Nigeria has abundant tourism components that could make her the leading tourism provider in Africa. There are numerous attractions ranging from places of natural beauty to cultural and historical heritage. Coastal tourism has been a phenomenon within tourism industry in Nigeria. The coastal environment of Nigeria has a rich and diverse ecosystem with natural resources, vegetation, and large human agglomerations. In this paper, the research on the socio-economic impact of tourism development along the coast line of Lagos was thoroughly conducted and assessed to a level of acceptability. The objectives of this research work are to promote tourism development along the coastal line of Lagos, to carve-out socio-economic roles for tourism providers vis-à-vis adjoining settlement, to assess the socio-economic contribution of tourism development on the host community and to recommend a way forward towards the enhancement of coastal tourism in Nigeria. The empirical part involved the use of qualitative research method which includes interviews and observations. The findings of this study revealed that the coastal line of Lagos as a tourist attraction has a positive socio-economic impact on the people of the area in terms of job creation, income generation, infrastructural development and other positive elements. Though, there seems to be problems within the region and for that reasons, few recommendations are put forward to give likely solutions and they are: Provision of infrastructural facilities to enhance development in the area, government-private partnership, community involvement to encourage grassroots participation, expansion of the coast line to decongest the already existing ones, security, promotion, coastal zone management and political will on the side of the government. If these recommendations can be followed, the coastal line of Lagos will be an attractive tourist destination in years to come.
1.1 Background of the study
Tourism is the largest and fastest growing industry in the world. It accounts to about 7% of world capital investment with revenue predicted to rise up to 1.550 billion dollars by the year 2015. Africa has a meaningful share in the growing international tourism trade in terms of both tourist arrival and receipt. The importance of Nigerian tourism industry lies in its tourism resources in generating foreign exchange. The Central Bank of Nigeria revealed that the geometric increase in Nigerian tourism industry in which a total number of 828,906 tourists was registered in 2007 and about 900 billion tourist arrive worldwide has made tourism industry one of the most vibrant industries of the world, especially from the economic point of view. Nigeria has a land mass of about 365,000 square miles and she is a country of magnificent site, a wide range of fauna, excellent place for vacation, exploration and sightseeing. In terms of the environment, she has world class tropical rain forests, savannah, grassland, mangrove swamps and the Sahel savannah very close to the Sahara desert.
One of the main factors behind the success of Nigerian tourism is the natural beauty. Nigeria is located along the South Atlantic Ocean and she is blessed with a wide range of water resources. Being a coastal country, she has a wide range of beaches and other marine beauties. Historically, the coastal region aroused about two centuries ago in many European and North America nations as a new form of tourism destination for leisure purposes. Up to the 18th centuries, the coastal area has been a mere landscape, where religious presence and socio-cultural values had not encouraged the area to be known as a leisure site. Nigeria is also rich in handicrafts and sculptures, historical monuments, arts, sport, places of beauty, socio-cultural events, parks, museums, relaxation sites, waterfalls, resorts, hotels and other accommodation facilities among others. She also has abundant cultural and historical heritage which is one of the critical factors for developing rural and urban tourism in the country. However, several museums and other heritage sites in Nigeria often establish a special exhibition to showcase their product to prospective tourists and stakeholders.
All this tourism potential makes Nigeria a hospitable nation and the local norms and values combined with peaceful environment full of loving and friendly people makes her a good and well tantalizing tourism destination.
1.1 Statement of the problem
Despite the fact that tourism is important to any nation, the problems associated with coastal tourism are quite enormous. In that case, such problems are perceptive at the coastal line of Lagos. Being the industrial capital of Nigeria, Lagos has attracted millions of people to the area for business, leisure and other purposes. This resulted in the coastline being over-congested during the holidays. The infrastructural facilities such as good road network and parking space are not enough to meet the demand of the coastal region. The problem of pollution is one of the vital issues in contention. The solid waste disposal in the water by the residents and visitors has posed a potential environmental problem in the area and also made the coastal region unattractive. Flooding is also a major problem in the coastal area. Though this problem rarely occurs, it is one of the disadvantages of the region. Finally, the political will on the side of the government is not appreciable. Government is not paying adequate attention to coastal tourism and this constitutes a major setback to the development of tourism along the coastal line of Lagos.
Apart from the problems incurred as a result of the presence of the coast line, the socio-economic effects of the area are not far-fetched in the later chapters.
1.2 Aim of the study
The main aim of writing this thesis is to assess the socio-economic impact of tourism development in Nigeria as regard to the coastal area of Lagos state with a view of integrating more development in the area.
- To promote tourism development along the coastal line of Lagos.
- To carve-out socio-economic roles for tourism providers vis-à-vis adjoining settlement
- To assess the socio-economic contribution of tourism development on the host community
- To recommend a way forward towards the enhancement of coastal tourism in Nigeria
1.4 Limitation to study
It is quite possible that all studies have the tendency of facing one problem or the other. In this respect, in carrying out the research work, there is tendency of coming across some problems which might disturb the accuracy of the survey in achieving the desired result. Below are the limiting factors that might hinder the effectiveness of my research work:
Inability of the respondent to cooperate with the researcher during the interview: This is one of the limiting factors that can hinder the effectiveness of the research work. The respondent might decide not to give out some information that is relevant to the research thereby creating a vacuum of problems to the study. From past experience, the respondent might be afraid to dish out information due to the secrecy of his organization or he might think that the information will be used against them. This has been one of the greatest setbacks to research work.
Distance: Distance is a great factor in writing this thesis. The research work is basically in Nigeria and the researcher studies in Finland. Other things being equal, distance might be a disturbing factor in getting to the root of the research.
The limitations mentioned above are measurable considering the fact that the author has already put in some logistic effort to overcome. All measures are put in place to make sure that the researcher travels to the case study area to overcome the problem of distance in carrying out the survey and also prepared some vital documents in order to convince the respondents to cooperate efficiently to the success of the research work.