Tourism market is a growing sector in Benin, which tends to focus on Benin natural asset.
"If tourists want nice beach and luxurious hotel they will think about going to Morroco or Tunisia, if we cannot compete this we can offer something else: our natural environment" said the Director of the studies of the exploitation of the National Tourism developpement. (picture: meeting gathering the actors of the tourism in Benin, organised by the European Union/June 2010)
Tourism in Benin is something new. This West African country is not very popular and does not appear on the list of the most famous touristic destinations. However, these last years the country opened its doors to a new world: the ecotourism, as described by The International Ecotourism Society(TIES) is a "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people."
The initiative was not coming from the government, but from individuals as businessmen, or international group as NGOs. Today, it is from a lack of support that those invested in tourism for Benin are suffering. "We cannot count on our government to financially support our actions," recognised Gautier Amoussou, who manages EcoBenin.
The country has a lot to offer. EcoBenin is betting on the countries natural assets to make this venture a successful one. "We think a type of tourist exists, who is willing to respect and discover other countries and cultures. We want Benin to be this kind of destination." Ecotourism has attracted some international NGO's like SNV (a Netherlands Development Organisation), which protects areas whilst striving to help them achieve a sustainable development. (to the right: SNV associates).