Economic Development of Nigeria – The Role of Tourism

Economic Development of Nigeria – The Role of Tourism

Economic Development of Nigeria – The Role of Tourism

Nigeria has for past decades been dependent on agriculture as the main stay of her economy. During the colonial and pre-colonial days, coal and other solid minerals were exported, followed with the result that between the late fifties and early seventies, Nigeria was a major exporter of cocoa, groundnut, palm-oil, coal, tin and lead.

However, all these went into extinction on the discovery of crude oil between 1956 and 1958 which resulted in unprecedented boom in the nation’s economy. Nigeria’s crude oil was rated one of the best in the world market, giving rise to bountiful foreign exchange earnings for the nation. Nigeria had a lot of money and the country hosted the second black and African Festivals of Arts and Culture, FESTAC, in 1977. Unfortunately, efforts to get the country industrialized from the oil proceeds were haphazard and inconsistent.

Today, external forces are manipulating the global oil market to the disadvantage of major producers in the third world. It has now dawned on us that mono-economy,

based on petroleum, whose price rests on the industrialized nations, is not reliable, hence, the need for diversification and pluralization. The recognition of the increasing role and prospects of tourism in the global socio-economic sector immediately attracts attention, especially as Nigeria is bountifully blessed with tourism resources.

The Nigerian Federal Government appreciated this in 1976 by promulgating Decree 54 of 1976, which created the Nigerian Toursim Board and State Tourism Committee – as governmental agencies charged with matters relating to tourism development. These bodies, in 1992, through Decree No. 81, were upgraded to Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation and State Tourism Boards. However, the country has ever since lacked the enabling environment for the take off of the industry. This is believed to be because the country was for a long time under military administration which did not favour effective tourism development. It is generally acknowledged that the military are not trained to lead but to protect the national Integrity and territorial boundaries, Arua (2000).

Ebonyi State Tourism Board was established by the Military Administrator through Edict, 1999. It then became “The Ebonyi State Tourism Board, 1999 and was deemed to have come into force on the 1st day of January, 1998”The Board became a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal and has power to sue or to be sued in its corporate name, has power to enter into contracts, acquire, purchase, hold and dispose of both moveable and unmovable property.

The Board was charged with the promotion, exploration and exploitation of the tourism resources in various segments, and to the local level. The Board has to develop and manage parks, amusement, , galleries, recreation, hotels and other tourist homes. The Board consisted of six (6) members, two from each of the senatorial zones of the state, not being employed in the public service of the state. The Edict 1999, further mandated the Board to identify and promote tourism potentials of every local government area of the state, provide accommodation, catering, medical, shopping, transport, communication, information, foreign exchange and other services as the Board may deem necessary for the promotion of tourism in the state. However, since the inception of the Board, it has been battling with challenges and setbacks that make the objectives unrealistic and unfulfilled. Such setbacks range from administrative inefficiency, irresponsiveness to the desire of the tourism corporation by the government of the day, corruption, absence of experts in Ebonyi State Tourism Board, political influence that led to the shutting down of some of the tourist homes, e.g. the amusement park, thereby resulting in economic waste.

Since the inception of tourism in Nigeria, and establishment of Ebonyi State Tourism Board as a public corporation by the 1999 Edict, the general public has been looking forward for the board to living up to its role of exploring and exploiting natural resources for the economic development in small business ventures and international linkages. But the inability of the Corporation to live up to its responsibility and return financial gains to the government is a clear unequivocal proof that public sectors are trapped by economic saboteurs and corruption.

Opa (2008) argued that the position of tourism in policy development plan and implementation is a retarding force pressing down tourism. The widespread inefficiency in the public sectors, particularly in the aspect of the managerial performance is posing a lot of threats to all segments of tourism. The irresponsiveness of government to the demand of the tourism Board hampers the provision of infrastructure and working machinery. The service delivery of tourism segments in Ebonyi State, Abakaliki attract criticisms from the public. The complaints about the amusement park led to the shutting down of the park and poor services in hotels, etc are obvious. Agusi{2001} pointed out that attitude of the public and ignorance of the people in Abakaliki toward tourism industry remain a bane to its development. The inability to publicize the tourism resources and attract investors within and outside the state, to enhance productivity in tourism sector remains unsolved. The focus of tourism is loosing the anchor

In order to carry out this study, a number of questions are formulated to guide the researcher.

1. Does tourism sector in Ebonyi State meet its objectives and people’s expectation?

2. Does frequent government interference in activities of tourism Board affect her performance?

3. Does tourism create job opportunity for different classes of people?

4. Does privatization of tourism industry bring about economic development to the nation?


The broad objective of this study is to examine how tourism contributes to the economic development of Nigeria. Besides, the following objectives are the primary focus of this study.

i. To determine whether tourism sector meets its objectives and people’s expectation.

ii. To find out the effect of government’s frequent intervention in the tourism sector

iii. To investigate the ways tourism creates job opportunities for various classes of people

iv. To examine the impact of privatization of tourism industry on the economic development of Nigeria


Hypotheses are tentative or conceptual statements that show the relationship between two variables.

For the purpose of this study, the following hypotheses are to guide the research work.

Ho1: Tourism industry has not met the objectives and people’s expectation in Ebonyi State.

