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Nigeria offers a wide variety of tourist attraction such as extended and

roomy river and ocean beaches ideal for swimming and other water
sports 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 Nigeria

Nigeria are presently being awakened to the values of spending their

leisure time and holidays in desirable activity. This had prompted some
levels of government, individuals and groups to identify and acquire
many natural resources areas as potentials for tourism and recreation.

However, many of these attractions are still largely untapped and even
at their raw states; they are still being enjoyed by few outsiders, either
rich visitors in quest of ecoticism or adventurous people in search of
new challenges and experiences.

1. Educational Tourism
2. Historical Tourism
3. Cultural Tourism
4. Personal status enhancement Tourism
5. Agricultural Tourism
6. Religious Tourism
7. Medical Tourism
8. Sports Tourism
9. Environmental Tourism

Tourism can be defined as the temporal movement of people to

destinations outside their normal places or residence for more than 24
hours or less with no intension of remunerations from point’s en-routs,
Eniola (1991). The destinations, the facilities created to cater for their
needs and of the impacts they have on the economic, the physical
environment and the host population. Conceptually five main
characteristics of tourism can be recognized, Kehinde (1993). These
i. Tourism evolves from the movements of people and
their stay in various destinations.
ii. Tourism embraces the journey to a destination and
the stay at the destination.
iii. The condition in (ii) above takes place outside the tourist’s
normal abode. The tourist’s activities differ from that of the
resident and working population of the place to which the
tourist travels and stays.
iv The period of movement to destinations is usually a
short term one. Usually, the intension is to return
home within a few days, weeks or months.

iv. The destination visited are not visited for the purpose of
taking up permanent residence or paid jobs.

These are impediments to tourism, which the new administration has

been tackling since assumption of office. Investors, both foreign and
local are therefore, called upon to come and invest in the abundant
tourism potentials in the country. The richness and diversity or Nigeria
tourism resources coupled with economic liberalization policies will
provide investment opportunities in various areas as followed:

• Heritage/cultural tourism resources development of slave trade

• Establishment of museums and preservation of monuments
• Wildlife tourism resources
• Development of hiking trails and jeep tracks in the national parks
• Building of tourist lodges
• Building of reception centres at natural/physical attractions
• Establishment of holiday resorts along the coasts
• Development of amusement parks, entertainment facilities and
shopping services
• Establishment of hotels and resorts near waterfalls, springs,
caves and temperate climate areas such as Obudu, jos and
Mambila Plateau.
• Development of arts and crafts which constitute symbol of the
people’s cultural values and love for nature.

There is no need to distinguish between domestic and international

tourism because all tourism are tourism even though there are
different types. Domestic tourism involves people traveling to places
outside their normal residence within their own country which those

not require the crossing of boundaries. Where as international tourism
involves travel to countries aside the travellers and normally requires
the crossing of international frontier.

Having examined the concept of tourism, the rest of this chapter

examines the following among others. Government policies on tourism,
development of tourism in Nigeria, others include existing and
potential tourist sites in Nigeria, tourism tomorrow, recreational
facilities available at the tourist/recreational site, the impact of tourism
in Nigeria and finally the problems confronting the development of
tourism and their management strategies


The recognition of tourism in the country came with the establishment
of the Nigeria Tourist Association in 1962 by some private individuals
interested in it’s development as a profit making venture. The
following set up the association
i. the Federal Government of Nigeria
ii. The national carrier
iii. Some foreign Airlines
iv. Private hoteliers
v. Airport hotels
vi. Nigerians Tobacco company
vii. Shell company


i. To develop and promote tourism in Nigeria
ii. Encourage a lively domestic travel in Nigeria country’s
advantage in the socio-economic areas.
iii. Develop infrastructural facilities that are necessary for a well
managed tourist industry.

Although the association failed as it lacks
The necessary guideline for the development of the country tourism
industry, it however laid the foundation for subsequent actions on
tourism in the country. This led government to promulgate Decree No.
54 of 1976 that give birth to the Nigeria tourist board and state
tourism committee at federal and state levels respectively which took
over the functions of the Nigeria Tourist Association.

The problem of tourism development in Nigeria is a reflection of
Federal government policy stand on tourism development in Nigeria,
presently there is lack of national policy on the use of the natural
environment in Nigeria closely related to this is the fact that there is
lack of proper inventory of recreational resources in the nation part of
this problem has to do with the methodology for assessing or
evaluating Landscape for aesthetics which is as yet to be developed in
the country except few areas of application see Olugunorisa, 1992,
Okorocha 1984.

The importance of landscape evaluation for the cultivation of tourist

attraction cannot be over emphasized. It includes among others, the
classification of the landscape for various types of land use, including
tourism industry is poorly developed becauses of lack of indept
knowledge regarding the scenic qualities of natural landscape which
are worth protecting for the development of tourism.

And other problems are political instability in the country, poverty and
poor recreational attitude of Nigerian’s and lack of commitment in
tourism industry in terms of provision of recreational facilities and
other key elements in the tourism industry by government and private

i. To develop and promote tourism in Nigeria
ii. Encourage a lively domestic travel by Nigeria
iii. Develop infrastructural facilities that are necessary for a well
managed tourist industry
iv. To encourage the provision and improvement of tourist
amenities and facilities.
v. To encourage people in Nigeria to take their holidays here and
people from abroad to visit the country
vi. To assist in the development of museums and historical sites,
parks, game reserves, beaches, natural beauty sports, holiday
resorts and souvenir industries
vii. To promote and under take research on tourism (Federal
Military Government, 1976).
viii. To make Nigeria the ultimate tourist destination in Africa and
generate employment.


