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1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
In Nigeria today and the world at large, the rate of growth of tourism is proportional to the level of economic development in destination countries. The impact of tourism varies continuously. Tourism plays a major role in the socio- economic development in various countries such development includes:
1. Job creation
2. Relaxation center
3. Culture promotion
The rate of diversification of the economy and policy generation of the federal government of Nigeria has increased with the growth and development of tourist attraction; recently tourism is one of the largest industries; it has contributed to the socio-economic growth of many countries most especially in countries where tourism is the pivot behind the survival of her economy, World Tourism Organization (WTO, 1998; cited in Ejaetal, 2012 and Ojo, 2014). Considering the fact that industry is a tool for promoting cultural exchange that propagates international understanding and goodwill among the people of the world in diversity, it is also serve as a catalyst for enhancing many country destinations such as employment opportunities, foreign exchange and infrastructural facilities (ESCAP, 2002; cited in Ejaetal, 2012.
Take Akwa Akwa ibom as the case study; Akwa Akwa ibom state is one among the 36 states that is naturally gifted with resources and a lot of development is going on in this part of Nigeria on daily bases; the state has grown in development to become a site for tourist attraction; is it the ibeno beach, the Akwa ibom e-library, the Akwa ibom Tropicana, the Akwa ibom international stadium and the Akwa ibom plaza to mention but a few. Akwa Akwa ibom is richly blessed with good weather conduction with adequate rainfail.
The Ibeno beach is located at Eket local government of Akwa Akwa ibom state; the Ibeno beach welcomes at least 50 to 60 new visitors from different location of akwa akwa ibom state on daily bases; the returning visitors are almost half of the new visitors.
The Akwa ibom Tropicana as a tourist center for youths and the elderly; the center is made basically for movie seeing at the rate of five hundred naira per movie; this is another source of revenue for the state government of Akwa Akwa ibom state; this is another center of attraction for consumers especially the youths in Akwa Akwa ibom state.
The Akwa ibom e-library is another site for tourist attraction in Akwa Akwa ibom state; the library is fully equipped with all form of equipment and learning aids such as internet access, good air conditioning, materials and books for study, ICT section for research and other form of education and business.
Among all the tourist attraction centers the most visited center is the Akwa ibom plaza; the Akwa ibom plaza is more or less a seat out; it is just a platform where all activities can go on such activities include political rally, church programs, and peer group meetings and other activities.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The rate of growth of tourist attraction in Akwa Akwa ibom state phenomenal; although there are few constraints to the growth and development; the economy of Nigeria has a significant effect on the level of patronage by consumers in the sense that; one cannot visit most of these places with financial buoyancy. Secondly the distance of most of these tourist attraction site are far from most of the consumers; the Ibeno beach for instance is at Eket local government area of Akwa Akwa ibom state; people from from other local government cannot easily navigate their way to this part of Akwa Akwa ibom State. The transportation route in Akwa Akwa ibom state is not well planned despite the good road; this is another issue with the development of tourism in Akwa Akwa ibom state. Lastly, continuous rainfall in Akwa Akwa ibom especially during the rainy season is a major setback on tourism.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The aims and the objectives of the research work are as follows:
1. To find the relationship between tourist attraction and consumer behavior
2. To find out the effect of consumer behavior on tourism
3. To find out the factors affecting tourist attraction development in Akwa Akwa ibom state.
4. To find out the roles of tourist attraction development in job creation and employment
5. To find out the effect of tourism on socio-cultural development.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
The following questions were generated to ascertain the objectives of the study; the research questions include:
1. What is the relationship between tourist attraction and consumer behavior?
2. What is the effect of consumer behavior on tourism?
3. What are the factors affecting tourist attraction development in Akwa Akwa ibom state?
4. What are the roles of tourist attraction development in job creation and employment?
5. What is the effect of tourism on socio-cultural development?
1.5 STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESIS
H0: there is no significant relationship between tourist attraction development and consumer behavior
H1: there is no significant relationship between tourist attraction development and consumer behavior
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The research work will be of immense benefit to the people of Akwa Akwa ibom state, other consumers, journalist, the state and the federal government of Nigeria, the study will reveal and promote the culture of Akwa Akwa ibom state. The research work will also serve as a guide to other researcher that wants to emback on similar research on tourist attraction development and consumer behavior.
1.7 SCOPE OF STUDY
The study on assessment of tourist attraction development and consumer behavior will only cover Akwa Akwa ibom state and the respective tourist attraction centers.
1.8 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
TOURISM: is travel for pleasure; also the theory and practice of touring, the business of attracting, accommodating, and entertaining tourists, and the business of operating tours. Tourism may be international, or within the traveler's country. The World Tourism Organization defines tourism more generally, in terms which go "beyond the common perception of tourism as being limited to holiday activity only ", as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes
TOURIST ATTRACTION: A tourist attraction is a place of interest where tourists visit, typically for its inherent or exhibited natural or cultural value, historical significance, natural or built beauty, offering leisure, adventure and amusement.
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