The Impact Of Religion On The Development Of The Tourism And Hospitality Industry Of Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Tourism and Hospitality

The Impact Of Religion On The Development Of The Tourism And Hospitality Industry Of Nigeria


Abstract


Tourism is one of the sectors in Nigeria that contributes to the economic growth of any country. Apart from its contribution to the economic growth, it also brings the country to global recognitions. This project investigates the impact of religion on the development of the tourism and hospitality industry of Nigeria. This research work would be of immense value to those willing to know more about religion, tourism, and the Hospitality industry. It as well looked at how religion affects the society and tourism, the essence of religion tourism, and some religion festivals that were discussed based on its relationship with the hospitality industry.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Tourism in Nigeria is one of the fast growing sectors of her economy. The industry was given priority status in 1990 when the National Tourism Policy was launched. The main thrust of Government policy on tourism was to generate foreign exchange earnings, create employment opportunities, promote rural enterprises and national integration among other things. Nigeria offers a wide variety of tourist attractions such the Old Oyo National Park, Olumo Rock, Ikogosi Warm Spring, Erin Ijesha Waterfall, unique wildlife, vast tracts of unspoiled nature ranging from tropical forest, magnificent waterfalls, some new rapidly growing cities and climatic conditions in some parts particularly conducive to holidaying. Other attractions include traditional ways of life preserved in local customs; rich and varied handicrafts and other colourful products depicting or illustrative of native arts and lifestyle, and the authentic unsophisticated but friendly attitude of many in the Nigerian population. Nigeria currently has over 170 million populations with most of whom are practicing three main religions (Christianity, Islam and Traditional religion) in the country. The religion has over the time has a great effect on the development of the country. This is due to the fact that religion has influenced the tourism scene in an outstanding manner. Notably, there are very many religious sites that also double as key tourist attraction sites. As such, it goes without saying that these two sectors are interrelated with each other as they are dependent of each other. One of the greatest things about religion is that it is very old. The history of religion dates back to at least two thousand years ago. As such, the history of religion is quite important in that it constitutes a very important aspect of tourism; that of learning more about how religion has grown and developed over the years.

In tourism, there is a very exclusive sector referred to as religious tourism, one of the greatest pillars of tourism presently. Religious tourism can be best described as a unique type of tourism whereby people travel either individually or in groups to visit different places for purposes such as missionary work or pilgrimage among other religious activities. For countries with deep roots in religion, this tourism edges out as the leading form of tourism. This is specifically the case in Jerusalem, one of the largest religious cities across the globe. This is a perfect example of the exceedingly great effects of religion on tourism.

The impacts of religion on tourism are quite diversified in that they affect tourism in so many ways. For instance, religious sites in Nigeria are the main tourist attraction sites for the tourism sectors of these countries. These sites account for millions of tourists (both international and local tourists) throughout the year. Some of the notable tourist religious sites in Nigeria such as Osun Osogbo, Ogun and Sango festivals in Oyo, Ojude Oba festival in Ijebu Ode, Udju Iwhurie Festival in Delta State, Iriji Festival in Igbo Land among others have contributed largely to the development of the country. The success of tourism and its subsequent growth is based on the existence of exclusive attraction sites that are bound to keep tourists coming back from time to time. Therefore, religion has gone a long way in the sustenance of tourism mainly due to the fact that it keeps the tourism sector active all year round.

It is safe to religion and tourism coexist mutually especially due to the fact that an increase in religious activities leads to a similar increase in tourism. This applies to both local and international tourism with the latter being the most favored. On an annual basis, it is estimated that the global religious tourism sector enjoys a flow of hundred millions of tourists from all across the globe. This is quite significant especially bearing in mind that the global tourism sector boasts of almost a billion tourists annually. The impacts of religion on tourism are not overrated in any way. This is mainly due to the fact that the impacts have direct influences in the tourism sector. Therefore, religion constitutes a very important aspect about tourism; with the development of tourism being partially dependent on religion. This gets better due to the fact that the global tourism sector has been undergoing great changes recently; changes that aim at improving the tourism sector so as to provide top notch services. Each of these sub-categories of religion has had great effects on tourism both individually and jointly with the other sub-categories.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Despite the economic contributions of religion tourism in Nigeria and the large numbers of people they attract both locally and internationally, the government has failed to encourage the development of some of the religious tourist centres in the country. For example, Ojude Oba festival in Ijebu Ode, Ogun and Sango festivals in Oyo among others are not well packaged t meet up with international standards. Also, other problems include insufficient disposable income to partake and enjoy the various religious activities, transportation problems, accommodation and food and beverages services, and the major things that affects tourist from engaging in the religion tourism. In fact, there are at least three broad approaches to understanding this relationship: spatial, historical, and cultural. Each of these illuminates different implications for religious life when tourists enter a sacred precinct. Therefore, this study investigates the impact of religion on the development of the tourism and hospitality industry of Nigeria.


1.3 Research Questions

These are some of the questions the study is designed to answer:

  1. What are the economic contributions of religion tourism to Nigeria?
  2. What are the reasons why people embark on tourism in Nigeria?
  3. What are the contributions of the government towards religion tourism in Nigeria?

1.4 Objectives of the Study

The objective of this study is to investigate the impact of religion on the development of the tourism and hospitality industry of Nigeria.

The specific objectives are:

  1. To inquire the economic contributions of religion tourism to Nigeria.
  2. To survey the reasons why people embark on tourism in Nigeria.
  3. To determine the contributions of the government toward religion tourism in Nigeria.

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The research hypotheses to be tested include:

  1. There is no significant relationship between religion tourism and economic growth in Nigeria.
  2. There is no significant correlation between religion events and increase in the profitability of tourism.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The significance of the study is based on the fact that if findings of the researcher are well implemented, it will facilitate and improve the development of religion towards tourism. It is hoped that this study would answer some questions of what impacts religion have on hospitality and tourism industry. The study will also arouse researchers investigate ways of improving religion Tourism.


1.7 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study is limited only to Nigeria so that more in depth information could be obtained to propose proper recommendations to the Government for improvement and development of this industry. Moreover, the research and the factors analysed are only limited to tourism industry.


1.8 Limitation of the study

The only constraint encountered by the researcher was finance. This limited the researcher to print just one hundred questionnaires as against the proposed two hundred questionnaires. The researcher, however, came up with findings that would be worth making reference to in future and also contribute to the existing literature.


1.9 Definitions of Terms

The following terms were used in the course of this study:

Tourism:

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 are not connected with any remunerated activity.

Tourist:

This is an individual that is involved in tourism activities. Visitor: – Is someone travelling from his place of usual residence to another place, but not primarily for tourism activities but enjoys such activities during his stay.

Tourist Attractions:

These are the physical and natural images or activities that motivate people (tourists) for visit.

Tourist Destinations:

These refer to the places where the tourist attractions are located or sited.

Religion:

These are set of rules that are taught which govern one to follow and to worship his/ her creator spiritually.

Hotel (Hospitality Industry):

Is an establishment that renders the services of food and drinks, accommodation to people (tourists) who are willing and able to pay for the services rendered to them by the establishment.


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