Tourism is one of the world’s largest industries. It is not so easy to provide a clear and all-encompassing definition of tourism, particularly when one considers that it is so closely interrelated with all other sectors of life: economic, social, cultural, environmental, and political (The Economist, 1991). Many feel that a universal definition of tourism is almost impossible to reach, and that it would be realistic to accept the existence of many different definitions, each aimed at serving a specific purpose. However, we find Fennell’s definition (1999) closest to the purpose of this project. He defines it as “... the interrelated system that includes tourists and the associated services that are provided and utilised (facilities, attractions, transportation and accommodation) to aid in their movement ...”. Fennell also adds that the tourist (the principal subject of this activity), according to UNWTO, is “... a person travelling for pleasure for a period of at least one night, but not more than one year for international tourists and six months for persons travelling in their own countries, with the main purpose of the visit being other than to engage in activities for remuneration in the place(s) visited.” Tourist volumes, physical and financial, throughout the world are, on average, constantly increasing.
This growth is taking place at a time characterised by frequent turbulence in political and economic spheres, and occasional unfortunate events caused by the forces of nature in some of the most attractive tourism destinations of the world.
From the perspective of spatial distribution, tourism is a highly fragmented activity. It is located in specific environments and destinations, where there is a variety of environmental, cultural, social and physical attractions. The fact that in a relatively small area there is a high concentration of pressures may result in negative, albeit localised, consequences. However, the cumulative effects of these impacts can still be great. In many cases tourism, which has been the activity that kick started the economic development of an area and consequently other activities, which developed because of tourism, has started to create negative impacts on sustainability, which in many cases are bigger than the benefits that tourism brings.
One of the most common types of tourism is coastal tourism. It is based on a unique resource combination at the interface of land and sea offering amenities such as water, beaches, scenic beauty, rich terrestrial and marine biodiversity, diversified cultural and historic heritage, healthy food and, usually, good infrastructure. It includes a diversity of activities that take place in both coastal zones and coastal waters, which involve the development of tourism capacities (hotels, resorts, second homes, restaurants, etc.) and support infrastructure (ports, marinas, fishing and diving shops, and other facilities).
Besides physical conditions, the development of tourism in coastal areas is related to socio-economic features of the receiving environment such as local community interests, health and security conditions, political factors including unpredictable crises, and traditional models of tourism. The growth of tourism in coastal areas has reached its peak in recent decades.
The economic importance of coastal tourism is unquestionable, although there is no analysis forecasting what would be the direct share of coastal tourism in the tourism sector, or its likely contribution to the economy as a whole. However, individual studies show that the coastal tourism sector in various regions of the world is increasingly growing in importance with regard to its magnitude and contribution to national economies as well as to the wellbeing of local communities.
1.2. Statement of the Study:
The main conceptual issue of coastal tourism which needs to be solved is the conflict between the benefits tourism provides for the economy as a whole and for the social environment it is operating in, and its heavy impact on the coastal physical environment in terms of urban sprawl, linear urbanisation, pressure on sensitive areas, the production of waste and the fragmentation of habitats, and the social environment, in terms of the loss of social and cultural identity and values.
Usually the development of tourism activities in coastal areas is based on a process where any planning or/and management decision is taken mainly on the basis of financial criteria, while the environment is taken into account only in a sense that can be described as “trying to minimise effects given the available budget”. This process leads to the unsustainable development of coastal areas which not only impacts negatively on the environment and society but, in the long term, is also eroding the economic benefits of tourism since it destroys the basis of the tourism activity in coastal areas, namely the variety of the landscape, the biodiversity and the ecosystem services - in the sea and on land. The major challenge in this conflict remains how to develop coastal tourism patterns that will not minimise benefits to tourists and local populations, and the quality of the natural resource base for tourism.
In order to minimise tourism-induced problems and secure both the sustainability of the tourism industry and coastal resources used by other sectors, increased attention must be paid to the integration of coastal tourism into strategic development planning. In planning tourism development, it is of the utmost importance to focus on the appropriate planning of tourism growth with regard to the capacity of local systems.
