Leisure as an integral tool in tourism promotion

COLUMN 30 Jun 2020
Leisure as an integral tool in tourism promotion

Leisure has often been defined as free time. It is time spent away from business, work, domestic chores, education or any kind of routine pre-occupation. It is done for its own sake for quality involvement and relaxation.
Within the framework of the fulfillment of her mission, the Ministry of Tourism and Leisure organises a Holiday Camp or Leisure Holiday Workshop every year during the long vacation to promote healthy and Educational Leisure amongst youths. This project focuses on the reception of minors from the 10 different Regions of Cameroon.
The participants are provided with special Accomodation facilities, and the activity which is organised around an Educational Background is supervised by qualified and trained monitors.
Leisure is not a prerogative for children, because Tourism on its own is a leisure Activity. The question that is often asked is : Why incorporate Leisure in a Tourism package ?
Firstly, travelling entails stress and boredom. It is an activity that requires distractions and amusement. In this light the incorporation of leisure programmes into Tourism related activities help to digress the pressures of the mind and give room for maximum relaxation of the body for purposes of efficiency and utmost fulfillment.
Also, leisure promotes social cohesion amongst people from different backgrounds. It encourages Tourists to better appreciate each other as well as the wonders of Nature, and the Grandeur of the Supreme Being.
In addition, it instills the values of tolerance and mutual understanding, through the promotion of recreational, socio-cultural and sport activities for learning and discovery purposes.
There are different activities that could be integrated into a Leisure package.
The variety and complexity of the selections depend on the background, age, physique and mind-set of the participants.
In some cases, sports is considered as the most universally acceptable activity for the promotion of leisure. This is because the language of sports can be understood and well interpreted by all and sundry. In other areas, cultural activities form a basis of leisure due to her diverse and unique nature.
Such activities are as varied and interesting as the Destinations visited.
Tourist Activities are also promoted, to discover the different areas visited. Programmes like Hikes, Cruises, Excursions, Tours etc form a major basis of attractions to the locality.
Recreational Games and other Educational activities also create environmental awareness and help to bring out some hidden talents in the participants.
Most importantly, leisure activities inculcate the values of peace and endurance amongst people. They encourage people to learn to live together, since one cannot carry out leisure « Alone »
A summary of some of the Leisure activities associated with Tourism include :
– Sports (Football, Handball, Basketball, Volleyball, Tennis etc.)
– Arts and crafts workshop, to help discover hidden talents
– Visits and Excursions to some Attractive sites
– Talks, and Educational presentations on Environmental, Cultural, Geographical, Citizenship and Tourism related topics
– Others: Recreational Activities like Dance, Story-telling, Poetry Recital, Songs, etc are also very good examples
– Group Competitions: They help to promote the Competitive spirit and self-confidence amongst members.
In a nut-shell, the expected result is that at the end of the day, some meaning is attached to Tourism and Travels.
The time spent will not only be enjoyable but useful as well.

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