HA1: Tourism industry has met the objectives and people’s expectations in Ebonyi State.

Ho2: The constant interference of government on the activities of Tourism Board is not responsible for the poor performance.

HA2: The constant interference of government on the activities of Tourism Board is responsible for the poor performance.

Ho3: Tourism does not create job opportunity for different classes of people

HA3: Tourism creates job opportunity for different classes of people

Ho4: Privatization of tourism industry does not bring about economic development to

the nation.

HA4: Privatization of tourism industry brings about economic development to

the nation.


The area covered in this study is Ebonyi State tourism sector, which include Ebonyi State Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ebonyi State Tourism Board, Ebonyi State Council of Arts and Culture. The researcher studied the responses of employees of the units to ascertain the tourism performance.


This is the value or contributions which the study is going to make to either individuals, public or government. It implies the benefits derivable in the study to the entire society.

The researcher aims at contributing to knowledge and making materials available for further research work on the subject matter of the role of tourism in economic development of Nigeria. The researcher delights in the study of tourism for the knowledge sake, and to discover the most prosperous segment for investment. As a leading industry in our modern time, the researcher is aiming at introducing the new avenue of protecting and promoting Ebonyi’s cultural heritage as a resource for home-grown socio-economic development.

The individuals and general public can utilize numerous segments desirable to them to raise the standard of their living, enjoy leisure, recreation and amusement parks. The study is also to encourage individuals to embark on tourism in small business unit so as to ensure economically self-reliance. This can be done by embarking on small business units such as food services, transportation, recreation and entertainment services. Scholars and students will equally use this work to proffer solutions to the problems of tourism sector in Nigeria and Ebonyi State in particular. This implies, the work is to serve as a base for their research, which would ensure exploration, exploitation and conversion of available tourism potentials into reality, to enhance internal generated revenue of Ebonyi State.

The government, having discovered the position of tourism in low echelon of policy development plan, this work encourages government to re-position tourism in high level policy development plan as one of the leading economic ventures. The research aims at re-awakening the government to revive the abandoned culture, shut down amusement parks and museum in Ebonyi State Tourism Sector. The continuous closures of the parks make them inactive, thereby resulting in a lot of financial waste to the government of Ebonyi State.

Since tourism is the greatest employer of labour in our dispensation, this research helps government to divert attention from oil to tourism so as to solve the problem of unemployment. For instance, Satellite (1991}, Fiday, 31ist May, page 8&9, asserted that 101 million people were employed world wide on tourism travel unit. Other segments that create job opportunities include business, sports, hospitality, transportation, academics religion, recreation and entertainment.



Limitation of the study is primarily the obstacles encountered by the researcher during the course of the study. These challenges form the factors that limit the research work. The factors are:

Dearth of Data: Ebonyi State Tourism Board has no library, and it is difficult to get data that is current and desirable in the internet. The researcher goes to Enugu State Tourism Board and Nike Lake Hotel frequently for the search of related literatures. Sometimes, the library attendant at Enugu Tourism Board would not be there, hence, the whole day becomes a waste.

Lack of Access to Staff and Tourist Homes: Some of the tourist homes lack access road, infrastructure and staff were not seen to ascertain and assess their contributions and performance toward tourism development in Ebonyi State.

Indifference of People: So many people did not have interest in given out information useful to the study. Some work in tourism board, but were uninterested in assisting researchers seeking information on the performance of the Tourism Board. Others left the questionnaire supplied to them neutral.


Literature review is the careful survey of what is already documented about the problem. It critically examines previous studies done on the area of current concern or that are closely related to it. The literature review focuses on identifying some contributions already made on the subject under investigation.


Many scholars in the past and contemporary writers endeavoured to arrive at a single definition of tourism, but could not produce a single definition to the subject. They ended in different ideas and understanding of the concept. According to Leonard (1997), “tourism is an activity which cuts across conventional sectors in the economy. It requires inputs of an economic, social, cultural and environmental nature. In this sense, it is often described as being multi-faceted”. Tourism is described here as “industry”. The fault of this assertion are: 1) Tourism does not have the usual formal production function 2) It does not have an output which can be physically measured, unlike agriculture (tones of wheat) or beverages (litre of whisky) are capable of physical measurement.

The amorphous nature of tourism industry has made it difficult to evaluate its impact on the economy relative to other sectors in the economy. Techniques have been developed to facilitate measurement of impact, but there is no universally accepted definition of what constitutes the tourism industry. The World Tourism Organization (WTO) attempted to address this in its publication “A Standard Industrial Classification of Tourism Activities (SICTA) it is yet unsolved.

Burkart et al (1981), “The phenomenon arising from temporary visits (or stays away from home) outside the normal place of residence for any reason other than furthering an occupation remunerated from within the place visited”. This definition is more comprehensive than the former ones hence, it focuses on leisure, relaxation, recreation, amusement, and excluding business trip.

Some temporary writers aimed at differentiating temporary visitor and his expenditure from the resident’s economic behaviour and impact. Swiss Walter et al (1981), published their general theory of tourism “Tourism is the sum of the phenomena and relationship arising from travel and stay non-residents, in so far as they do not lead to permanent residence and are not connected with any earning activity”. This concept was later approved by the International Association of Scientific Experts in Tourism (IASEIT). The principal revised definition agreed (WTO, 1994) as follows: “Tourism comprises the activities of persons travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes. Tourism refers to all activities of visitor, including both tourist (overnight visitor) and same day visitors”.

