Impact Of Religious Crisis On The Development Of Hospitality And Tourism In Nigeria (Case Study Is Wukari L.G.A Taraba State)
Religion encompasses the belief in superhuman force(s) that govern the universe. This belief controls the entirety of human actions and inactions and therefore, can be used and abused. Among scholars the duality of religious function has continuously fuelled unending debate as it can instigate development and simultaneously destruction, especially in a multi-religious nation. Nigeria in all its regions is endowed with unique natural and cultural resources of immense benefit to tourism development if regularly consumed by tourists. The consumption of these tourist attractions are beset with challenges emanating from religious beliefs. These pose a huge threat to tourist safety and security and consequently restricts tourist inflow, dwindle the financial earnings and deter tourism promotion in the affected regions. In the light of the above, this study employing a desk research method explores the impact of religious crisis on the development of hospitality and tourism in Nigeria using a case study of Wukari LGA, Taraba state. Conclusion and recommendation for policy implications were made.
Table of Content
- 1.1 Background of the Study
- 1.2 Statement of Problem
- 1.3 Research Objectives
- 1.4 Research Questions
- 1.5 Research Hypothesis
- 1.6 Significance of the Study
- 1.7 Scope of Study
- 1.8 Limitation of the Study
- 1.9 Definition of Terms
- 1.10 Organization of the Study
2.0 Literature Review
- 2.1 Conceptual Framework
- 2.2 Tourism and Religion: The Nexus
- 2.3 Overview of Religious Crisis in Nigeria
- 2.4 Causes of Religious Crisis in Nigeria
- 2.5 The Effects of Religious Crisis on Economic Development
- 2.6 Theoretical Framework
3.0 Research Methodology
- 3.1 Research Design
- 3.2 Data Collection
- 3.3 Data Analysis
4.0 Results and Discussion
- 4.1 Religion A Continuous Threat To Hospitality And Tourism Development In Nigeria
- 4.1.1 Intra Religious Crises
- 4.1.2 Ethno-Religious Clashes
- 4.1.3 Violent Religious Beliefs
- 4.2 Implications Of Induced Religious Crises On Nigeria Hospitality And Tourism Industry
- 4.3 Promoting Hospitality And Tourism In Nigeria Amidst Religious Crisis
5.0 Summary, Conclusion And Recommendations
- 5.1 Summary
- 5.2 Conclusion
- 5.3 Recommendations
1.1 Background of the Study
The tourism industry is an amalgamation of various sectors offering travel related services. The uniqueness of the industry in providing numerous services has made it a multifaceted activity which touches many areas of human life. In other words, the tourism industry involves the business of providing tours and services for persons travelling locally and abroad. The provision of these services by different industries sets tourism as a global industry with the highest employer of labour. In view of this, tourism acts as one of the most viable economic industries generating millions of dollars annually which contributes to the growth of numerous economies around the globe. In 2013, tourism generated large numbers of international arrivals which amounted to 1087 million with prospects of international arrivals rising to 1.8 billion by the year 2030 (Kester, 2014). Travel accrues numerous benefits to any destination, one of which is the creation of critical employment opportunities for millions of people. Knowing the benefits of developing the tourism sector, the Nigerian government has since the era of democracy in 1999 not relented in the pursuit of developing its tourism potential so as to diversify its oil monopoly economy. While in response to the present global economic state described as recession or meltdown, the government has given increasing attention to tourism within their overall strategy for economic growth (Leslie, 1995). Hence, with an abundance of natural and cultural attractions, tourists should select Nigeria as one of their destinations of choice.
It is a fact that over hundred Nigerians have lost their lives in fighting religious crisis across the federation since the beginning of democracy in 1979. The number of those injured triples the dead, while those displaced are put at million. Umar, (2009), Onabanjo (2011) Observe that crisis have also hindered genuine economic development and national integration. More than fifty years after Nigeria’s independence thus raising serious concerns on the unity of the nation. It is observed that the religious crisis has been an obstacle to progress, economic prosperity, and peaceful co-existence and over all socio-economic development of Nigeria because of its destructive tendencies. Nigeria is populated by the adherent of Christians, Islam and African traditional religion. However, the adherents of three religions, especially Muslims and Christians are often engaged in crisis, leading to loss of lives and properties, a day hardly passes without the adherents of these two religions engaging in one crisis, or the other. This has led to suicide bombing, loss of innocent citizens and property (Amadu, 1989). Even if there is a seeming peace, the relationship between the Muslims and the Christians is marked with mutual suspicion and distrust. These religious crises are more frequent in the North and they sometimes give birth to reprisal attacks in Eastern part of Nigeria.
