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Hospitality & Tourism Management

Travel Agency Threat And Opportunities: A Study Of successful Business Owners In Imo State




 The travel agencies play an important role in tourism development. Imo state can be considered an important touristic destinaion in Nigeria. Purpose – The purpose of the work is to underline the threat and opportunities to travel agencies to business owners in Imo State. Design – A survey was conducted to find the opinion of these companies managers regarding the role they plays in the valorisation of touristic potential. Methodology The survey that was carried out was going to be a quantitative type of research. The means of communication with the investigated unit: interviews based on a questionnaire administered by the operators. The primary data was collected out of a sample of 16 travel agencies operating in Imo State, from a total number of 20s. The sample for the target group has been identified using purposive sampling method. Purposive sampling method was applied to travel agencies managers’ participants because this sample was considered to meet the objectives of the research, though it did not represent the whole population. The questionnaires were administered by face to face interviews with representatives of the participating travel agencies at the Ahiajoku Tourism Fair, but also at the agencies’ headquarters. Approach – Travel agencies operating both locally as well as nationally and internationally, should be encouraged to provide tourism products in the county. It is necessary to find solutions to improve the quality of tourism services in Imo State. Findings – According to the acquired results, the most important factors affecting the implication of travel agencies in Imo state tourism development are the insufficient development of tourism resources in the area, lack of financial resources and poor general infrastructure.



1.1     Background of the Study

As with other open system sectors, tourism and hospitality organizations commonly engage in strategic planning as a means of gaining competitive advantage in the face of an increasingly uncertain, dynamic and complex world (Harrison, 2003; Jogaratnam & Law, 2006). A core component of strategic planning is strategic (or SWOT) analysis, which entails the identification and assessment of internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats (Tribe, 2005). Superior performance is achieved, at least in principle, if the organization is able to align its internal environment (e.g. strategic direction, competitive strategies, allocation of resources, etc.) to respond optimally to these external opportunities and threats (Olsen & Roper, 1998). The external component, accordingly, is a critical aspect of strategic planning that is apprehended through a process of & environmental scanning (or ES) (Jogaratnam & Law, 2006), which Okumus (2004) defines as the employment of systematic methods to monitor and forecast those external forces and developments that are not under the direct control of the organization or its industry (p. 124).

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A useful distinction in ES can be made between the task environment or vendors, media, local communities, government agencies, customers and other groups that the organization regularly interacts with, and the broad environment, which encompasses the socio-cultural, ecological, geopolitical, economic and technological contexts that the organization operates within. The distinction is important because organizations can exert at least some influence over the task environment but little or none over the broad environment, suggesting the respective utility of proactive and reactive organizational strategies (Harrison, 2003).

Tourism can simply be defined as the movement of people outside the borders of their current residence, for leisure tourism or business tourism, but not for a longer period than 12 consecutive months (Wearne & Baker, 2002). Similarly, tourism involves a series of diverse activities carried out at the tourism destination (including visiting relatives or friends, shopping or one-day city tours). According to Holloway (2012) defining tourism with precision is an impossible task. From his perspective (like a truth being told as a joke) the definition of a tourist is someone that travels to seek something different, and afterward complains about coming across things in a manner that was not expected. The relationship between the suppliers of tourism services (transport, hotels, restaurants, entertainers) and tourists is an intermediary (most of the time) coming from travel agents (the creators of tourism packages) and the retail travel agencies (which sell the tourism products created by travel agents for a commission).

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The SWOT component of strategic planning has been criticized as typically being carried out in a non-analytical way that yields overly descriptive and general information insufficient to serve as an effective basis for subsequent action (Hill & Westbrook, 1997). While this suggests the need for analytical rigour, Okumus (2004) argues against formal ES procedures due to difficulties in defining and contending with the external environment, predicting the future, and collecting and accurately interpreting reliable and relevant data. Problems also exist in identifying factors as opportunities or threats (especially within the broad environment) and in structuring formal ES mechanisms informally enough so as to not stifle creativity and maximum communication flows. Notwithstanding this paradox, a positive relationship between ES, strategy and organizational performance has been identified (Costa & Teare, 1996; Dev & Olsen, 1989), and even Okumus (2004) regards ES in at least some form as crucial for all hospitality and tourism organizations.


The effective absence of empirical strategic analysis research related to travel agencies and other tourism sectors such as attractions, travel agents, and cruise ships must be regarded as a serious gap in the literature given that the latter support the hospitality industry (travel agencies serving as intermediaries between consumers and hospitality providers), are important generators of jobs and revenue in their own right, and are similarly vulnerable to the exigencies of unpredictable external forces. This study partially rectifies this shortcoming by focusing on the conventional US-based travel agency sector, and specifically on the main contemporary opportunities and threats external to that sector as perceived by the senior executives of financially successful agencies.

1.3     Aim and Objective of the Study

The main aim of the research work is to examine the successful business owners’ perspectives on travel agency threats and opportunities in Imo State. Other specific objectives of the study are:

  • to determine the effect of environmental scanning (ES) on the control of threats among travel agencies in Imo State
  • to determine the relationship between ES and opportunities for the travel agencies in Imo State
  • to investigate on the factors affecting the travel agencies in Nigeria
  • to determine the extent to which travel agencies have improved the hospitality and tourism sector of Nigeria
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1.4 Research Questions

The study came up with research questions so as to ascertain the above stated objectives of the study. The research questions for the study are:

  • What is the effect of environmental scanning (ES) on the control of threats among travel agencies in Imo State?
  • What is the relationship between ES and opportunities for the travel agencies in Imo State?
  • What are the factors affecting the travel agencies in Nigeria?
  • To what extent has the travel agencies improved the hospitality and tourism sector of Nigeria?

1.6 Significance Of Study

The study on the successful business owners’ perspectives on travel agency threats and opportunities in Imo State will be of immense benefit to the entire business owners in Imo State, the tourism and hospitality industry and other researchers that desire to carry out similar research on the above topic as the findings of the study will educate the entire population on the travel agencies in Nigeria, the threats and opportunities faced by the travel agencies in Nigeria. Finally the study will contribute to the body of existing literature and knowledge in this field of study and provide a basis for further research.

Scope Of Study

The study on travel agency threats and opportunities: the perspective of successful business owners will be limited to 100 business owners in Imo.

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 (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


ES – Environmental Scanning

Tourism – this means people traveling for fun. It includes such activities as sightseeing and camping.

Resort – Places where many tourists stay are called resorts

Pages:  32

Category: Seminar

Format:  Word & PDF               

Chapters: 1-5                                          

Source: Imsuinfo                                     

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.


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