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However, there are ambiguities in the definition 1) The concept makes it impossible to identify tourism between countries as well as tourism within a country 2) All activities of the visitor overnight and day were not differentiated. The activities may include: leisure search, sport, burgling a house, vandalizing infrastructure, economic activity, business and other purposes. 3) Other purposes may be extra-motive i.e. to assassinate and loot property belonging to people. Evil people travel a far off but not in the spirit of tourism.

Justus Opa (2000), viewed tourism as all that go into mobilizing people’s urge for recreation, for economic advancement. It is the identification and tapping of peoples, mode of relaxation. It is the identification of people’s way of relaxation and creation of facilities to match this task. He noted that tourism is not for the rich only, but both the rich and poor are encouraging tourism. According to Chika Agusi, administrative officer in Tourism Board, tourism is the movement of people searching for pleasure, business, recreation and relaxation due to the acquisition of leisure time. She further stated that tourism thrives well when there is political clemency. If instability and crises characteristics political system, nobody will think of game, recreation or engage in tour or seek amusement park.

Vincent N. Arua (2002), defined tourism as a socio-economic activities that deal with attractions and welfare of visitors into locality for purposes of leisure, recreation, business, cultural exchanges etc. Tourism is also described as a fair weather friend who can be seen when the weather is fine.

Albert Imagnezegie (1999), the former commissioner of police, Enugu State, viewed tourism as the movement of people from place to place. Such movement abound to security implications because among all those who are moving will include both the good and the bad. It is important that people are assured of their security and this will enhance tourism in the state. If there is fear about insecurity, it will definitely have direct impact on tourism.

These four writers see tourism as dynamic and activity, this implies that tourism is not static, but always on search for pleasure and business. However, searching for leisure time is inappropriate, because the writer neglected business trip. Tourists go on business trip, and that does not mean leisure time. Business trip is a serious time.

Obayi C.K. (2000), described tourism as one of the world largest industry. She stated that tourism is industry with many segments namely, business, transportation, accommodation, food service, commerce, travel arrangements and activities for tourists such as adventure, sports, recreation and entertainment.

Maurice Malkoun (2001), tourism is one of the major attractions and industries which sustain the economy and sustain the populace of the country. The game aspect is growing rapidly, but still needs facilities to competes the counterpart industry in the world. Modern infrastructures and professional bodies are needed for growth of tourism game in Ebonyi State.

John Ward (1996), Leisure and Tourism, defined tourism as comprising a wilde range of very different sections, but interdependent activities and operation. These include: accommodation, catering, transport, tourist attractions, sport, entertainment, the art and recreational and leisure activities. Its economic importance is proved by the fact that in 1991, tourist expenditure in Britain was around 25 billion. Leisure and game are changing.

Victor T.C.M (1994), tourism comprises activities of persons travelling and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure.

Mac T.I.E (1998), quoted “Tourism is a luxurious business, an expensive activity that demands a certain threshold of income before an individual can choose to partake. The ability to participate in tourism is determined by the size of discretionary income i.e. income left over after tax, housing and the basic of life have been accounted for. A low discretionary income depresses the propensity to travel or to engage in leisure cum recreational activities”.

The writer’s claim here is encountering the early assertion that tourism is for the poor as well as the rich. The rich partakes and the poor also engages in tourism. The problem of the writer is much emphasis on the financial position of the tourist. He failed to take into consideration tourist centres or attractions within localities. Such centres include amusement park, museum, wildlife, beach, lake for sightseeing. Travelling is only a part, not the whole.

Satellite, Friday May 31, 1991, page 8 and 9 defined tourism as a very lucrative business, and one of the leading trades along side oil and motor vehicles at international level, small business creation, economic and political linkages. Tourism is a long term venture and only way to withstand shocks and uncertainty is to create a dynamic, innovative management environment flexible enough to cope with the changes. Also travel and tourism constitute the world’s largest creator of jobs in most countries, providing employment for over 101 million people world wide.

National concord, Friday July 2, 1993, noted that the bulk of Tourism traffic is for business, sports, religion while other traffic is the category of visiting friends and relatives.


This discovers the contributions and faults of the texts reviewed.

Tourism Education and training: Over the years, Nigeria intended to address one of the organizations which curriculum planners often engage in when deciding what should be included in the content aspect of the curriculum in the school system. Education programmes justify their existence which to, a large extent, they solve some identified needs of the community in which they are run. It was in 1992, through decree No 81, Tourism bodies were upgraded to Nigeria Tourism Corporation and state Tourism Board.

The bodies were responsible for matters relating to tourism in Federal, State and Local Government Areas. Sequel to the above, Tourism Institute and Research Centre was established in response to the national need to develop the Nigerian Tourism Industry and thus put Nigeria firmly on the international Tourism Map as a Prime destination and as a Tourism gateway to Africa. The Centre was charged with training students on foreign languages, German and French. Tourists, apart from English Language, would communicate in other language, Source (Ani .C.A. 2003).