Many have attributed the recurring spate of religious crisis in Nigeria to the strove and functioning of Nigerian Federalism. Elaigwu (2005) writes on violent protests in the Niger-Delta over perceived injustice in resource distribution, the Modakeke Communal violence, the MASSOB Feeble attempt to resuscitate Biafra, the SouthSouth demand for the control of its resources, the recent Benue, Kaduna, Adamawa herdsmen attack and all the recent inter religious crisis in various states across the country. Crises in Nigeria particularly, religious crises has affected the growth and development of communities and people in particular and economy in general. Many lives have been cut short, properties worth millions of naira destroyed innocent Nigerians displaced and turned refugees in their father’s land. Farmers have deserted their farm land as a result of violence, the artisans can no longer work due to instability and violence. This problem has not only crippled economic activities but has also debarred sustainable development. The attendant effect of this unpalatable situation manifest in poverty, joblessness, low productivity, low income and poor infrastructural facilities.
In 1979, the Federal Government in an attempt to resolve, promote unity among the various religious ethnic groups in Nigeria, established the National Youth Services Corps (N.Y.S.C.) and some Federal Institutions to ensure cohesion among its religious ethnic groups. Despite these various attempts by the government, not much has been achieved in terms of peaceful coexistence amongst the various religious groups and economic development. In view of this, the paper examines the effects of religious crisis on economic development with a view to finding lasting solution capable of addressing this avoidable problem.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Despite the immense benefit of the industry to Nigeria’s economy it can easily deteriorate at the slightest hint of social unrest. To a great extent, the political atmosphere of a nation does restrict the influx and movement of tourism. This is as a result of the industry’s dependence on travel traffic. As Telfer and Sharpley (2008) observed, not only is tourism highly susceptible to external forces and events, such as political upheaval, natural disasters, health scares, but it is also sensitive to religious induced crisis which most times impede the safety and security of tourists. The concepts of safety and security are amongst the priority factors that influence tourist choice of destination and are thus paramount conditions for tourism development in any country or region. To amass the full benefits of tourism requires peace and stability. However, the incessant religious induced crisis in Nigeria has threatened the safety and security of tourists. Nigeria is not immune but vulnerable to religious instigated crises which is a global menace hindering the growth of the industry since the incident of September 11, 2001 in the USA. Upon this premise of religion posing a challenge to tourism, it is the objective of this paper to explore the various religious practices in Nigeria that threaten the regional development of tourism and also to proffer how well religious activities could be exploited in promoting tourism in the country.
1.3 Research Objectives
The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of religious crisis on the development of hospitality and tourism in Nigeria using a case study of Wukari LGA, Taraba state. Specifically, the objectives include:
- To determine the effects of religious crisis on the development of hospitality and tourism in Wukari LGA, Taraba state
- To examine the cause of religious crisis on the development of hospitality and tourism in Wukari LGA, Taraba state
- To determine the solutions to the issue of religious crisis and the development of hospitality and tourism in Wukari LGA, Taraba state
1.4 Research Questions
This project is designed to tackle the following reach questions;
- What are the effects of religious crisis on the development of hospitality and tourism in Wukari LGA, Taraba state?
- What is the cause of religious crisis on the development of hospitality and tourism in Wukari LGA, Taraba state?
- What are the solutions to the issue of religious crisis and the development of hospitality and tourism in Wukari LGA, Taraba state?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
The following hypotheses were formulated to guide the study the hypothesis is to be tested at 0.5 alpha levels.
- HO1: There is no significant impact of religious crisis on the development of hospitality and tourism in Wukari LGA, Taraba state, Nigeria
- HA1: There is a significant impact of religious crisis on the development of hospitality and tourism in Wukari LGA, Taraba state, Nigeria
1.6 Significance of the Study
The significance of the study is based on the fact that if findings of the researcher s 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’ interests to further investigate ways of improving Religion and Tourism. Lastly, the findings of this study will contribute to future studies and serve as empirical references for other researchers in related areas.
