BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Tourism as an industry is becoming one of the most popular and profitable industry the world over which no country, state or localities (especially those endowed with tourism potentials) can afford to neglect. Its economic power is an indispensable promotion to the development of any nation.
Being a service industry, tourism can be subjected to empirical studies just like any industry. Its social and economic impacts on surrounding areas or periphery can therefore be measured.
Tourism is no longer an obscure industry all over the world. Its status in international trade is such that no serious-minded country can afford to ignore it. Many researchers, international, national regional as well as individual researchers have been conducted on the subject. Many authors, therefore, have one thing or the other to say on tourism.
According to Femi Olokesusi (2009), tourism is a form of recreation that requires leaving home for some other places, whether near or far. When such movements are confirmed within the country of the origin, it is referred to as “domestic Tourism”. On the other hand, when people travel from their countries of origin to another for recreation-related activities, such tourism is referred to as international; tourism.
In the words of Sangari Abdulmunin (1991), tourism, by the simple definition could mean the movement of a person from his abode to another of leisure.
The Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, Volume 18 defines tourism as the theory and practice of touring; travelling for pleasure. Also, the business of attracting tourists and providing for their accommodation and entertainment, the business of operating tours.
The definition of both “tourism” and “recreation” is needed at the onset because as claimed by Olekesui (1989), people often misconstrue recreation for tourism. Tourism in its simplest form can be defined as recreation that involves travelling while the contemporary, recreation is an activity performed during leisure that does not involve travelling.
Recreation is therefore defined as a refreshment or comfort produced by something affecting the senses or body. It is further defined as the action of recreating (oneself or another), or fact of being recreated by some pleasant occupation, pastime or amusement or a means of recreating oneself by a pleasurable exercise or employment. A recreationist is therefore seen as one who pursues a recreation.
According to Randle, tourism can either be domestic, intermediate or international. By domestic, he meant national citizens who wish to spend their holiday in the country while by intermediate, he refers to intra-continental tourism. Olokosusi (1989) also agreed with him on the classification of tourism. He however identified only two, viz: domestic and international tourism. Tourism thus classified is based on the origin and/or destination of the travelling recreationist.
Bryden (1972) defined tourism as the sum of the phenomenon and relationships arising from the travel and stay of non-residents, in so far as they do not lead to permanent residency and are not connected with any earning activity.
While Wall et al (1985) indicated that tourism involves the movement of people away from their place of permanent abode and their temporary sojourn in other locations.
Tourism comprises of activities of persons travelling to and staying in places outside their usual permanent places of residence for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes. Based on this, the tourism industry includes all socio-economic activities that are directly or
indirectly involved in providing services to tourist. The concept of leisure has assumed increasing importance in the lives of many in western and developing societies during the last century. Expanding horizons resulting from increased leisure time, wealth and technological advances like the railway allowed more people to travel further afield in search of pleasurable experiences as the nineteenth century progressed.
Nineteenth century travelers became twentieth century tourists, following prescribed programs to see new place for their interest, scenery or the like.
Nigeria is richly endowed with a large population with diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, expanse of vegetation with different variety of flora and fauna stretching from the mangrove swamps and equatorial rainforest zones in the south to the semi desert in the North. This is transverse by rivers of various sizes and
interspaced with hills, mountain ranges and waterfalls, with these natural features and scenic beauty coupled with two distinct climatic seasons, Nigeria is arguably created to be a tourist delight on the Africa continent.
Organized tourism in Nigeria has however remained low in spite of these.
Tourism was accorded priority status in Nigeria in 1990 with the launching of the National Tourism Policy which was to generate foreign exchange earnings, create employment oppo tunities, and promote rural enterprise and national integration. Various types of tourism are on offer in Nigeria, from conference tourism
to festival tourism, agriculture and cultural tourism. An investigation will be made into what constitutes sustainable Tourism in Nigeria as well as its prospects and problems
Statement of Problem
For the tourism industry as a sector of the Nigerian economy, it is not in dispute that it has abundance of resources that can diversified to transform the socio-economic lives of the populace yet, the sector’s performance is nowhere in tune with turning the economy into a foreign exchange earner.
The tourism industry’s various sectors are yet to have adequate, quality and standard development efforts including the building of its capacity in the areas of natural resource of the national parks, game reserves, beaches, plateau, forests and other natural spots; transport (either air, land and water); the accommodation with hotel, hostel, shared apartment, guest houses, camps etc); the catering services (i.e. Restaurants, Cafes, fast food shops clubs, bars etc); Entertainment (i.e. Museums, cultural shows, night clubs, drama & dances); souvenir providing works of carvings, weavings, sculptures and various art works including managers and operators of attractions i.e. parks and events i.e conferences, fairs, exhibitions, festivities among others
Tourism has often been looked upon as an industry associated with the west and patronized by idle people with time and money and no better way to spend it. Tourism has however become an impetus to sustained growth and development in many countries of the world, and no longer as just a generator of foreign exchange.
The world Tourism Organization (WTO) reports that tourism accounts for 40 percent of global trade in services, making it one of the largest categories of international trade (UNWTO, 2006; Ferguson, 2007). In 2005 alone, 3 to 10 percent of the GDP of development countries was derived from the tourism industry (WTO, 2005). As a result, it is not farfetched to imagine that tourism can be a viable export oriented economic growth strategy for creating jobs and accelerating development to lift people up from abject
However, despite the popularity and increasing importance of tourism among continents of the world and particularly Africa, it has attracted relatively low attention in the economic development literature and little empirical study has been done on tourism’s relationship with economic growth in the Nigerian context
The research work will examine the following research questions
- What are the problem facing tourism in nigeria
- Does tourism have impact on socio-economic development in Nigeria?
- What are the Strategies that can adopted in develop tourist development in Nigeria ?
- What are the possible solution to the problem of tourism in Nigeria
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The specific objectives are to:
- To invesitage the problem facing tourism in nigeria
- Find out the impact of tourism on socio-economic development in Nigeria?
- Determine the Strategies that can be adopted in development tourist development in Nigeria ?
- What are the possible solution to the problem of tourism in Nigeria
1.7 SIGNIFIANCE OF THE STUDY
This will enlighten the local populace about the important of tourism in Nigeria
It will help to know the resources to be developed, managed and promoted for tourism and community development (e.g. cultural and nature-based or eco-tourism).
This development can bring forth the provision of social amenities and infrastructures, construction of modern roads, active cultural institutions, sustainable environment, provision of employment opportunities and many other benefits in the study areas.
Finally, the recommendations that would be given in this report would optimistically provide the necessary information and strategies needed by the students, researchers, government and other sets of people, who are concerned in the development and management of cultural and natural resources to boost the disciplines of archaeology, museum, tourism and other cultural related fields in the community.
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