Monday 20 March 2017



This study investigated on how tourism can serve as a tool for economic diversification in the country, Nigeria. Special focus was on the difference in visitations over the years under investigation to the various tourists attractions within the state. Information for the study was basically from the questionnaire survey and participatory research method. The generated data were analyzed using descriptive statistics such as mean, simple percentages and graphic illustrations. The study demonstrated that there was a steady increase in the number of tourists visit to the various attraction sites in the area and that the greatest increase was observed in the number of tourists visiting for the purpose of cultural festivals. The result show that tourism influenced employment status, including enhancement of the people’s income in the state. Based on the a forementioned findings, it is recommended that all stakeholders in the tourism industry should be involved in the planning and execution of tourism projects and that tourism activities be organized all through the year to ensure more tourists visitation and avoid seasonality in the tourism industry.



This paper provides as analysis concerning existing structural deficiencies and socioeconomic factors which impact on the efficacy of tourism as a tool for long-term sustainable diversification development in Nigeria. It also presents policy-related suggestions on alternative tourism strategy which can assist to ameliorate the social and environmental impacts of tourism development and enhance the efficacy of the industry in promoting : economic diversification and a long-term sustainable development.

Nigeria provides a good example of an African country which has embraced tourism as an important tool for socio-economic development. In the short-term, Third World Countries in general, and Nigeria in particular, viewed the development of tourism as a quick and reliable source of much sought after foreign exchange receipts, job creation and economic growth. Whereas in the long-term it is usually envisioned that tourism development will contribute to economic diversification and, in consequence, reduce excessive over-dependency on the exportation of conventional raw materials. This is due to the fact that because the consumption of tourism products occurs at the place of production (the destination) it has, through its various possible linkages and associations with other industries (i.e., transport, agriculture, fishery, forestry, construction, handicraft), potential multiplier effects on the local, regional and national economy. However, a critical evaluation of the evolution and development of tourism in Nigeria indicates that the country's tourism industry faces socio-economic problems and structural deficiencies which reduce the industry’s efficacy as a tool for local, regional and national development. For instance, there are extremely high leakage rates of the country's tourism revenues to external sources. It has been estimated that sometimes as much as two thirds of the gross tourism revenues go to foreign owned tour operators, and airlines, as well as to pay for imported commodities for tourists and the tourism industry .As a consequence, insignificant amounts of the tourism revenues trickle down to local people who are usually employed in servile and lowly paying jobs, and bear most of the negative social and environmental impacts of tourism development.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The statement of the problem is on how to develop and promote tourism as a Panacea for Economic diversification in the State and the country at large. How can it generate fund and revenue to the nation by this means. Due to negligent to tourism and care the tourist centres are dying off, by which this research work is carried out to help care the situation.

1.3 Research Questions / Hypothesis

For the researchers to remain focused, it is imperative to provide answers to the following questions:

1. How can tourism be developed and promoted as a panacea for Economic diversification in the State?

2. What are the factors that can motivate people’s interest to tourism?

3. Could tourism be practised in our community?

4. What is the trickle down effect of tourism in the nation?

1.4 Significance of the Study

This study is significant for the following reasons:

1. The study is an attempt to explore deeply and make a thorough research into tourism in Nigeria

2. The write up is aimed to serve as a consulting material for scholars who may wish to know more tourism.

3. This research project would be very useful to people who are interested to take-up tourism as a profession

5. The study will also analyze the prospects, problems and proffer solutions to the problems confronting the development of tourism and tourist centre.

1.5 Scope of the Study

As important as one may intend to consider this study in the field, it would be in complete, If clarity is not made as to the scope and limitation of the study. The study is limited to Cross River Benue states in Nigeria and by many towns and villages.

However, the result of this study could be generalised since we are experiencing the same economic and political situations in the same environment.

It will therefore, be easier in administering the questionnaire in this local government and to the people of the community

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Tourism for the Economic Diversification and Development

For small nation states having few possibilities to diversify and develop their economies sustainably, tourism can sometimes provide a valuable economic opportunity. As a rule, all profitable possibilities to diversify such economies are to be welcomed. Nevertheless, international tourism is a highly competitive industry and as a result of modern transport systems, foreign tourists have a lot of opportunities these days to choose from. The returns from developing the tourism industry in a small state will depend on its ability to meet foreign competition. This ability needs to be assessed specifically for each small state under consideration. The cost and time taken to travel to the country and whether or not it is en route to other destinations or on an isolated spur in travel routes (such as are Tuvalu, and some other Pacific island nations) can all have an influence. Furthermore, the attractions of the country and the cost of these and of staying there must all be assessed against substitute destinations and activities. Tourism is not a magical industry for economic growth but its development can provide some nations with worthwhile economic opportunities.