1. Tourists with diverse Language communicate easily with others

2. Tourism Language training results in a cross-cultural fertilization and affinity

3. Tourists expand their horizon by venturing into foreign land. He progresses from a narrow, parochial turn of mind and lifestyle, to that which is liberal and universal.

4. Tourist, understanding foreign language is received in that country as friend and easily attracts investors to his land.

Faults of the Text

1. Over emphasis on foreign language without considering tourists within the country (Nigeria)

2. Neglect of the culture of a native environment by the tourist.

In order to pursue the aims of the subject matter of this study, four subheadings are carefully selected to aid the researcher in the course of the study.


The South-East zone of Nigeria comprises Anambra, Abia, Imo, Enugu, Ebonyi, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross-River States. Found within the South East belt of the country, the zone is blessed with enormous tourism resources and facilities.

By the virtue of the geographical locations, the zone is found with the bridges of Savanna and tropical rain forest regions with evergreen vegetation belt. This correlate with congenial environment, regular sunshine and breadth taking space. Its land-mass is enormous and it is criss-crossed with rivers and rivulets.

Apart from its locational features, this zone has the size, the population and the diversified beauty attractions to be powerhouse in tourism. The challenge has been to convert the available potentials into a dynamic reality.

Apparently, the zone is blessed with various tourism resources yearning for exploration and exploitation. Notable ones include:

i. The Obudu Cattle Ranch in Cross River State

This is an extensive table land at the Southern fring of range of high lands within Obudu Community which was discovered over forty years ago by some colonial administrator for the development of a cattle Ranching and Holiday Resort. The Ranch is about 1850 meter above sea level and measures 10 square mile in area. Tourism has flourished here due to the attractiveness of the temperate weather conditions and congenial environments.

ii. Cross River National Park

This is one of the longest National Parks in Nigeria, measuring an extensive land area of 4,000km within Cross River State. It is blessed with enormous Bio-diversity-harbouring rare species of games like the low land Gorrilla, rhinoceros, etc. The park remains the last vestiges of the tropical rain forest and most importantly serves as a refuge for the endangered species. The park is known to be harbouring the greatest concentration of Hyena in Black Africa.

iii. Ibeno Beach in Akwa Ibom

This is a sprawl of natural sand beach extending for more than two km to the Atlantic Ocean. The site is complemented by the ancient structure of the first Qua Ibo church in Nigeria which was built in 1912 to commemorate the point at which the first missionary and founder of Qua Ibo Mission.

iv. Opobo Boat Yard

This is located within the rich mangrove of Ikot Abasi. It is the Federal Government abandoned boat building project which is now a beehive of activities attracting members of the general public who appreciate it as a museum of abandoned ships of different shapes and sizes.

v. Port Harcourt Tourist Beach

This is located in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, and offers a variety of activities – scenic beauty, fresh and cool air boating/yachting, green and fresh vegetation, in-door and out-door games.

vi. Umuahia War Museum

This is found in Abia State and exhibits the historical remains of the Nigeria-Biafra civil war fought about thirty years between 1967 and 1970. Amongst the interesting sceneries here include the Ojukwu Bunker, the Biafran War Planes and locally fabricated war gadgets.

vii. Ezeagu and Opi Tourism Complexes in Enugu State

In Enugu State, a concentration of Tourism attractions is found. This include, the Ezeagu Tourist complex and Opi Lake complex. The former is a combination of a lake, a cave and waterfall, while the later is a conglomeration of eight lakes found in one community. Also coal is found in Enugu hence, “a coal city.

viii. Other Attractions

The attractions are: Abuhum water fall, Akwuke Tourist Beach – Enugu State, Ogbunike cave and Agulu Nanka Canyon – Anambra State, Mbari Centre – Imo State, Oguta Lake resort – Imo State, Nike Lake Resort Hotel – Enugu State, Rojeny Tourist village – Anambra and Green lake Abakaliki – Ebonyi State, Vincent (2000).


Ebonyi State is blessed with tourism resources that would move the state forward economically. But these attractions are not developed to the level of attracting investors to the state. The state, in view of tourism condition has no room for tourism in policy development plan, yet tourism is the greatest employer of labour in our days.

The tourist attractions include:

1. CAVES: These include Amanchor, Akpuruken etc.

Amanchor Cave: This cave is located at Etiti in Amanchore-Edda in Afikpo – South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. Its height is about 3meters with multiple, narrow tunnels which extend to different directions. It has no well developed entrance, thus a local wooden ladder is used to enter into the cave. Access: it is accessible through Abakaliki to Afikpo, Ngusu and mile two (2) along Akaeze- Ngusu Road.

2. LAKES: These are the salt lakes which include Okposi, Uburu and Enyigba Salk lakes. Okposi lake is located at Okposi in Ohaozara Local Government Area of the State. It has area coverage of about 10sq meters. It is pond-like. The salt of the lake is high than the water, has a pure salty taste. However, only women are allowed to scoop water for salt processing. Salt is locally processed by distillation method. Access: Abakaliki to Afikpo and Mile 2 (about 87 kilometres).

3. BEACHES: Unwana and Ndibe sand beaches. These beaches are respectively located at Unwana and Ndibe in Afikpo North Local Governsment of the State. The two beaches are part of extensive scenic golden sand beaches along the Cross-Rivers Basin. They are ideal centres for relaxation, sunbathing, swimming, sport, fishing, canoe racing and yatching. Access: Abakaliki to Afikpo Unwana (80kilometres) from Abakaliki, while Ndibe beach is accessed from Abakaliki through Amura/Mgbam roundabout in Afikpo.

