THE EFFECT OF GOVERNMENT POLICIES ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF TOURISM IN NIGERIA
Background of the study
Nigeria offers a wide variety of tourist attractions such as extended and roomy river and ocean beaches ideal for swimming and other water sports, unique wildlife, vast tracts of unspoiled nature ranging from tropical forest, magnificent waterfalls, some new rapidly growing cities and climatic conditions in some parts particularly conducive to holidaying. Other attractions include traditional ways of life preserved in local customs; rich and varied handicrafts and other colourful products depicting or illustrative of native arts and lifestyle, and the authentic unsophisticated but friendly attitude of many in the Nigerian population.
However, many of these attractions are still largely untapped and even at their raw states, they are still being enjoyed by few outsiders, either very rich visitors in quest of exoticism or adventurous people in search of new challenges and experiences.The lack of required modern infrastructural facilities and in some parts of the country acute conditions of underdevelopment and poverty can be seen which many potential Nigeria bound tourist may not like to be confronted with.
These are impediments to tourism, which the new administration has been tackling since assumption of office. Investors, both foreign and local are therefore called upon to come and invest in the abundant tourism potentials in the country. The richness and diversity of Nigeria’s tourism resources coupled with economic liberalization policies will provide investment opportunities in various areas as follows:
Heritage/Cultural Tourism Resources Development of slave trade relics
Establishment of museums and preservation of monuments
Wildlife Tourism Resources
Development of hiking trails and Jeep tracks in the national parks
Development of picnic and camping sites at strategic locations within the trail circuit system in the national parks
Building of tourist lodges
Building of reception centers at Natural/Physical Attractions
Provision of cable bus system to take tourist through the very rugged but scenic terrain of the mountains especially in Kanyang, Obudu and Mambilla Plateau Construction of lodge cabins for expedition tourist and rangers.
Establishment of hotels and resorts near waterfalls, springs, caves and temperate climate areas such as Obudu, jos and Mambila Plateau.
Beach Tourism potentials Establishment of boating and sport fishing facilities.
Development of water transportation Provision of educational facilities for water skiing and swimming.
Establishment of holiday resorts along the coasts.
Development of Amusement parks, entertainment facilities and shopping services.
Development of arts and crafts which constitute symbol of the people’s cultural values and love for nature.
Statement of the problem
Policy concerns goals and allocation of resources in situations, and to social problems, sometimes called ‘wicked’ problems (Rittel& Weber, 1973), where there is no clear answer. An example is the: ‘very real quandary (of a social and economic significance unlikely to be faced by academic observers) that the Minister [of Tourism for Eritrea] confronted in comparing the ‘social and ecological dangers posed by large-scale development’, with the ‘desperate need of foreign investment and the foreign exchange earnings some of which could be generated through tourism’ (Burns, 1999, p. 343). A consequence of the ‘messy’ nature of policy is that there will be differences in opinions concerning ‘appropriate’ policy to deal with a particular problem with each outcome resulting in ‘winners and losers’.
1.3 Objectives of the study
1. To study the relationship that exists between government policies and development of tourism in Nigeria.
2. To know whether government policies affects the development of tourism in Nigeria.
1.4 Research questions
1. Is there a significant relationship between government policies and development of tourism in Nigeria?
2. Do government policies affect the development of tourism in Nigeria?
1.5 Research hypotheses
Ho: There is no significant relationship between government policies and development of tourism in Nigeria.
Hi: There is a significant relationship between government policies and development of tourism in Nigeria.
Ho: Government policies do not affect the development of tourism in Nigeria.
Hi: Government policies affect the development of tourism in Nigeria.
1.6 Significance of the study
There are a number of reasons why the study of tourism policy is difficult. A first reason is that tourism policy, explicitly or implicitly involves beliefs and values, about what is good and bad. Policy concerns goals and allocation of resources in situations, and to social problems, sometimes called ‘wicked’ problems (Rittel& Weber, 1973), where there is no clear answer. An example is the: ‘very real quandary (of a social and economic significance unlikely to be faced by academic observers) that the Minister [of Tourism for Eritrea] confronted in comparing the ‘social and ecological dangers posed by large-scale development’, with the ‘desperate need of foreign investment and the foreign exchange earnings some of which could be generated through tourism’ (Burns, 1999, p. 343). A consequence of the ‘messy’ nature of policy is that there will be differences in opinions concerning ‘appropriate’ policy to deal with a particular problem with each outcome resulting in ‘winners and losers’. …development policies and activities are exactly like any other policies and activities in this crucial respect: there is little or no likelihood of positive-sum outcomes with gains to all participants (Goldsworthy, 1988, p. 508). Policy is seen as complex (McDonald, 2009) requires system and complexity thinking (Farrell & Twining-Ward, 2005), and is best dealt with as a complex adaptive system. The discussion that surrounds the dilemma of the Minister of Tourism for Eritrea is common highlights another difficulty in studying policy, and is reflected in debate concerning ‘tourism as industry vs. tourism as problem’ debate (Ritchie, Burns, & Palmer, 2005, p. 3), and of the contrast between tourism policy advice as the immediate outcome of an academic study, versus policy as the object of study. In many policy-related papers there is a ‘tourism as industry’ perspective that may, for example, examine how destinations can secure a competitive edge in increasingly global consumer markets (Ritchie & Crouch, 2000). This perspective is considered by Bramwell and Lane (2006, p. 1) as ‘distinctly positivist and empirical in outlook; it leaves the impression that it is dealing with objective, value-free or neutral knowledge’. The alternative is to consider tourism policy as a domain for examination of concepts such as trust, collaboration, social identity, the exercise of power, and so on; and best viewed through a variety of disciplinary and ideological ‘lenses’, that are becoming increasingly diverse, especially as researchers work at, and sometimes cut across, different levels (macro, micro) of analysis’ (J. Jenkins, 2001, p. 70).
1.7 Scope of the study
This study on the effect of Government policies on the development of tourism in Nigeria will cover various forms of Government policies in Nigeria and its effect on the development of tourism in Nigeria considering factors that can encourage better tourist centers in Nigeria.
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
Government Policy:Is a declaration of a government’s political activities, plans and intentions relating to a concrete cause or, at the assumption of office, an entire legislative session. In certain countries they are announced by the head of government or a minister of the parliament.
Tourism:Isthe 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.