to hotel operations.


 The City hotel back then possessed 73 rooms and offered different types of services. Similar operations soon appeared in such nearby cities as Baltimore, Boston in 1809 and Philadelphia. The industrial revolution, which started in the 1760s, facilitated the construction of hotels everywhere, in mainland Europe, in England and in America.



The advent of new ways of transportations, hotels and resorts outside of major cities were built in the countryside and began promoting their scenery and other attractions. The concept of the vacation was developed and available to more and more of the population.



In the 1920’s, hotel building entered a boom phase and many famous hotels were opened. From there a surge of hotels flooded American and the rest of the world with prominent names such as Radisson, Marriot, Hilton and more others.



As competition in the industry increases worldwide, the customers have reap great benefits in terms of  lower prices coupled from a wider choice as the organizations have to differentiate their products from the crowd to appeal to specific market segments but also strive to enhance the quality of their services. 



More and more innovative approaches to marketing and promotion and creation of new products are pulling the demand to the destinations. The governments as a facilitator, fund provider and legislator have also had played its part on the development of the industry. 



New consumer needs and attitudes have also fuelled the growth of specific segments for instance ecotourism is booming. One other factor but not the least is the increased level of economic activity which has led to an increase in business travel and also the growing trend of international mobility.



Despite global economic challenges, hotel developments continue to progress, with new rooms injected into global supply by both independent hotels and group. Arguably, following James et al. (2017: 108), it must be acknowledged that “the field of hotel history is in comparative infancy”.


The key findings of a number of valuable investigations must be noted, however, in order to provide a context for this exploration of early hotel development in South Africa.


Historical tourism research has utilised a wide range of methodologies including micro-histories, hotel biographies and a supply and demand approach linked to innovation (Bowie, 2018; McNeill & McNamara, 2009; Yilmaz et al., 2017).


In Europe and North America scholars draw attention to the origins and different trajectories of hotel development in these regions (Bowie, 2016, 2018; James et al., 2017). The importance of inns in the provision of early accommodation services in Europe and North America was challenged from the late eighteenth century.


Across Britain and North America ‘hotels’ superceded inns; in some cases this was the result of inns simply changing their names but, more importantly, it was the outcome of the opening of entirely new establishments as hotels (James et al., 2017). Bowie (2016) alerts us to different pathways for the evolution of hotels in continental Europe as compared to Britain.


The major differences are observed, however, in the context of North America where the small inn was replaced by the growth of large hotel establishments. Bowie (2016) stresses the large-scale of hospitality provision in the context of new hotel openings and the ready adoption of new technological advances and management systems in North American hotels.

It is emphasized that American hotels pioneered new building technologies  and offered new levels of comfort to visitors through “providing elevators, hot and cold running water, chandeliers lit by gas, ‘indoor plumbing, steam heat, call bell systems, patent locks’ and complex equipment to mechanise kitchens and laundry processes” (Bowie, 2016: 161).



In Britain inn-keeping in the 18th century offered a rudimentary form of accommodation services which was transformed radically only during the nineteenth century. It is argued that behind this transformation was “the accumulation of a wide range of different innovations which combined to transform the system of hospitality at that time” (Bowie, 2018: 314).



Hotels were at the cutting edge for the adoption of new technologies (James et al., 2017). Of critical importance in transforming the character, scale and structure of the hospitality services was the adoption of several socio-technological innovations.


These included the concept of a ‘hotel’ as a superior form of accommodation for travellers than the inn, the emergence of railway  hotels linked to the transport revolution of the 19th century, the adoption of American building processes applying the technology of commercial architecture,

and of management practices, most notably the so-termed American plan which “comprised fixed daily tariffs for rooms and meals, the requirement for customers to register and pay for the lodging/food upon arrival and pre-determined times for dining” (Bowie, 2018: 319).


The change that occurred as a consequence of these innovations was that the “amateur inn-keeping regime was replaced by more professional hotel management” (Bowie, 2018: 322).


In addition, the new order of accommodation services comprised larger, modern hotels, with enhanced facilities, incorporating contemporary technologies, higher quality restaurants and improved levels of professional management (Bowie, 2018).


