Nigerian Foreign Policy Objectives In Promoting Of Tourism Industry In Nigeria
The concept of foreign policy being a course of action or principles adopted by Ta nation’s government to define its relation with other countries or groups of countries gives credence to tourism being treated as an outcome of such policy as tourism is used in fostering political, economic and socio-cultural spheres of nations in this millennium. Quite a number of key trends have emerged from international tourism particularly the rise in travels to Middle East and African tourism demand which Nigeria can explore to develop its tourism industry and regain its useful place in the international community of nations. It’s evident that there is little awareness about the immense importance derived from international tourism, by policy makers thus an overview of the probable benefits to be accrued where the methodology used was a theoretical application of the documentary and observation approaches where a good understanding of the industry and the events that happen on daily basis to the administration and operations in the industry was given and the facts presented. The findings revealed the importance of having an effective and functional foreign policy that would enhance efficiency and goal oriented results on international tourism for Nigeria’s economic sub-sectors of paramount need now in order to harness the benefits of her role and dominance in international peace keeping and humanitarian endeavors
1.1 Background of study
Tourism sector according to David Diaz Benavides (2001) is probably the only services sector that provides concrete and qualified trading opportunities for all nations, regardless of their level of development. According to him, the sector also provides an uneven distribution of benefits, which is threatening the social, economic and environmental sustainability of tourism in some developing countries (Benavides 2001). Tourism has become a major source of economic development and diversification for many developing countries. Tourism for Nigeria is yet to become a channel of employment creation, income generation and revenue mobilization for a country with over 170 million people. Although, the developed countries account for a higher proportion of global tourism, and many developing countries are beginning to take advantage of the huge opportunities offered by tourism. (Ayeni & Ebohon 2012)
Nevertheless, this is only possible among the countries that have all it takes to promote tourism. The huge advantages in tourism can be achieve with the availability of natural, manmade, cultural, and enhancing infrastructure supporting the growth and development of tourism in the country. Most developing countries like Nigeria for example practise monoeconomy, which means the country generate bulk of her foreign exchange from a particular economic product “crude oil”. However, many of these countries are beginning to see the importance of tourism and the needs for economic diversification. Nigeria has always being known as a petroleum exporting country, she is one of the largest producers of petroleum. And the country’s main stay is crude oil. However, the country has decided to join the trial to diversify her economy from the production of crude oil in other to create more employment opportunities and to generate more foreign income. (Ayeni & Ebohon 2012)
Nigeria is a rich country when it comes to tourism because, the country is blessed with all it takes to be a tourists’ destination. The country’s tourism potentials range from natural, manmade, and cultural attractions but they lacks management, enhancing and supporting infrastructure around the attractions for easy access and development. However, this area is the business potential in the country now. Many benefits have been set out for local and foreign investors that believe in the industry (Ayeni & Ebohon 2012). Sustainable tourism concept is used to harmonize and reconcile issues of intergenerational equity, the goals of economic growth, environmental protection, and justice. It recognizes the need for fairness between local individuals and groups, and between hosts and guests (Mbaiwa 2005).
1.2 Statement of problem
Africa just like other continents of the world is a location for tourism and travelling. The continent is not left out in the technique of raising revenue through tourism. Africa has continued to improve on tourism like other continents. According to the United Nation World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) forecasts, it is stated that international tourist arrivals will experience an increase of 3% to 4% in 2013, this forecast is so much in line with its 2030 long term forecast: +3.8% a year on average between 2010 and 2020.This report is confirmed by the UNWTO Confidence Index. This report was Compiled among over 300 experts worldwide, the Index shows that prospects for 2013 are similar to the evaluation of last year 124 points for 2013 against 122 for 2012. Which in turns implies that by region, prospects for 2013 are much more stronger than that of 2012, for Asia and the Pacific +5% to +6%, followed by Africa +4% to +6%, the Americas +3% to +4%, Europe +2% to +3% and the Middle East 0% to +5%(UNWTO 2013).
International tourism, measured by the number of arrivals of foreign tourists in a country, grew by 4%.
United Nations World Tourism Organization
However, in the figure above Africa region showed a growth rate of (+6%) in the number of international arrivals, it is observed that there is high concentration of international tourist arrivals in both the north and south of the continent. These two regions recovered well from there setback in 2011 when arrivals decreased by 1% as a result of the negative return from North Africa. International arrivals reached a new record (52 million) as a result of rebound in North Africa (+9% as compared to a 9% decreased in 2011) while Sub-Saharan destination continue its growth (+5%). Results in the Middle Eastshows (-5%) which implies there is an improvement after a 7% decrease in 2011, still the region recorded approximately 3 million international tourist arrivals less in 2012 in spite of the clear recovery in Egypt. (UNWTO 2013)
1.3 Research Questions
This research will focus mainly on the primary research question addressed in this thesis, which is: how Nigeria tourism industry can be improved and sustained through foreign policies? In order to answer the primary research question, the following sub-research questions will be addressed;
- What are the foreign policies for the development and sustenance of tourism industry in Nigeria?
- What are the benefits of tourism to the development of Nigeria economy?
- What are the problems and challenges of tourism in Nigeria?
- What are the ways of improving tourism in Nigeria?
1.4 Objective of the Study
The objective of the research study is stated below:
- To examine the foreign policies for the development and sustenance of tourism industry in Nigeria.
- To identify the benefits of tourism to the development of Nigeria economy
- To identify the problems and challenges of tourism in Nigeria
- To suggest ways of improving tourism in Nigeria
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study will help in providing necessary information needed for the development and sustainability of tourism industry in Nigeria. It will be of benefit to the investors, the organized private sector, public sector and academic environment.
1.6 Research Limitation
Limitations on the other hand are sometimes inevitable, they comes in form of challenges. It is never an over statement to say, most studies have the possibilities to face one or two problems. However, in respect to this research, some challenges were faced and the researcher was able to conquer them all. For the purpose of this research work an attempt had been made to discussed some of the challenges encountered in the process of this research work.
Time factor and unavailability of the interviewees, are some of the challenges faced in this research work. Time as always being our best enemy because it waits for no one, it was very difficult for some managers to draw out time out of time to say hi when appointment is not on business oriented or related. Corruption has beaten the system so deep, that regards are not given to students anymore. The system had found it so difficult to contribute to students’ academic life, except it is business related or profit oriented. Due to this problem, it was so challenging for the researcher to meet the people needed for the success of the research work one on one. But to solve these problems the interview questions were sent out through the email and five responses were received.[email protected][email protected]