4. ABAKALIKI GULF COURSE: The Gulf is situated along Ezza Road and spanning 11/2 kilometres.The gulf course has a modern gulfing terrain.

5. FATI ABUBAKAR PARK: Fati Abubakar Amusement park is located adjacent to Gulf Course along Ezza Road, Abakaliki. Its beautifully built in the tradition/culture of Ebonyi State.The park provides a place for amusement and relaxation for children and adults.


6. ABAKALIKI GREEN LAKE: The Green Lake served as a leisure and relaxation centre for the colonial masters. Its upgrading with modernized facilities makes it a tourist haven.

7. OTHER TOURIST ATTRACTIONS: 1) Islamic Centre at Onchia Unwana in Afikpo 2) Rice Mill Industry Abakaliki in Abakaliki. 3) Quary Industry Abakaliki 4) Fertilizer blending plant.

These touristic homes have the potentials of making Ebonyi State tourists destination, thereby promoting the internally generated revenue of the state. Hence, Ebonyi State has the prospect of economic boost. (Ebonyi State Tourism Board, Edict 1999).


In recent years, developing countries began to see tourism as a means of helping their development effort. As early as 1973, Erbes made statement that raised two questions. First, why should tourism be so regarded?, and secondly; what is the role of tourism in economic development? In summarizing these questions, the reasons which underlie Erbe’s assumption would be revealed.

Tourism is historically a growth sector. Tourism is both local and international activity which has been dynamic. The reasons for the growth of tourism were favourable economic and social determinants of demand. For most developing countries, tourism offered a growth prospect which most other exports did not.

The major generating countries for tourists are the developed countries of the world. In turn, the developed countries are those which have hard currency. The earning of hard currency is of particular importance for most developing countries, because this is needed to buy development goods, expertise and skills to support their development efforts.

As an export activity, tourist has one great advantage over other forms of exports – it is not faced with tariff or quota barriers. However, most countries now would attempt to limit the travel propensity of their citizens and their experts of currency to go with. This is a very unusual feature which obviously makes tourism, relative to other exports, an attractive option for many developing countries.

Tourism tends to be an employment intensive activity. Many governments support tourism in order to create jobs for the masses. However, this now is not holding in every country, because tourism is essentially a service oriented, and it tends to create more jobs per unit of investment than other more capital intensive activities. Also at the initial entry level into the industry, skills and training requirements are limited and therefore the employment costs of creating jobs can be relatively low.

Many developing countries are located in tropical or semi-tropical zones and can attract tourists because of the quality of this natural advantage as an input to tourism. These natural infrastructure are beaches, climate, scenery etc.

Tourism often tends to reflect its own tradition and culture in development, thereby creating tourism industry which reflects local rather than international standard. This is based on the availability and cheapness of labour.

The other factors that encourage the role of tourism in economic development are the improved transport system, game unit, and hospitality, Harrison (1992).

Privatization of Tourism: Privatization is the transfer of activities from the public sector to the private sector. It is the selling state owned assets to private buyers, Wilison (1988). According to Ezeani (2004), privatization is a deliberate government policy of stimulating economic growth and efficiency by reducing state interference and broading the scope of private sector activity through one or all of the following strategies, transfer of state owned assets to private ownership through sales of share, private control or management of state owned assets, encouraging private sector involvement in former public activity and shifting decision making to agents operating in accordance with market conditions. ASSU (2002) in “The State of The Nation”, described privatization as the transfer of public wealth to a few individuals, especially foreigners and their local agents. Public enterprises are sold for less than their worth, all inspired by the bogey of attracting foreign investment.

Effects of Privatization: The effects or impacts of privatization on the nation’s economy are numerous, but few are considered.

1. Increase of unemployment: This is an inescapable consequence of privatization. The number of employees in the tourism sector are drastically reduced, thereby given room to few individuals that are mainly for profit oriented.

2. Low level of industrialization: A transfer of public sector to private sector induced under utilization of industrial capacity in the Nigerian economy.

3. Trade liberalization: This has translated into the restriction of Nigeria to primary production. It also results in making the nation a dumping ground of foreign goods.

4. Market price of primary commodities is externally determined or by few individuals. It then means, Nigerians have to pay substantially more for what they produce domestically.

5. Reduction of Government Borrowing: Full privatization is handing over the public sector to private sector which undertake the management and financial obligations of the enterprise.

Table 8 of chapter four indicated that the effect of privatization of tourism to the nation’s economy is insignificance. This was shown by mean score 3.00 > 2.234. It then implied that privatization of tourism would not yield more to the nation.


Revenue received by government from the tourism sector may be direct or indirect. Direct revenues arise from charging taxes on income, for examples, private and company incomes generated by tourism employment and business. Indirect sources of income mainly comprise the range of taxes and duties levied on goods and services supplied to tourists.

In order that governments might raise revenue, there have to be some level of economic activity. As tourism activities increase, we expect it to generate employment and income. When tourism is a prominent source of employment, it does provide an opportunity for government to widen its tax-generating base.

