THE ROLE OF TOURISM IN THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF NIGERIA (A CASE STUDY OF CROSS RIVER STATE)

THE ROLE OF TOURISM IN THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF NIGERIA (A CASE STUDY OF CROSS RIVER STATE)

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CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY

The activities of the tourism industry towards economic development of Nigeria have increased overtime. Tourism over the years has proven to be a surprisingly strong and resilient economic activity and a fundamental contributor to economic growth of nations by generating billions of dollars in exports and creating millions of jobs((Mathieson & Wall, 2001).

Acknowledging these facts, many developing and developed countries today rely on tourism as an option for sustainable development of their nations.

According to (WTTC, 2014) stated that the tourism industry has now grown to be the world’s largest industries and one of its fastest growing economic sectors. The recent publication of World Travel & Tourism Council showed that in 2013, travel & tourism’s total contribution to the global economy rose to US$7 trillion, about 9.5 per cent of global GDP, not only outpacing the wider economy but also growing faster than other significant sectors such as financial and business services, transport and manufacturing and its total contribution to employment was nearly 266 million jobs about 8.9 percent of world employment.

The sustained demand for travel & tourism, together with its ability to generate high levels of employment continues to prove the importance and value of the sector as a tool for economic development and job creation.

According to (Ashikodi 2010) stated that in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly Nigeria, organized tourism dates back to 1962 with the creation of Nigeria.

Tourist Association by group of tourism practitioners in the country Tourism was officially recognized by government as a potential economic activity in 1976 with the establishment of Nigeria Tourism Board (NTB).

In 1992, the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) was established to replace NTB because the latter failed to create any meaningful impact on the country’s tourism industry. To strengthen and revitalize the tourism industry, the government in conjunction with United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 2006 produced a National Tourism Development Master Plan (NTDC, 2006).

The master plan produced in three volumes focused on the institutional and capacity strengthening support to tourism sector. And since then tourism activities had gathered momentum in Nigeria. Tourism today has become one of the engines of growth for Nigerian economy with a contribution of 3.20 per cent to national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and providing 2.70 per cent of total employment in 2013 (WTTC, 2014). Tourism industry contribution to GDP, according to World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) is envisage to rise by 1.9 per cent in 2014 and rise by 6.1 per cent per annum from 2014 to 2024.

Nigeria tourism sector is therefore growing and it is capable of generating employment and earning large amount of foreign exchange that rivaled agriculture and petroleum sectors.

1.2 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM

In Nigeria’s rural communities, the rural population is large, poor, resilient and hardworking. An individual is a farmer, a hunter, and a trader at different seasons. His livelihood strategies can negatively impact on the ecosystem and tourism resources due to absolute poverty. What is required is innovation in the production process; development of the economy through tourism development for alternative livelihood strategy. Most private, state and federal government tourism assets suffer from the problem of mismanagement, lack of accountability and transparency in tax, revenue and employment. There are also many beautiful types of scenery in the rural areas that cannot be brought to the cities, but are lying wasted and untapped. There is a basic problem of wildlife conservation for tourism in Nigeria resulting to indiscriminate hunting and harvesting, human population pressure, pollution, overgrazing, forest fires, public apathy, and externalities arising from the divergence between private and public social costs and benefits. The “Dutch Disease” that arose from the discovery of crude oil in Nigeria did not only cripple agriculture which was then the backbone of the economy, it also blindfolded our macroeconomic planners from seeing inherent potentials and diversity in the nation’s economy. As crude oil receipts begin to recede, with even far more greater concern about the dominance of oil in the global energy equation, it is our hope that our leaders will consider tourism and indeed every useful suggestion that will develop the economy. It has to be conceded that presently Nigeria is far from being Africa’s preferred tourist destination. Generally, the contribution of tourism to Nigeria’s GPD is 5% lower than Africa’s average. The lack of planning, inadequate infrastructure and growing insecurity has negatively impacted on what use to be a growing industry. States like Plateau, Bauchi, Lagos, and Cross River State etc have all lost tourist appeal as a result of insecurity and inadequate infrastructure, with tourism assets lying underinvested and wasted. Poor transport services by road, air and sea, kidnapping for ransoms, religious extremism make countries like the United States of America to issue travel warnings to its citizens travelling to Nigeria, and to avoid certain cities in Nigeria when travelling becomes necessary. The study in this regard wishes to examine the roles of the tourism industry in the economic development of Nigeria using Cross River State as the case study.

1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY

The main aim of the research work is to examine the role of the tourism industry in the economic development of Nigeria. Other specific objectives of the study include:

1.  to determine the contribution of the tourism industry to the economy of Nigeria

2.  to examine the role of the tourism industry in cultural exchange and employment generation in cross River State

3.  to determine the effect of the activities of the tourism industry on the national income

4.  to investigate on the factors affecting the growth of the tourism industry in Cross River State

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION

The study came up with research questions so as to be able to ascertain the above objectives. The specific research questions for the study are stated below as follows:

1.  What are the contributions of the tourism industry to the economy of Nigeria?

2.  What the roles of the tourism industry in cultural exchange and employment generation in cross River State?

3.  What is the effect of the activities of the tourism industry on the national income?

4.  What are the factors affecting the growth of the tourism industry in Nigeria in cross River State?

1.6 RESEARCH METHDOLOGY

The research method employed in this study includes the survey, ex post facto and descriptive research design. This designs form the basis upon which the research was carried out. It is ex-post facto research design in that the data generated were already put in place and are not subject to the manipulation of the researcher. Similarly it is a descriptive research design in that the data generated were analyzed and the outcome described with a view to making inference. The use of statistical bulletin gotten from the tourism and hospitality center in Cross River state will be used for the study. The study will consider the activities of the tourism industry in the economic development of Nigeria for a period of 17 years. Ordinary least square regression method will be used to validate the research hypothesis

1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

The study on the role of the tourism industry in the economic development of Nigeria will be of immense benefit to the entire Cross River State, the federal government and other researchers as the research will discuss the importance of the tourism industry in Nigeria, the study will also discuss the role, the contribution of the tourism industry in the area of employment generation, the national income and cultural exchange in Nigeria

1.8 SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The study on the role of the tourism industry in the economic development of Nigeria will focus on Cross River State; the study will cover the contribution of tourism to employment, tax revenue and foreign exchange generation from 2000-2017

1.9 LIMITATION OF 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 (via internet).

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.

1.10 DEFINITION OF TERMS

TOURISM: the commercial organization and operation of holidays and visits to places of interest

EMPLOYMENT: is a relationship between two parties, usually based on a contract where work is paid for, where one party, which may be a corporation, for profit, not-for-profit organization, co-operative or other entity is the employer and the other is the employee

GDP: The gross domestic product (GDP) is one of the primary indicators used to gauge the health of a country's economy

CULTURE: the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively


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