(Business in Cameroon) - On September 9, the secretary-general at the Cameroonian prime ministry sent a letter to the president of the association of tourism professionals APTAC. The letter announced a meeting that will be held on September 29, 2020, at the Prime Ministry to identify the measures that could be taken to relaunch the tourism and travel industry after the restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic are lifted.
The government and tourism professionals will thus reflect on the best strategy for the relaunch of the tourism sector that, according to various official reports, has been the most affected by the pandemic in Cameroon.
The National Institute for Statistics estimates for instance that between April and May 2020, 71% of the jobs affected (ed.note: reduction of work hours, job losses, and temporary lay-offs) were in the lodging and recreation segments. On the travel segment, airlines were the most affected by the border closures, which are still in force despite the authorization granted to some companies to operate commercial flights.
Let’s note that to support companies affected by the pandemic, the government initiated some measures in May 2020, including the exemption of stay tax (ed.note: XAF500 to XAF5,000 per night stay depending on the type of hotel, being collected since 2017) granted to hotel operators for the last three (3) quarters of 2020.
However, this exemption has no visible impact on the concerned hotels’ cash inflow because, since the start of the pandemic, clients (whom the taxes are passed on to) have been scarce.