Tourism in Benin is a small industry.[1] In 1996, Benin had approximately 150,000 tourists.[2] A small country with a high concentration of tourist attractions,[3] Benin's national parks and culture are among its main tourist attractions.[2] Abomey is one of Benin's main tourist attractions, with palaces that became a World Heritage Site in 1982.[1] The capital city Porto Novo's attractions include its museums and architecture.[1]

Some of the best wildlife areas in West Africa are found in north Benin, where Pendjari National Park and W National Park are located.[4] The best time to see the Pendjari National Park's wildlife is towards the end of the dry season.[5] The park is accessible to travellers and accommodation is available. W National Park is located in Benin's far north, and stretches across Burkina Faso and Niger. The park has a wealth of wildlife, but is difficult to access from Benin.[4]

Cotonou is the only international airport in Benin.[1] There are direct flights to Benin from Belgium, France, and a number of African countries.[6] There are 578 kilometres of railroad in the country, which were developed under a joint effort with the Republic of Niger.[7]

Benin's government regards tourism as a method of diversifying its economy, attracting more foreign investment, and decreasing Benin's dependence on its agricultural industry.[7][8] Although the government has a National Policy of Tourism Development, it has not made a strong effort to improve tourist facilities or to market Benin as a tourist destination.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d Williams, Stephen, Dec 2002, Benin: The belly of history, African History.
  2. ^ a b Taylor & Francis Group, 2003, Africa South of the Sahara 2004, Routledge, ISBN 1-85743-183-9, page 88.
  3. ^ Benin: Overview, Lonely Planet
  4. ^ a b Hudgens, Jim, 2003, The Rough Guide to West Africa , Rough Guides, ISBN 1-84353-118-6, page 927.
  5. ^ Benin: Sights, Lonely Planet.
  6. ^ Benin: Getting there & around, Lonely Planet
  7. ^ a b Leonard, Thomas M., 2006, Encyclopedia of the Developing World, Taylor & Francis, ISBN 0-415-97662-6, page 198.
  8. ^ a b Travel and Tourism in Benin, Euromonitor.