1.3. OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY:
The main objective of this document is to present a tool that will assist all those involved in sustainable tourism planning and management to facilitate the use of resources in coastal areas. The project’s major goals are to:
promote the participatory management approach among the operational stakeholders in the tourism sector so as to improve the economy;
Enrich the operational capacity of institutions and people dealing with tourism development and/or integrated coastal zone management, in the tourism private sector and at the local authority/government level;
Raise awareness about the importance of sustainability and integrated management in the planning and management of tourism activities in coastal areas.
Promote the need and importance for maximizing environmental preservation of the coastal areas while enriching the economy through coastal tourism.
1.4. RESEARCH QUESTION:
To effectively conduct the research work on “the role of coastal tourism in expanding the economic opportunity of Nigeria”, the research deemed it necessary to devise some questions through which the provision of answers to them will enhance a comprehensive understanding of the project topic. The research questions include;
How developed is the coastal tourism in Nigeria?
Are there any economic opportunity provided so far by coastal tourism?
What is the level of tourism in Nigeria today?
What are the challenges facing coastal tourism in Nigeria?
In what ways have these challenges limited the growth of coastal tourism in Nigeria?
1.5. RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS:
The following forms the research hypothesis;
HO: Coastal tourism does not have any prospects in Nigeria
HI: Coastal tourism has a prospect in Nigeria
HO: The challenges facing coastal tourism in Nigeria is insurmountable
HI: The challenges facing the success of coastal tourism in Nigeria are surmountable.
1.6. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY:
This project aims to serve as a guide, first of all, to all professionals in the field (in tourism planning, and in coastal zone management) that are involved in the "day-to-day" planning and management of tourism activities in coastal tourism destinations. But it is also meant to be an inspiration for high level decision-makers in order to assist them to better understand the importance of tourism in relation to coastal zones’ physical and social contexts, as well as an instrument to facilitate the integration of tourism planning into sustainable development planning and management. The project establishes a vertical system of strategic planning, where activities are undertaken "top-down" and "bottom-up". This, in effect, means that the initiatives may come from the top, but the decisions originate from the bottom of the decision-making ladder.
The project presents the synthesis of knowledge on sustainable tourism and on Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) accumulated in various parts of the world, in a number of institutions, and is based on the practice of many organisations and how profit can be made through it as well as the economic opportunities provided by it. It builds upon the common understanding of what strategic planning, in generic terms, is and attempts to bring that understanding closer to tourism and ICZM practitioners. Every attempt was made to bring as many practical experiences as possible to the attention of the reader. However, such an attempt is never entirely satisfactory, and there is always something left to be desired in this respect. The document draws on an extensive list of more than 100 key references on the relevant subjects. These references are embedded throughout the text to assist those seeking to acquire further information about particular concepts, research topics or case studies.
1.7. SCOPE OF THE STUDY:
The text of this project is structured around a simple management system where the possible ways through which the economy of the country (Nigeria) can be maximized through coastal tourism is presented. The project is made up of five chapters with each chapter constructed in such a way as to enhance full understanding of the project topic.
Chapter one of the project present the introductory part of the research work with its fundamental rudiments. Chapter two presents the literature review of the project, the challenges facing coastal tourism, the economic opportunity provided by coastal tourism, and the theoretical framework. Chapter three dealt with the research methodology used in the work to gather necessary facts, chapter four presents the result derived from the methodology used in chapter three and chapter five presents the summary.
1.8. LIMITATION OF THE STUDY:
During the course of the study, the researcher encountered several challenges which form the limitation of the study. The limitations encountered include;
Limited time for the research work
Sourcing of material
Convincing people to fill the questionnaire
1.9. DEFINITION OF TERMS:
COASTAL TOURISM: includes those recreational activities which involve travel away from one's place of residence which have as their host or focus the marine environment and/or the coastal zone." The marine environment is defined as those waters that are saline and tide-affected
TOURISM: The commercial organization and operation of holidays and visits to places of interest.
SUSTAINABLE: able to be maintained at a certain rate or level
TOURIST: A person who is travelling or visiting a place for pleasure.
PLEASURE: A feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment.
TRAVEL: To make a journey, typically of some length
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