There are a number of ways in which indirect taxes or revenues may be generated. These include tourism taxes, i.e. taxes levied on goods and services bought by tourists. A bed tax – a percentage levied by government on the sales of a night’s accommodation – will be paid by all users, but in specific regions tourists will be the main users. Indeed, the implementation of levy has been seen as a means of raising revenue from tourists.

In many developing countries governments earn a substantial proportion of their revenues from duties levied on imports. Where the tourism sector is a major importer of goods and materials, this can generate considerable revenues. Hence, three basic ways of contributing to the government revenue generation are by taxes on personal and company incomes, duties on imports and by government charges for the services it provides, Leonard (1997).


Theoretical framework is a device or scheme for adopting and applying the assumptions, postulations and principles of a theory in the description, analysis of research problems. It is a device whereby a given theory or principle is relevantly applied to a research for easy analysis, application and interpretation.

Many theories exist, but for the purpose of linking the study with its set of interrelated constructs, “POLITICAL ECONOMY THEORY” has been found befitting in explaining, the role of tourism in economic development of Nigeria. Political economy ideology is traceable to the age of enlightenment which began after 2nd world war, emerged from the principles of Karl Marx and Lenin V. The revolution started as a result of the need to correct error of the classical school that exalted capital over labour. The import of the revolution was to have a change that would usher in labour as the measure of the national wealth. The Marxist view was to enthrone majority workers’ rule in all economies, ensure continuous flow of goods and services required by people for their physical existence and social contact. Political economy indicates the tendency towards distinguishing between the real and value of social production, distribution exchange of goods and even allocation of national wealth.

Duck (1998) in “The principles of political Economy” believed that this theory explains the exchange of goods in a freely competitive market in which price are fixed by the condition of market itself, obstructed by any forces other than the choice of individual involved, tourism and economic development analysis giving full liberty to individual by avoiding harsh and radical regulation and restriction of the government over control of production and distribution of goods.

Albert. (2000) in “Tourism and Security” tourism involves the movement of people from place to place searching for business, liberty, leisure, relaxation etc. In such movement, there are bound to be security implications, risk, uncertainty and disappointment that reduce level of tourism development in the state. This is because both good and bad are involved in tourism.

When enthrone majority workers’ rule by political economic policies of the government or revolution, the unrestricted trade, manufacturing, distributing and exchanging of goods and services in the societies pave way for human welfare which facilitate development in the society.

In terms of method, the Marxist political economy ‘’constitutes an integrated and unified treatment of various factors [such as economic, social, political, legal, moral etc.] in the development of society’’. Marxist political economy charges the analyst to note the ‘’mode of production’’ refers to the state of technique and means production were owned, and social relations between men, which resulted from their connections, with the process of production.

When applied to tourism, with regard to public policy, Marxist political economy see public policy as reflecting the values of the ruling class and serving interests or ends, which may be to provide for the welfare of the masses, equitable distribution of national wealth and even development. Also bureaucracy is seen as an instrument of the dominant class and basically serving their interest. Tourism is a service sector, satisfying the needs of people.

Arua (2000) in “Democracy and Tourism Development” asserted that tourism is a socio-economic activity that deals with attraction and welfare of visitors into a locality for purposes of leisure, recreation, business, cultural exchange etc. Tourism can be seen when weather is fine, i.e. in the state of liberty, freedom and peace. In other words, tourism shrinks in the state of anarchy, war, commotion and other related socio-political conditions. The main thrust of political economy theory is basically on welfares, how nations organize the production and use of wealth.


1. Legal Relations: The theory advocates for removal of hurdles that characterized visa acquisition by the tourists. If this is done, the number of travelers will increase, thereby contributing to development of our nation.

2. Free-Market Economic: Free market principle is already on board, which ushered trade liberalism in some countries, removed tariff and quote barriers. Obligations under the General Agreement on Trade and Tariff (GATT) and the General Agreement of Trade in Services (GATS) prevent some countries from introducing measures to limit citizens traveling outside (Harrison D; 1992).

3. Promotion of liberty and welfare: This is the individual right and liberty to engage in tourism activities, in order to improve his/her standard of living. Individual can set up tourist home as private business.

4. Equitable Distribution of Tourism Resources in the State: Equitable distribution of tourism resources in the State ushers even development. Thus, federal, state and local governments are to ensure that tourism resources are evenly distributed for the welfare of the people and rapid development of our society.


Tourism as a concept has no single or universally accepted definition or standard measurement of impact on the economy of a nation. Leonard J.L. et al (1997), described tourism as an industry which cuts across conventional sectors in the economy. It requires inputs of an economic, social, culture and environmental nature.

The faults of this assertion are two folds: firstly, tourism does not have the usual formal production function. Secondly, it does not have an output which can be physically measured, unlike agriculture (tones of wheat or beverages, litre of whisky are capable of physical measurement).

World Tourism Organization (WTO, 1994) tried to solve the problem of definition, but had three ambiguities.