Countries able to provide tourist attractions that are relatively unique and not able to be easily replicated by other nations should enjoy a long-term competitive advantage in tourism from these (Tisdell, 2001, Chs. 5&10; Khan, 1986). Features may include unique man-made objects e.g. the Sphinx and pyramids in Egypt and other antiquities, and natural wonders such as the Grand Canyon in the United States or unique wildlife attractions as in African and in Borneo. On the other hand, if the country's main tourist attractions can be easily replicated by other countries, its long-term competitive position will depend on its being able to supply its tourism services at lower costs than competitors or potential competitors. Many of Singapore's tourist attractions are man-made and can be replicated. Examples of tourist attractions that can be replicated include theme parks and gambling casinos. Some of these attractions are subject to tourism product cycles (TisdelI, 1991, Ch.10), and area-related or environmental tourism cycles (Butler, 1980). Where the type of tourism being considered for development is subject to a product cycle, profit from investment in such tourism depends upon the stage at which entry into this type of tourism occurs. If entry occurs in its expansion phase above normal returns may be obtained, but entry in the mature phase is liable to bring little return. In the mature phase, the industry can be expected to be highly competitive because at this stage of the product cycle, tourists having many competing opportunities to choose from. In the circumstances, suppliers unable to meet the competition can expect to make a loss.

Tourism development can provide a means to diversify the product-mix of a small economy. Diversification often provides a means to reduce economic risk and volatility in incomes. For example, it is possible that the development of a tourism industry catering for foreign visitors could reduce the volatility of a small nation's foreign exchange earnings. However, such diversification is not always effective in this regard and in some cases, it may actually increase the volatility of foreign exchange earnings and macroeconomic uncertainty.

If the volatility of foreign earnings from tourism are greater than from existing imports and if the level of these earnings are highly and positively correlated, then the development of a tourism industry based on foreign tourists, although it adds to economic diversification, will increase the volatility of foreign exchange earnings and may add to macroeconomic uncertainty. Nevertheless, if the earnings from tourism are large enough and if other national industries are declining or less competitive, a government may still opt to encourage the development of tourism. However, that development, even when it results in economic diversification, may bring less rather than greater economic security to the nation.

In this regard, the findings of Sinclair and Tsegaye (1990) are worth noting. They examine data for several industrialised and for several developing countries to determine whether their diversification into the non-traditional tourism sector has decreased the instability of their export earnings. They find that "although tourism has the advantage of high growth rates and is a major source of foreign currency receipts, earnings from tourism did not bring about a significant decrease in the instability of export earnings of most of the developing and industrialised countries considered. Furthermore, a net increase in the instability of earnings from tourism and merchandise exports occurred in a number of countries, and this may be a particular problem in small, open developing economies" (Sinclair and Tsegaye, 1990, p.487).

There are several characteristics of international tourism that make it inherently volatile. First, demand for it is highly income elastic. When economic conditions in source countries for tourists deteriorate and incomes and employment prospects decline, such as occurred with the Asian financial crises, demand for international tourism and travel declines sharply. Secondly, unlike for the export of physical commodities and for many (but not all) services, foreign exchange income from tourists is dependent on the customer (in this case the tourist) actually visiting and staying in the host country. The customer is therefore subjected to personal risk. Major depression in tourist visits to a country can occur because of war, terrorist acts, epidemics and, in general, heightened risks to the health and safety of visitors, including deterioration in law and order in the host country. Most international tourists feel extremely vulnerable, especially if they are in a country with a different culture and language, since they do not have with them their usual social support systems and often lack knowledge about how to obtain help in their host country if some disastrous event occurs.

To some extent, the risks from developing a tourism industry based on foreign tourists can be reduced by diversification within the tourism industry itself. For example, it may be possible to diversify the countries of origin of visitors and the tourism market segments catered for. While this can reduce risk, it is unlikely to eliminate it completely.

Another problem, especially for modern sectors of the tourism industry, such as hotels, airline services and airports is that a large proportion of their cost is fixed or overhead cost (cf. Kotas, 1982). Consequently, if demand for their services falls and excess capacity arises, they are liable to suffer losses (see Tisdell, 2000, Vol.I, pp.xxix-xxxi). For example, hotels usually need to operate at a minimum of two-thirds designed capacity just to break even (Lundberg et al., 1995). A similar situation may exist for airlines. In a highly competitive situation, it is possible that hotels and similar tourism services can all operate with excess capacity and just make an average return on their capital (cf. Tisdell, 2000, Vol.I, p.xxxiii). In such cases, they are extremely vulnerable to any depression in general demand for their services, as occurred for many airlines after the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington in September 2001.

It may, however, also be the case that many modem extractive industries and manufacturing industries have high overhead costs, and that their profitabilty is highly sensitive to the degree to which their designed capacity is utilized. Most capital-intensive industries in modem societies rely for their profitability on demand of their product remaining high enough to ensure a high degree of capacity utilisation of their plants.

It is sometimes suggested that foreign tourism is a much less attractive means to develop small economies (or remote regions) than may appear to be so at first sight. This is based upon the view that import leakages are very high for foreign tourism in a small country (Britton, 1982; Archer, 1989). But the importance of such income leakages can be exaggerated. The net income remaining in an economy is more important than that which leaks away. An industry with a high leakage can make a higher income injection than one with a low Ieakage if the gross income earned by the former is much higher (Tisdell, 1993, pp.171-190)). Furthermore, most modern industries located in small economies have relatively high import leakages (cf. Prasad and Tisdell, 1998).

