The tourism industry is a powerful driver of the economic engine of
nations. The important roles of the tourism sector as the main instrument
in socioeconomic development of any nation cannot be overstated.
Although some of the tourist Centers' in Nigeria is not well developed to
promote socioeconomic development
The industry generates over US$ 1 Trillion per annum in direct earnings
(indirect earnings being as high as threefold those of direct earnings).
However, the only way to realize the important roles of tourism is through
a well-developed packaged and promoted tourism attraction.
Nigeria’s tourism sector is still operating below capacity even as tourism
becomes the fastest growth industry globally.
More to the point, the lack of adequate empirical data has hindered policy
makers and other stakeholders on the viability of most of the existing
tourism destinations in Nigeria. (Ajibola, 2013).
The tourism industry offers the opportunity to lessen the country’s
dependence on oil revenue, if properly harnessed. At the present level, the
industry annual revenue from the sector is about N80 billion. (George,
About 101 tourist attractions in Nigeria, spread across the six
geopolitical zones and spanning different types of tourism assets such
as rocks, plateaus, hills, springs, lakes, waterfalls, beaches, museums,
shrines, cultural festivals, parks, gardens, game reserves, zoos, etc.
Natural attraction (e.g. forests, parks and caves), cultural attractions
(e.g. traditional lifestyles, festivals, music and dances), and historic and
heritage sites (e.g. museums, archeological sites, historic towns) is in
abundance in Nigeria. Nigeria is well-positioned to exploit the growing
interest natural products in virtually every part of the globe (Uche,
There are countless festivals and carnivals organized across the 36
states of the federation. Many of these cultural events are probable
income gainers on their own, both for the government and the
community. There is Arugungun Festival , Eyo in Lagos, Osun festival
in Osogbo, Ogun festival in Oyo, Ojude obey Festival in Ijebu, Ofala
Festival in Anambra, yam festival in Abuja/suleja. (Ajibola, 2013).
reliable statistics and knowledge about Nigeria as a tourist
destination have been identified as one of the variables militating
against tourism development in Nigeria (Report, 2006). And poor
records of tourism activities (Mohammed, 2009).
For example, a survey of tour operators in the UK, Europe and
the US. Indicated that lack of information or knowledge about Nigeria
as a tourist destination. (Report, 2006).
Nigerians do not spend their holidays in the country, usually travel out
of the country and low level of awareness is another factor
The current marketing approach is very weak and marketing is
underfunded as well as, lack of strategic marketing approach
It is difficult to put a figure to the contributions from the sector (Isaac,
Nigeria, with its vast landmass, physical features, rich cultural
diversity, numerous wildlife zone and despicability, clearly have
several advantages over some countries. (Udeme, 2010). Nigeria,
with its over 250 ethnic groups, has ample opportunities for
cultural tourism in terms of historical sites, annual traditional
festivals, and folk art such as crafts, carvings, and sculpture.
A country uses its strengths to build on the opportunities that arise.
Nigeria believes that its environment, natural and cultural resources
focused will result in superior returns even in a price sensitive
That the future of tourism is largely depends on the opportunities
and challenges being exploited, addressed, and stressed.
Due to growing demand, Nigeria has a unique opportunity to drive
demand from countries such as Africa and Asia. Over the 20132020 periods, Africa and Asia are expected to contribute more
than half of the projected growth in international visitation with 30
percent of that growth expected around the world.
The tourism industry in other African countries such as Kenya,
Gambia, Tanzania, Ghana, and the Republic of Benin has been
witnessing an unprecedented boom. (Udeme, 2010).
It is reported also that tourism contributes about 25% of the Kenya’s
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and that about 70% of Kenya’s
tourism revenue come from wildlife tourism alone.
A total of 73, 282 Nigerian tourists visited South Africa last year,
contributing almost R800 million ($88.6m) to the South African
Nigerians are known for travelling to many far-flung destinations all
over the world. (Mzwandile, 2013).
About 47% of Nigerians visited India in 2012 for medical attention,
according to the Indian high commission. 18,000 medical tourists
spent $260 million (N42bn) (Weekly Trust, 2013).
In another related development Nigerians spent N250 billion
annually on imported medical cares. (Henry, 2013).
Partnership with countries such as the U.S. and other European tour operators
will also to woo tourists to Nigeria.
The government should show enough will and commitment towards tourism
Without the government leading the approach, private investors will not show
adequate interest in tourism.
Government should set up an intervention fund to assist tourism operators, so
as to tap the full potential of the sector.
Concerted efforts should be made to encourage investments in tourism
infrastructure, as this will affect positively to the sector and the national
Also, there is a need to repackage the nation’s culture which is the most
effervescent in Africa and a very important resource that could be a goldmine to
Encourage the progress of international three star hotels.
Promotion and marketing of tourism activities in Nigeria could sell our brand
easily, especially to those who cannot afford for a transcontinental trip
A significant increase in marketing expenditure will be required to overcome
the lack of awareness of Nigeria as a tourist destination and the very poor
image of the country
Nigerians must be encouraged to spend their disposable funds in the
country, This will save foreign exchange, facilitate the development of
the tourism industry with the attendant advantages
Presentation and packaging of many festivals and events can be highly
Embark on a mammoth marketing campaign to attract African tourists
to visit our country.
Tourism should be observed as strategically important to the economy
of Nigeria, the necessary plans, policies, actions and resources to
support the sector should be put in place, tourism will continue to be a
Increased in the levels of community attachment, will be additional
advantage and the degree in which perceived beneﬁts and support, for
sustainable tourism development among most residents. Economic
beneﬁts was believed to result from the conservation of natural and
cultural resources and directly assists both local communities and
nations in achieving sustainable environmental development.
Pragmatic policy that will improve the sector should be
There is need to emulate France that has put policies in
place that will drive the tourism sector from now till
2020. Or, Dubai that has tourism projection of 300
billion Dirham’s, the United Arab Emirate’s currency; a
plan they intend to achieve through the construction
of 160,000 hotel rooms that will attract more than
20 million tourists from the present 10 million
tourists that visit the country by 2020.
Local governments should provide opportunities for
most residents to participate in tourism-related activities
and to invest in the development of community-based
The success of tourism and hospitality industry in any country
depends on the ability of that country to sufficiently improve,
manage and market the tourism facilities and activities of that
country as most developing countries depend mostly on tourism for
economic growth and diversity.
The government should build the tourism brand, convert the
strength in demand and visitation, developing the tourism product
to contribute towards a more globally competitive tourism industry.
The government should seek for investors and stakeholders to
partner in improving the figures through viable investments in the
The investment would help in building tourism and hospitality
infrastructure, manpower and drawing global attention to the
hospitality, transportation, eco-tourism and sports sectors of the
Finally, progress cannot be completed without education.
For our tourism industry to compete favorably with its
counterparts across the world, the appropriate education
policy should be endorsed for the promotion of our tourism
industry. We cannot continue losing what we have because
of illiteracy among our people, but let us all join hands
together to make our beloved country Nigeria tourist