The assertion makes it impossible to identify tourism between countries as well as tourism within a country. All activities of the visitor overnight and day were not differentiated. Activities may include, leisure search, sports, burgling a house, vandalizing infrastructure, economic activity, business and other purposes. Other purposes may be extra-motive i.e. to assassinate and loot property belonging to people. Evil people travel a far off, but not in the spirit of tourism

Mac. T. J. E (1998), claim has the following faults: the over emphasis on the financial muscles of the visitors or tourists. He failed to realize that the rich partake and the poor also engage in tourism. He did not take into consideration touristic centres or attractions within localities. Such attractions include: Museum, amusement park, wildlife, beach, lake for sight seeing. Travelling is only a part not the whole. Tourism is applied to various areas of economy. The bulk of the tourism traffic is for business, sports, religion, academic while other categories is the visiting friends and relatives. It is also applied in trade as regulation and restriction of the government over control of production and distribution of goods are removed. This is in line, with the liberal theory that advocates for free movement of trade between countries.

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In surveying through the related literatures, the researcher asserts that, tourism is a service sector which is bent on social activities. As an industry, it does not produce materials for physical measurement like agriculture and other production sectors. Tourism is dynamic and activity oriented, always searching for pleasure, business, sport, leisure, amusement and relaxation. Tourism is for the poor as well as the rich. It thrives well when the weather is fine. Tourism is the largest employer of labour world wide.




This work is bent on discovering the role of tourism in economic development of Nigeria. Tourism is a progressive sector with many segments. For the purpose of this study, the implications of the study are based on the findings. In the population size of one hundred and seventy-five (175) people, 82 (47%) were senior staff, while 93(53%) junior staff. It then implied that civil servants support tourism more then my other class. Tourism reduces the unemployment problems in our society.

The academic distribution of the respondents showed that SSE/GCE students were 88 (50%) above others. These are promising youths that are adaptable to any environment. They have great potential in then that need to be tapped for the development of tourism sector. Engaging this class in tourism activities will result in discovering their talents and raising the economic status of the state.

Age distribution proved that 35-43 class was 58 (33%). They are strong, and can engage in long distant business trip. They can also set up tourism homes, manage and remain self-reliance. The contributions of this class to tourism development foster the economic development of our state. They can engage in exploring and exploiting tourism potential in the state.

On the table five, screening down the last row, culture and religion hinder tourism growth in several areas was strongly agreed by 102 (58.3%) respondents. The implication is that culture and religion are the bane of tourism development in several areas. In such places, there are need to remove those cultures and religions that work against full participation of all people on tourism activities.

In analyzing the responses of the respondents of table six, the statement. “Targets and opportunities for criminals activities visits” top the table with 90 (51.4%) respondents strongly agreed. The tourist visits create opportunities for criminal activities, thereby increasing the security risk in the society. This is in support that mass movement includes the good and the bad. Hence, further implication, the individuals and government are to increase security status to be able to combat criminals.

The rejection of the statement “the multiplier effect of tourism is very small” by 104 (59.4%) respondents on table seven is a clear indication that tourism plays vital role in economic development of our nation. Every segment of tourism contributes to development of our society. Thus, tourism effects social and economic development of Ebonyi State.

The fact that tourism and economy are partners in progress was supported by 56(32%) respondents. The progress in tourism sector results in improvement of the economy. For the better economy, invest and develop the tourism attractions in the state to the high standard. Then our economy will grow.

In another development, 82 (46.9%) people disagreed with the assertion that “Privatization of tourism sector will yield more to the nation’s economy”. If tourism sector is placed in the hand of the private organization, the cost of the tourism services and production will increase out of the reach of poor masses. This is because, profit making is the focus of the private organization. To the respondents, there is no need of privatizing tourism, for the fear of the “high cost of tourism provisions. Tourism creates jobs, hence reduces unemployment rate in our society.


Affirmatively, the principal purpose of this study was to find out “The Role of Tourism in Economic Development of Nigeria” with Ebonyi State Tourism Board the study centre. Hence, this section is focused on summary, drawing conclusion and make recommendations on the subject matter. Then, the report can end with recommendations which mostly be derived from the findings and entire study.


Tourism, representing a large and growing mobile population, is much more than a major world industry. Governments are the major benefiticiaries from high tax revenues derived from civil servant, visitors’ expenditure and tourism attractions.

In academic circle, SSCE students are the major contributor to tourism and can fit in any segment. They can engage on the business trip. The age and sex of the respondents, represented by 35-43 (58) and (93) respectively are more mobility than the other classes. They are more energetic and dynamic in thinking and action world wide. Its numerous segments create jobs more than any other sectors of the economy.

Tourism has become a booming industry and exchange earner for many countries. The foreign exchange thus raises the financial status of government. Tourism, a mass movement involves the good and bad. There is need for security consciousness. Culture and religion are the bane of tourism growth in several places. There is need for amendment of such culture and religion.

The irresponsiveness of government to the demand of Tourism Board and lack of good policy plan are the major problems of tourism industry. Let appropriate attention be given to tourism sector in Nigeria.

Development of the tourism sector is the development of the state. The governments, corporate and private bodies, join hands to develop tourism sector for the benefit of us all.


The conclusion of this work can be deduced through the available data which formed the major findings. Tourism reduces the unemployment problem. This is done through job creation in various segments such as sport, transport, hospitality, wildlife, forest reserve, amusement park, lakes, and beaches. Therefore, the standard of living and financial base of the people are ameliorated.

