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Tuesday, November 14, 2017


the Nigerian economic sector is one that is touched by many factors, one of which is tourism. Tourism encapsulates a huge chunk of Nigeria’s annual GDP. According to a report (This Day Live), the tourism sector in 2017 contributed to #1.7Bn of the country’s total GDP, and this is mainly from local travels alone. This essay aims to look at the many merits that tourism holds for Nigerians, and for Nigeria’s economy as a whole while touching the abandoned areas that have great economic potentials for the country.

Mathieson and Wall (1982) created a good working definition of tourism as “the temporary movement of people to destinations outside their normal places of work and residence, the activities undertaken during their stay in those destinations, and the facilities created to cater to their needs.” The word “tour” is derived from the Latin ‘tornos,’ meaning ‘a lathe or circle; the movement around the central point or axis. When the word tour and the suffixes –ism and –ist are combined, they suggest the action of movement around a circle. (Alara, 2017).

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel only read a page,” these words of Edward Dahlberg has been a great motivation for a large number of people especially since the late 90s as travelling and tourism all over the world has improved in great percentages. Nigeria has had a high rise in tourism rate since 2004, going from 400,000 to a whopping 1,600,000, suffering minor drops between years 2012 – 2014 (Trading Economics.) According to a report (This Day Live), the tourism industry contributed #1.7 billion to Nigeria’s GDP in 2016. This contribution was a major boost for the economy especially since the country’s GDP shrank from 2.24 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2016, following a 2 percent decline in the previous, and compared to market expectations of a 2.5 percent decline.
The Nigerian economy is a boisterous one and the tourism sector has been a great developmental factor to it. The merits which it comes with are innumerable but may be streamlined, however. These merits will be highlighted in the next heading.

·         Employment
One of the easiest advantages to identify is the jobs tourism brings. This ranges from directly influenced positions like tour guides, hotel staff, coach services, and restaurants. What’s great about all these businesses is that they do not only pay wages to their staff but source goods and products locally, giving a boost to the local industry. (Travis Bennet, 2014)

·         Environmental advantage
Tourism provides financial support for the conservation of ecosystems and natural resource management, making the destination more authentic and desirable to visitors. It also adds more value to the local tourism business. (Alara, 2017)
These advantages are limitless and one could go on like the waterfalls in Oowu; forever. Recreational benefits, infrastructural benefits, poverty alleviation, exposure to foreign cultures are some of the merits worthy of mention, albeit.

Kwara state Nigeria has a numerable amount of Tourists centres that attract visitors annually. Some of these centres have grown over time to have National and International reputations that make them hot-spots for visitors in the state. Some of these centres are;
·         Esie Museum
·         Mungo Park’s Cenotaph
·         Pategi Beach
·         Oowu waterfalls
·         Dada Pottery

These centres all have great reputes but this essayist will be favourably disposed towards Oowu waterfalls.

Oowu waterfalls is located over 100km away from the capital of Kwara state, Ilorin. It is buried in a very remote part of the State, in Ifelodun local government area, far away from the noise of the capital; yet it generates great funds for the state.

On a recent visit to Oowu, residents were quick to reflect their happiness at how a repetitive cycle of visits from tourists to the location has been helping them. Local businesses were blooming and most of the customers of such businesses were merely passers-by. The candles of the markets in the areas bordering the falls shine brightly at day and at night.

It is a sad tale however that as much potential as Oowu falls hold to the economic development of Kwara state, the government pays very little attention to a location that important. This decadence and uncanny attitude spread to other locations in Kwara state, and Nigeria as a whole. The government has a dilapidating culture of maintaining tourist centres, and this is a time bomb, waiting to explode negatively into the Nigerian economy.

“The Nigerian hospitality report 2017, which was officially launched by Jumia Travel, has shown that the country generated 97 percent of its tourism revenue from domestic travel in 2016 while foreign travel accounted for only 3 percent.

Analysing the report in Lagos recently, the Managing Director, Jumia Travel Nigeria, Kushal Dutta, said: “despite the security challenges in the country and the fall in dollar exchange rate, a lot of Nigerians preferred to travel within the country to spend their holidays at exciting tourist destinations.”
The report added that even though Nigeria might not be the first choice as a tourist destination in Africa, there were fewer international arrivals in 2016, due largely to the ravaging effect of terrorism in the Northern Nigeria, which really impacted negatively on the inbound tourism as a lot of international tourists wrote off Nigeria as a tourist destination.
Despite the threat posed by terrorism, the country still managed to generate N88.2 billion from International visitors, the report said, but warned that by 2017, the figure may drop by 7.3 percent if the security challenges in the country still persist.” (Emma Okonji, 2017)

If the Kwara government and Nigerian government by extension can make great efforts in tackling the security challenges in the country, provide more access roads, one cannot but say that it will be good here in Kwara and in Nigeria as a whole, as the figures mentioned show that truly, tourism can harmonise and create opportunities for the economy.


·         (Travis Bennet) https://blog.udemy.com/advantages-of-tourism/

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