In some cases, development of a local tourist industry can be highly dependent on guest workers. This may be because locals are not keen to perform menial tasks associated with tourism e.g. housekeeping or cleaning duties in hotels, or they may lack language and cultural skills needed to cater for hosts. For example, the resort industry in the Maldives is highly dependent on foreign personnel (Sathiendrakumar and Tisdell, 1989).

This implies that either locals do not like to accept all the types of jobs created by foreign tourism, or that they are not prepared or able to develop all the skills and knowledge necessary to service it competitively.

Kakazu (1994, Ch 5) demonstrates that the Northern Mariana Islands has become highly dependent on migrant workers for the development of its tourism industry and its tourism industry tended to `crowd out' its traditional industries therefore, a kind of `Dutch disease' has arisen. The tourism industry has not been a `growth-pole' for the Northern Mariana Islands, whereas in parts of China, such as Yunnan, it may constitute a growth pole or key industry to stimulate development (Wen and Tisdell, 2001).

Note that it can be unwise to try to stem import leakages. For example, some imports may be essential to cater for the tastes of foreign visitors. In the absence of such imports, their demand for visits may collapse.

There are also environmental and sustainability issues to consider in relation to tourism. Tourism is sometimes considered to be a `green industry' (Wen and Tisdell, 2001) or an environmentally benign industry. But tourists and the tourist industry unless well managed are capable of having serious adverse environmental consequences. These may arise from provision of services for tourists and wastes from tourists e.g. water supplies, energy supply, sewage disposal, destruction of natural environments to make way for the provision of tourist facilities such as roads airport, resorts and hotels, and destruction directly by tourists e.g. coral collection by tourists, destructive graffiti on tourist attractions. The list of possible adverse environmental effects from tourism can actually be quite long.

On the other hand, if tourism is developed in a manner sympathetic to the environment, as is a goal of ecotourism, it may be more supportive of environmental protection than alternative industries. It can be an environmentally friendly industry. Particularly, in the case of ecotourism, it can provide a positive economic incentive to conserve nature. It can provide a stimulus to the conservation of biodiversity. As in the case of most industries, the environmental impact of tourism depends on how well it is managed. By good management, it is possible to develop a tourism industry that is environmentally friendly and relatively sustainable.

In some countries, concerns also arise about possible adverse social impacts from tourism. There are fears that it may, for example, undermine established values in the host country, contribute to crime, prostitution and disorder. However, much seems to depend on how the host country itself addresses such matters. If the nation acts in a disciplined way, as for example, has been done Singapore, the problems may be few (Khan et al., 1988) and in fact, the disciplined safe-nature of the host country may be a positive attraction for the bulk of tourists. The Maldives copes with this problem by geographically separating tourists from the mainstream of society. In some previous communist countries, guided group tours were favoured as a means of separating tourists from the rest of society. In practice, it seems likely that most tourists interact little with local residents in their host countries. Their contacts are probably limited, in most cases, to those servicing tourism, and are strictly of an impersonal business nature. It is, however, true that tourists can cause offence to locals of they do not respect Iocal customs. This problem may be addressed by making visitors aware of local customs, and by also encouraging local residents to show some tolerance of those not a part of their society and culture.

To conclude this section, the development of tourism can provide profitable opportunities to small nation states to diversify their economies if appropriate preconditions are satisfied. However, tourism is not a magical industry for creating economic wealth and reducing economic uncertainty and volatility. In fact, in the modern globalised world, there do not seem to be any such magical industries.

Objectives of the study

The arm of this research work is centered on tourism and its application to the economy of Nigeria as a tool for economic diversification. Some other points at which this research work will cover are:

Importance of tourism.

The economical value of tourism to the society.

Means by which the nation’s tourist centre will be promoted to boots the economy of the country.

Diffinition of terms

Diversification is a technique that reduces risk by allocating investments among various financial instruments, industries and other categories. It aims to maximize return by investing in different areas that would each react differently to the same event.

Tourism is travel for recreation, leisure, religious, family or business purposes, usually for a limited duration.

Tourism: It is the relationship of phenomenon arising from voluntary travel and stay of an individual away from his/her usual place of residence to a pre-determined destination in search of pleasure, leisure etc. and not connected with any remunerated activity.


Ayodele (2002), Essentials of Tourism Management. Published by El- shaddai global ventures Ltd NO 15 Ayo, Ilorin Street, Mokola, Ibadan,

Chris Looper, John Fletcher, David Gilbert and Stephen Wanhill (1999): Tourism Principle and Practice. Published by Rebecca Shepherd.

Collins English Dictionary

Laurence Urdang Associates Ltd., Aylesbury P.O. Box, Glasgow G4 ONB, Great Britain.


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