Overall, these major shifts in the character and practice of hotels could be interpreted as manifestations of broader economic and social processes including “the growth of cities, the industrialization of production and the growth of complex business forms” such that “hotels were sites of modernization and modernity” (James et al., 2017: 93).


The role of hotels as sites of modernisation was particularly evident in colonial South-East Asia and in Africa. Among others the works of Peleggi (2005) and Goh (2010) highlight that the building of grand luxury hotels such as the Hanoi Metropole, Raffles in Singapore or the Eastern and Oriental in Penang was a vital component of the expansion of transnational capitalism.

 James et al. (2017: 109) stylize them as “nodes of sociability at the local level and nodes within wider networks of circulation of people and capital at the imperial level”. The colonial luxury hotel was a principal locus for technological diffusion as well as for the reproduction of metropolitan cultural style (Goh, 2010; Peleggi, 2005).


McNeill and McNamara (2012: 151) argue that such hotels “were often early adopters of the latest technologies in terms of building systems (lifts, plumbing, electrical lighting and heating) and communication systems (telegrams and telephones) and showcased the latest architectural styles”.


In particular, the colonial hotel assumed a special role for local elites who required “an address   that could host banquets, society events, trade fairs, and provide suitable accommodation for travelling business people” (McNeill & McNamara, 2012: 151).


Certain characteristics of colonial hotels in South-East Asia find parallels in the record of the early development of hotels in South Africa. Nevertheless, there were also many highly distinctive features of the initial landscape of hotels as revealed by the study of Johannesburg.



Global and local hotel chains have targeted Africa as a growth region, due to both its relative undersupply of international-quality hotels, and the expectation of increased demand for rooms. Underpinning this are Africa’s long-term economic and demographic growth prospects, which have continued to attract hotel groups’ interest despite a slowdown in overall African economic growth in recent years.


Pan-African GDP growth dropped to 2.1% in 2016, its lowest level in more than two decades, primarily due to the impact of lower commodity prices on its major oil-dependent economies. However, growth is estimated by the International Monetary Fund to have recovered to approximately 3.5% in 2017.


The large oil-driven economies of Nigeria and Angola are gradually moving out of recession, while growth rates have remained resilient in less resource-dependent countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal.


These countries are forecast to maintain annual GDP growth in the 5-8% range over the next five years. Africa’s population is growing at a faster rate than that of any other global region; it is currently home to around 1.2 billion people, but UN projections suggest that this figure will more than double by 2050 and that it will pass 4 billion by the end of the century.


Growth will be increasingly concentrated in the large cities of Sub-Saharan Africa, with the populations of cities such as Luanda, Lagos, Dar es Salaam, Nairobi and Addis Ababa forecast to grow by more than 80% during the 2015-2030 periods.


Africa’s fast-growing, economically developing cities will need increased numbers of hotel rooms to accommodate both business travelers and rising tourist demand. Over the long term, the UN World Tourist Organization forecasts that international tourist numbers in Africa will grow at one of the fastest rates globally.


Africa received 57 million international tourist arrivals in 2016, but the UNWTO projects that this will reach 134 million by 2030. At present, Morocco is the top destination with over 10 million arrivals, but future growth is forecast to be strongest in the East, West and Central regions of Africa



In addition to the well-known international hotel operators, several brands operating solely in Africa are actively growing their businesses. These include CityBlue, a chain owned by UAE investor Diar Capital, which has opened hotels in four East African countries and has signed pipeline deals in a further eight countries in East and West Africa.


Mangalis Hotel Group, a subsidiary of Teyliom International, has opened three hotels in West Africa and has ten pipeline projects in this region. Azalaï Hotels Group has grown from its homeland of Mali to have projects opened or under construction in most major West African capital cities.


Other groups that are growing in prominence in Africa include Germany’s Deutsche Hospitality, Spain’s Meliá Hotels International and Switzerland’s Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts. Asian hotel operators with projects under development in Africa include Thailand’s Dusit International and Minor Hotels Group.


Middle Eastern groups active in the region include Rotana and Emaar Hospitality, which has projects in Egypt under its Address brand.Most international hotel groups have asset-light business models in Africa whereby they usually operate, but do not own, their branded hotels.


This creates opportunities for developers and investors to either build or acquire properties operated by the major chains. Long construction times can be a significant challenge to brands seeking to grow their African portfolios.


