Problem and Prospect of Tourism Development in Nigeria
NATURE OF TOURISM 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.
(A) PROBLEM POSED BY THE UNITED STATE WARNING TO ITS CITIZENS
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.Click here to see the latest Study Abroad Scholarships and Guides
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