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Hospitality & Tourism Management

The Roles Of Government Agencies In The Development Of Tourism Industry In Nigeria

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ABSTRACT

 This study has examined the role of government agencies in the development of tourism in Nigeria. Using the case study of tourism in the South eastern Nigeria, this work argues that it is essential to understand the role, responsibilities and benefits of both three most important stakeholders of a destination from sustainable tourism practice and policy and also how they respond to its adoption; local governance, tourism enterprises and local community, focusing mostly on the challenges and weaknesses that expand within and beyond the boundaries of local government and hinder the enhancement of south east as an important tourist destination in Nigeria. The research data-gathering methods: literature reviews, secondary data and semi-structured interviews are all used to gain insights into the core research questions. Each method feeds into and is strengthened by the others and their combination. The results of this study point out the fact that there are a wide range of factors that constrain the southeastern tourism industry from adopting more sustainable tourism practices. All of these factors play a crucial role in materialization the actions of all stakeholders in relation to sustainable tourism principles.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background of the Study

Being identified as one of the most promising industries that mainly contribute to the world’s economy, tourism has become a challenge for every country. Small and developing countries are particularly interested in taking advantages of all positive impacts that tourism implies. Nigeria is one of the countries which have identified tourism as a mean for generating various micro and macro-economic impacts. Consequently, a National Strategy for Tourism Development 2009-2013 was prepared with a main vision – Nigeria to become famous travel and tourism destination in Europe based on cultural and natural heritage (Government of the Republic of Nigeria, 2009: 3). Up-to-date, tourism in Nigeria has accomplished an average growth of 4.64% per year, which is higher than the average growth of the entire economy (3.12%). One may say that the contribution of tourism in the gross domestic product (GDP) is very modest with an average of only 1.7 % per year, but the impression is completely opposite when compared to the average for Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) of 1.6% (WTTC, 2009: 6). Regarding the participation of tourism employees in the total workforce of Nigeria, the national average is 3.1%, which is more than twice bigger than the average of the CEE being 1.4% in 2009 (WTTC, 2009: 6).

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The importance of tourism to national economy can be evaluated by tourism inflows which in 2009 represented 26% of total inflows of services and 8% of exports of goods in Nigeria. In the same line, the tourism inflows were 20% higher than the foreign direct investments. Accordingly, the net tourism inflows in Nigeria have an average of 1% of GDP (Petrevska, 2010). Such condition indicates high potential of tourism effects especially if taking in consideration the forecasts for tourism demand in terms of foreign tourists in Nigeria which foresees increasing of 40% by 2014 (Petrevska, 2011).

Additionally, the projected values referring tourism development in Nigeria are very optimistic. Namely, according to the estimations by 2021 it is expected tourism contribution to the national GDP to reach 4.9% thus bringing revenue of US$200 million. Moreover, the total contribution to employment including jobs indirectly supported by tourism industry is forecast to rise to 35 000 jobs (5.4%). Furthermore, the investment in tourism is projected to reach the level of US$ 95 million representing 2.8% of total investment (WTTC, 2011: 3). Consequently, Nigeria identified tourism as an industry which might contribute to enhancing foreign export demand for domestic goods and services, generating foreign currency earnings, new employment opportunities, repaying the foreign debt, increasing the national income etc.

There has been a growing recognition in many tourist destinations that current management practices may lead to undesirable impacts on environment and society, which, in turn, can threaten both tourism development itself and the economic viability of host communities and nations (WTO, 1996; Huyber and Bennett, 2003). These problems are exacerbated where there is a lack of well-designed planning for and effective management of tourism development (Walter and Alix, 2000; Huybers and Bennett, 2002). The failure of development in many areas has dictated the need for a reform or a radical rethinking of the concept of development, and changes are required in both goals and methods (Harris, 2000). The growing awareness of these challenges to traditional development doctrines has led to the increasingly wide acceptance of a new concept – that of sustainable development. Sustainable development has recently emerged as a key issue in the development agenda for the tourism industry in many developing countries (Tosun, 2001; Helmy, 2004). It can also be one of the most effective drivers for the sustainable development of regional economies. Many developing countries promote tourism as it offers the potential for creating jobs, improving community incomes, and increasing both foreign exchange earnings and government revenues (Smith, 1989; Sharpley, 2000; Bui, 2000).

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Local and national authorities are increasingly using the term sustainable tourism and placing it on their agendas. This is expected to increase further in the future when the potential of sustainable tourism for employment generation and for enhancing competitiveness will become more evident. Sustainable tourism is not a discrete or special form of tourism; all forms of tourism should strive to be more sustainable. The concept of sustainable development has become widely accepted as the way to a better future. It has become a preoccupation for planning practitioners, policymakers, and an area of growing research interest among academics. Certainly, the co-existence of multiple stakeholders is one of the defining characteristics of a tourism destination (Aas, Bramwell and Sharman, 1999; Laws, Scott and Parfitt, 2002; World Tourism Organization, 2004; Ladkin and Fletcher, 2005) and the stakeholders may include: the various levels of government (international, national, regional and local tourism organizations); tourism developers and entrepreneurs, tourism industry operators; non-tourism business practitioners and the broader community.

1.2     Statement of Problem

In this respect, the preliminary task is to identify the priority areas of state intervention as the only way of making it the most effective. The government may not be directly involved in tourism support, except in some areas of national importance such as developing tourism information systems or national tourism promotion. Moreover, the government may initiate actions and activities for tourism development by ensuring funds or setting quality standards. So, this kind of intervention is acceptable as a supportive and balance-oriented concept. Therefore, the role of the government is to act as an economic power that will guide and manage tourism development. Its intervention is justified only when tourism by itself may not act efficiently.

It is also commonly recognized that there is a big gap between the planning for sustainable tourism and its actual implementation. Many tourism development plans never turn into reality due to, amongst other things, a lack of information to support planning, and a lack of effective instruments to enable implementation (Briassoulis, 2002; Michelle, 2006). It also means that understanding why the gap exists between ideology and practice is a critical step on the way to transforming the concept of sustainable tourism into the daily practice of the tourism industry in Nigeria.

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1.3     Objective of the Study

This study aims at examining the role of government agencies in the development of tourism in Nigeria.

The specific objectives include;

  1. To identify government agencies involved in tourism development in Nigeria
  2. To examine the level of tourism development by these identified government agencies

1.4     Research Questions

The following questions were posed to guide the study;

  1. What is meant by making tourism more sustainable?
  2. Which are the government roles and responsibilities in tourism management towards sustainability?

1.5     Scope of the study

This study is limited to government agencies, parastatals, ministries and bodies that are responsible for the promotion, implementation, utilization and accommodation of tourism with reference to its products and services in Nigeria.

1.6     Significance of the Study

This research work highlights on the importance of government agencies in the sustenance of tourism and management as a means of sustainable tourism development. It is believed that the findings of this research work should provide detailed information on the how to manage tourist centers for a sustainable development and long term survival. It is also expected that the study will benefit the hospitality industries and management.

The research will also have a significance difference to the researcher. This is because the study will expose the researcher to so many related areas in the course of carrying out his research. This will enhance the researcher’s experience, knowledge and understanding on tourism and management for a sustainable development.

1.7     Limitation of the Study

Due to time constrain, this research work should have covered a whole festive period of the celebration, but was shorten, also this research work is limited to the study of tourist sites and its surrounding in Nigeria. Also,

  • Little materials are also available because the work is relatively new.
  • Financial constrain poses another challenges.

    Pages:  29

    Category: Seminar

    Format:  Word & PDF               

    Chapters: 1-5                                          

    Source: Imsuinfo                            

    Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.

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