To circumvent this, some groups are pursuing growth strategies that prioritise the rebranding of existing hotels, rather than the development of new hotels. As is the case in the rest of the world, the growth of the Airbnb market has presented a disruptive challenge to traditional hotel operators in Africa.


While still a very small part of its global presence, Airbnb says that it now has100,000 listings in Africa, accommodating 1.2 million guests in the last year. With the hotel supply in many African cities being limited and slanted towards the luxury end of the market, Airbnb accommodation provides a cheaper alternative, particularly for younger travelers.


The rise of the Airbnb market has yet to have a discernible impact on African hotel performance, but it has demonstrated that there is demand for new, flexible and affordable accommodation types across the continent.


The distribution of Africa’s current supply of branded and chain hotels are illustrated by the hotel density. The current hotel stock is heavily concentrated in a small number of markets. South Africa has the largest supply, with almost 30% of the continent’s chain hotels.


The largest hotel markets in South Africa are Johannesburg and Cape Town, but chain hotels are spread widely across the country, due in large part to the extensive hotel networks of local brands such as Protea Hotels, Tsogo Sun and City Lodge.


Outside of South Africa, the largest concentration of chain hotels is in the North African countries of Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.


Resort locations such as Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada and Marrakesh are among the biggest markets in these countries, but international hotel chains also have a reasonably large presence in commercial cities such as Cairo and Casablanca, where demand is driven by business travelers in addition to tourism.

Elsewhere in Africa, the tourist islands of Mauritius, the Seychelles and Zanzibar all have a significant presence of branded hotels and resorts. In contrast, some of Africa’s largest cities, including Kinshasa, Khartoum and Addis Ababa, have only a handful of international branded hotels.


Across Africa, more than half of the continent’s capital cities have fewer than five chain hotels each. The distribution of pipeline projects varies significantly compared with the existing supply, reflecting the increased focus of international chains on markets currently perceived as being undersupplied.


Most strikingly, 35% of projects under development in the continent are in West Africa, which is home to only 9% of the current supply. The greatest concentration of these projects is in Nigeria, primarily in Lagos and Abuja, where multiple hotels are under development for international brands including Hilton, Sheraton and Marriott.


The East Africa region also accounts for a significant share of pipeline projects, with 26% of the projects under development. Hotel development hotspots in East Africa include the major cities of Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania. Although it is a comparatively well-supplied region, North Africa continues to see new development, accounting for around 29% of pipeline projects.


This stems from the expansion of major multinational chains, and from Middle Eastern hotel developers and chains entering North Africa. Across the continent, development activity is being driven primarily by the expansion plans of the larger multinational hotel groups.


All of the major global players have multiple hotels under development across Africa, and several of them have made eye-catching announcements about their future African plans. Hilton, for example, launched its US$50 million Africa Growth Initiative in late 2017, with the aim of adding 100 African properties to its portfolio over the next five years.



The contribution of hotels in the growth of the local environment in Buea Municipality look impressive, but one would like to know more about their implications before concluding that this is a positive contribution of the tourist hotel.


One would like to know how do these hotels contribute to the growth of local environment in  Buea, who benefit from these contributions and whether such contribution have anything to do with tourism industry, as with all modernization efforts to economic gain, there are costs and benefits implications as well.


This may be important, as hotels are peculiar for services delivery to their clients who are coming to enjoy the provided services. Therefore at a time when Buea mountain hotel is rapidly becoming a major tourist destination, getting ready for quantum increase towards mass tourism, it seems valuable to examine the hotels effects to the tourists.


 Therefore the study intended to assess the contribution of hotels to the local environment in Buea city by examining the carrying capacity of respective tourist hotels, the categories of tourists who visit or stay in Buea mountain hotel, identifying the challenges facing the hotel service providers in mountain hotel as well as suggesting solutions to the challenges facing hotel service providers in Buea mountain hotel.



1.3.1 Main objective                     

  • To investigate the contribution of Buea Mountain Hotel in the local environment of Buea


1.3.2 Specific objectives

  • To examine the level at which Buea Mountain Hotel has mostly contributed to the local environment
  • To examine the level of development of the hotel
  • To determine the contribution of the local environment to the development of the Buea Mountain Hotel

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