Travel & Tourism

Problem and Prospect of Tourism Development in Nigeria

Problem and Prospect of Tourism Development in Nigeria



Tourism can simply be defined as travel for pleasure. It is also viewed as the theory and practice of touring. Tourism constitute of the business of attracting, accommodating, and entertaining tourists, and of the business of operating tours.

The world tourism Organization defines tourism as people travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one year for the purpose of leisure, business and other purposes. Tourism can be carried out internationally, or within the tourist country.

According to the Tourism Society of England, Tourism is defined as the temporary, short-term movement of people to places outside the places where they usually reside and work. It consists of movements for all purposes.


According to the Manila Declaration on World Tourism of 1980 ,Tourism constitute  “an activity vital to the life of a nation because it exacts a  direct effect on the social, cultural, educational, and economic sectors of nations economy and on their international relations. Tourism contributes significantly to the countrys  national income  in the form of payment for goods and services needed by tourists, accounting for 30% of the world’s trade of services, and 6% of overall exports of goods and services.

Tourism provides  opportunities for employment in the service sector of the economy  such as  transportation services, consisting of  airlines, cruise ships, and taxicabs; hospitality services, consisting of  accommodations, including hotels and resorts; and entertainment venues, such as amusement parks, casinos, shopping malls, music venues, and theatres.

Others includes goods bought by tourists,such as   souvenirs, clothing and other supplies. There is the growing need to diversify the economy due to the dwindling nature of the oil sector of the economy.

The Tourism sector constitute one sector if properly  developed can impact significantly on the nations income level  and generate employment among other things. Nigeria has huge tourism potentials, especially given its natural and diversified landscapes hence the emphasis on sustainable tourism.



According to the US Department of state direct warning to its citizen it was stated thus.

“The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the dangers of travel to Nigeria. Nigeria

has limited tourist facilities and conditions pose considerable risks to travelers.

Violent crimes, committed by ordinary criminals, as well as by persons in police and

military uniforms, can occur throughout the country. Kidnapping for ransom of persons

assoaated with the petroleum sector, including U.S. citizens, remains common in

the Niger Delta area. Use of public transportation throughout Nigeria is dangerous and

should be avoided. Taxis pose risks because of the possibility of fraudulent or criminal

operators and poorly maintained vehicles. Most Nigerian airlines have aging fleets,

and there are valid concerns that maintenance and operational procedures may be

inadequate to ensure passenger safety.”


The result of such a security warning poses a great challenge to Tourism development in Nigeria

Other    problems include Lack of detailed data on Tourism issues, increase level of  crime and terrorism, problem of  inadequate funding, lack of  infrastructure, low level  of publicity and marketing, and the level of  low disposable income. Development  of tourism requires sufficient data on the level of its attainment  so as to facilitate  strategic planning  on  tourism . Such detailed data  required include , sources of national and

international tourists  and the  period of stay,  time of visits,  destinations,the perception of the host ,type of product consumed by tourist , total number of  hotels required  (luxury and apartments), number of  bed occupancy and room rates, etc., are required for a focused plan to develop the sector.


The increasing level of   crimes and terrorism is  an hindrance to  tourism.It leads to revenue loss, and  additional resources to protect the  airports and  attract  tourists back again to the country.  Olokesusi (1990a) succinctly captured the case for poor infrastructure in his study,. Such as  noise pollution,  telephone network problem, unhygienic  water condition , poor electricity supply,  unstable environments, and poor location of hotels and . Poor publicity  national and internationally


Tourism provides both social an economic benefit (Eccles &Costa, 1998).Socially tourism helps expands the world view of people and thus foster integration and unity among the nations of the world.

Economically, the level of income is increased which provides fund for the development of infrastructure in the country . According to the Nigerian Investment

Promotion Commission (2000), Nigeria is connected to  the rest of the world through  international Airports and Hotels and other franchise chains in the country in such places as

Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Abuja, and Maiduguri etc. These places have unique

Tourist attractions such as  overland safaris; national parks; game and gorilla

viewing; Facility for deep sea recreational fishing; lake and river fishing; archaeological discoveries; beach sites resorts and hotels; water, land and air transportation; surfing and snorkeling; theme parks and exposition centers;

Nigeria, with its over 250 ethnic group is endowed with  diverse  culture which attracts tourism. Including historical sites, annual traditional festivals,  folk art such as crafts,

carvings, and sculpture. etc , Nigeria is also  a peaceful nation when compared to other nations    it is important that Nigeria makes the most of these

opportunities. . The countrys  economic size,  tourism export revenue, domestic and international demand for tourism are important factors that provide a great future prospects for the countrys  tourism. Nigeria’s tourism/GDP ratio is low relative to those of major tourism destination countries  Therefore, the potentials for optimal tourism development


Recent developments in the tourism sector have further brightened the prospect of the industry.  Especially in Europe, such as international travel for short breaks. Tourists have varieties of   budgets and tastes, variety of resorts and hotels have also risen to explore this opportunity.  Examples, are beach vacations, specialized holidays, quiet resorts, family- holidays, or niche market-targeted destination hotels.

The improvements and  developments in technology and transport infrastructure have also provided a good prospect for the tourism industry., jumbo jets, low-cost airlines, accessible airports are impacting on the development of tourism . Changes in lifestyle, for example some retirement-age people sustain year round tourism. This is assisted by  internet facility sales of tourism services.

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