Secondary school leavers are found in various segments. The engagement of these young ones on tourism activities help them to discover their talents and great potentials in them, thereby disengaging them from corrupt practices.

Tourism has comparative advantage over many sectors of economy. It is not a waste of time and money. Both government and private boost their income earnings through taxes, duties, services, exchange and investment.

Tourism attracts visitors that invest their resources, effect changes in local appearance and attitude of the people. Visitors usher development that improves the standard of living in the local area.

Tourism has multiplier effect on the society. The effects are numerous on government, private, individuals, agriculture and other sectors. Thus, youth tourism development, democracy in tourism development, information and mass communication in tourism development are obvious. Culture and religion in some places prevent tourism services and gender participation in tourism activities. People with great potentials become unutilized.

Partial privatization leads to government frequent intervention, managerial inefficiency, corruption and unprofitability of the sector.

Governments are to ensure prompt action is given to the demand of the Tourism Board. Meeting their demand will usher rapid development of tourism industry.


The report of this research work is consummated in recommendation. The recommendations are mostly deduced from the findings of the study. It will also make use of the conclusion to bring out the relevance of the study. Recommendation will help the researcher to add the materials of his stand, make suggestion on the discoveries. It is expected that the recommendations will also give solution to the existing problems on tourism industry. Tourism sector has barriers to reaching optimum in which recommendation provide solution.

Based on findings and conclusion, the following recommendations are made

1. The Federal, state and local governments are to give tourism priority position in their economic development pursuits. This is to be done through the allocation of resources and time. As soon as this is done, tourism will raise development stage.

2. The current condition of the funding schemes for the sector needs to be amended as they are too complicated for the investors. The amendment will stimulate investment, efficiency and effectiveness in development of tourism cluster.

3. The training of manpower and the use of experts for the exploration and exploitation of numerous tourism resources. A lots of the tourism potentials are available in our state which are undeveloped. These experts, if given the opportunity will undertake the feasibility study and survey of all the tourism resources in the state. Tapping them will enhance the economic development of Ebonyi State.

4. Tourism board should embark on the enlightenment programmes with emphasis on tourism potentials. This will create awareness and remove ignorance on the part of the public. This would be done in form of TV and Radio shows, seminars, symposium, newspaper and exhibition. Embarking on the organized conferences would help increasing the productivity of the sector.

5. The creation of congenial and enabling environment to facilitate private domestic and foreign capital investment required in the industry. This is necessary for the State Tourism Board lacks good office, infrastructural facilities such as good road, electricity, water supply etc. hence, it requires tourism lodge, wildlife, tourism resort and development of arts and crafts which constitute symbol of the people’s cultural values and love of nature.

6. The design of suitable tourism policies which would enhance the free movement and trade liberalism within the sub-region for all visitors and investors. The free movement and liberalism would boost the number of visitors and investors in our country. Thus, the heavy taxation on export and import of the tourism goods and services are bane of the tourism development in Nigeria.

7. It is vital to address the issue of deforestation of the state. This should be stopped immediately. This is because “what excites and enthralls so many people are those areas with few or no road, virtual wilderness areas, wild places, places of imagination. In this lies the future of this state not in the attempt to be equal player with the developed countries on the world trade stage”. As we move forward, our planners should realize that wilderness (forests) is great potentials. Nature-Tourism when appropriately managed is a high earning. Strictly speaking, wildlife holds more viable economic future than farming. It is an industry that needs no filthy smoke stacks or chemical effluents.

8. Building of library and research centre. It was noted that tourism lack statistical records (data) particularly in Ebonyi State. In Ebonyi State, there is no book for tourism, let alone library. This creates problems for Ebonyians researching on Tourism, they have to travel far before laying hands on the materials to work with. Library is a resource centre.

9. Full Privatization of Tourism Industry: It is observed, a full privatization of public corporation allows it to be run by business experts, and minimize the frequent government intervention in the management of the corporation. This will create room for profit making, control inefficiency and ineffectiveness; curb corruption and sabotage that characterized every public enterprise.

10. The Private individuals and co-operate bodies are encouraged to invest their resources in the lucrative and profitable venture. Also rural dwellers are called to take the advantages of their revealed way of developmental focus by participating in tourism activities. It is bent on improving living standard, welfare and revenue position of the citizens.

Furthermore, the researcher asserts that, Tourism is all encompassing other sectors of the economy, with diverse segments. These segments create various job opportunities and earn the highest foreign exchange. It is a leading sector, both local and international levels. It is economic, business and relaxation venture.

The researcher suggests that the three tiers of government would initiate laws to protect local and foreign investments and tourists. Governments are to invest more in the tourism segments which they have highest comparative advantages over others. Government is urged to re-direct focus from oil and politics to tourism industry for rapid economic development of our country.


Tourism in Nigeria is still down the ladder in policy formulation for the economic growth and development. For the position, tourism need advocates and researchers that would work toward repositioning tourism on the Zenith level of budgetary allocation, to enable the sector contribute maximally on the economic development.

To do this, the researcher has suggested a number of topics for the students reading this academic research work to take the advantage and research on the topic provided below. These topics are as follows:

1. The strategies for effective youth tourism development

2. The impact of democracy in tourism development in Nigeria

3. The role of mass communication in tourism development.

Economic Development of Nigeria – The Role of Tourism

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