1.7 Scope of Study
The study is limited to the impact of religious crisis on the development of hospitality and tourism in Nigeria. The geographical scope is Wukari LGA, Taraba state.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
The researcher was constrained by the paucity of literature in this area of study although the study made use of the available relevant literatures from related studies. The researcher also incurred financial expenses in carrying out this research. Lastly, the study was limited in scope in the terms of the location of the study. This study was limited to Wukari LGA, Taraba state.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Is a disagreement between two groups of different religions that struggle against coherent existence without themselves.
Is the relationship between a guest and a host, wherein the host receives the guest with some amount of goodwill, including the reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.
Is a social, cultural and economic phenomenon which entails the movement of people to countries or places outside their usual environment for personal or business/professional purposes.
An event constituting a new stage in a changing situation.
1.10 Organization of the Study
This study is divided into five chapters. The first chapter is the introduction which contains the background, research problems and objectives. The second chapter is the literature review and the third chapter is the research methodology. In the fourth chapter, the researcher analyses the data and discusses the results. The fifth chapter is the last chapter which presents the summary, conclusion and recommendations.
5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
This study was carried out to investigate the impact of religious crisis on the development of hospitality and tourism in Nigeria using a case study of Wukari LGA, Taraba state. From the study, religion is not only about sets of beliefs, dogmas and practices associated with sacred existence, but it is also a vital element of ethnic identity in Nigeria. Its doctrine has both religious and cultural bonds on believers who are capable of doing anything for the sake of their religious beliefs. The vulnerability of Nigerians towards religions has been severely exploited by overzealous religious bigotry which has given a personal prejudiced interpretation to certain religious statements just to ‘smite’ other religions in the country. This is done by using the advantage that large numbers of some ethnic groups in Nigeria practice the same religion. With the indoctrinated interpretation of some sacred scripture most times ending in ethno-religious crises which have ravaged the tourism industry of the country. Most destructive is the formation of the Boko Haram terrorist sect, whose activities severely impoverish the tourism sector. Despite, the frequency of such religious induced crises, the Nigerian tourism industry seems to be relatively resilient and to a large extent, has demonstrated great ability to recover from the devastating effect of religious crises. To change this evil on the nation’s economic development, let adherents of various religious practice what they preach as love, and we as Nigerians must rise to the challenge, all hands must be on deck, we must understand our differences, resolve to respect one another and live together as one regardless of tribe and religion, the government should become transparent, responsive, proactive and equitable in their allocation of national resources and political powers. If the religious crisis is solved in this country Nigeria, it shall be practically possible to see a Nigeria that is truly the giant in terms of economic development.
With the Nigerian media’s relentless effort in seeking to keep the world abreast of the Nigerian government’s efforts in curbing religious crises, through inter alia, an improved military strategy of relocating the Army headquarter from Abuja to Borno, improvements are more noticeable and bode well. This strategic step not only helps in decimating Boko Haram but also in reducing the frequency of ethno-religious clashes in Northern Nigeria, thereby, restoring tranquillity in the affected regions which guarantees the safety and security of tourists. In addition, religious tourism facilitates the spread and general understanding of doctrines and messages of the different religions in the country. The participation of non-members in religious tourism of other religions should be encouraged as it will create a platform for religious and diversity tolerance and at the same time promote domestic and international tourism in the country.
- The first recommendation is for the country to establish a Federal Ministry of Religion whose duty will be educating the populace on the principles of equity, freedom of religion, religious tolerance and the power of unity and love for one another. The commission should also be charged to find out the primary root causes of religious and ethnicity crisis in Nigeria and ways of eliminating them.
- Government should convene an Ad hoc’ National summit on Religion with the primary mandate of developing a National Policy and strategy on Religion (NPSR). This summit should be drawn from major stakeholders, i.e. the religions groups in the country (Christians and Muslims) religious practitioners, and also state representative.
- The Christians and Muslims leaders in Nigeria must continue to reach out and sustain the dialogue processes, spear head inter-religious education and seek every opportunity to educate its followers to shun violence so as to give room for social and economic development in the nation. Christians and Muslims leaders should endeavour to impress on their followers the teaching on the solidarity of humankind, and forgiveness (Martin Luther King Jr. as cited by Kunhiyop (2004) opines: ‘We must develop and maintain the capacity of forgive’.
- Dialogue and reconciliation centres should be established at local, state and geo-political zone in the nation where matters of religious differences between members of difference religious will be discussed and resolved.
Impact Of Religious Crisis On The Development Of Hospitality And Tourism In Nigeria (Case Study Is Wukari L.G.A Taraba State)
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