The scope of the study Nigeria is based on the effect of tourism in
Nigeria, yesterday, today and tomorrow. The study of this nature
which is the recognition of tourism in the country came with the
establishment of the Nigeria tourist association in 1962 by some
private individuals interested in it’s development as a profit making
venture. The following set up the association.
i. The national carrier
ii. Some foreign airline
iii. The federal government of Nigeria
iv. Private hoteliers
v. Airport hotels

vi. Nigeria Tobacco Company Shell Company.

Going back in time, the areas of emphasis in the 1976 general policy
are the provision of facilities and the encouragement of participation
(Ikporukpo 1993). Tumba (1993) also observed that the policy lacked
clear guidelines that should have directed the board in it’s task, the
failure of this 1976 policy has been attributed to lack of good policy,
scarcity of funds, poor staffing and lack of significant autonomy to
operate in order for Nigeria to derive the benefits associated with a
vibrant tourism sector, the federal ministry of trade and tourism, after
series of consultations with relevant private and public agencies
formulated a National tourism policy which was produced in 1990 with
the basic objectives to make Nigeria the ultimate tourism destination
in Africa, to generate foreign exchange, encourage even development,
promote tourism based rural enterprises, generate employment and
accelerate rural urban integration and cultural exchange. There are
also provisions made in the policy for:
i. Basic infrastructural facilities such as good roads, water,
electricity, communications, transportation, etc to centre of
attraction in order to accelerate development in the tourist
centres and improved their tourist values
ii. Involvement of the three tiers of government, namely Federal,
State and Local Government in tourism development
iii. Funding through annual budgetary allocations and the
establishment of a National Tourism Development fund to
which all levels of authority in the industry as well as the
private sector will contribute.


Nigeria has so many natural endowment and if they are maintained, in
the nearest future Nigeria will be a great tourist site in Africa and
create wonder, marvel and fantasy. Among others the importance of
tourism may include
i. Promote and preservation of cultural heritage, e.g. valued
local customs, rich and varied handicrafts and other colourful
products with historical Architectural value depicting or
illustrative of our nature art and life style and the authentic
unsophisticated but friendly attitude of many in the Nigeria
ii. Encourage infrastructural development:
Infrastructure are the basic facilities and services on which all
tourism depends, these system includes water, sever
systems, communication network, medical facilities
electricity, police and fire protection and good roads.
Therefore, in order to accelerate our development for the
purpose of exploiting fully our touristic value, the provision of
basic infrastructure namely: Good road, Water, Electorate,
Communication and Hotels to centres of attraction are to be
iii. Employment Opportunities
Tourism provides the development of infrastructures and
services. As the infrastructures are built people and employed
to keep the built facilities in operation, people are also
employed to carry out the tourism services. Hotels, for
instance is an institution that can provide employment for
reasonable number of people.
iv. Tourism increases economic growth of the nation.
Tourism has the potential of booting the Nigeria economy,
if well established. Tourism creates increase in the country’s

revenue as foreign tourists travel into the country, population
increases and demand for certain goods and services


It is the premier game reserve in Nigeria and is located around the
Gagi River. Approximately 1½ hours by road, southeast of Bauchi
Town, the beauty and game makes it the most popular reserve in
Nigeria set up in 1956 and opened to the public in 1962 and the main
game viewing areas of the reserve are open all year round. The
reserve covers 2.058 sq km of Savanna woodland and in well stocked
with elephant, baboons, waterbucks, bushbucks, oribi, crocodile,
hippopotamus antelope, buffalo and various types of monkeys.


The Wikki Warm Spring is one of the best features of the game
reserves and it is located around the Gagi Rivers. Flood lit at night it is
wonderful after a hot day’s game viewing to relax in the warm water.

The park is inhabited by a variety of birds including the huge

saddlebile stock, golliah heron, bateleur eagle vulture, kingfishers, bee
eaters and more and excellent for serious bird watchers. Other
facilities includes Tennis courts, squash courts, a small museum in the
reception area plus gas stations with conveniences stores at Wikki
camp and Bauchi.


This is a vast land of spectacular wilderness in the southeast corner of
Taraba State, adjoining the Mambilla Plateau. It contains Nigeria
highest mountain and the most ecologically diverse conservation area

in the country and forest, mountain forest and grass land many Rivers
flow through the park, including the Taraba, a major tributary of the
River Benue. A wide variety of animal could found such as Buffalo, roan
antelope, chimpanzee, colobus monkey, hippopotamus, hyena, giant
forest hog, lion and leopard.
The Cross River National Park was created from two existing forest
reserves of Bashi – Okwango and Oban forest reserves. It is famous for
it’s unique rain forest vegetation which is the some of the richest in

This park is being preserved with the help of the Nigerian conservation
foundation. It has a herd of forest elephants, the white faced monkey,
buffalo, leopards and lowland gorillas.


This park, in Kwara State, was established in 1979 and incorporates
the Borgu Game Reserve and Zugurma Game Reserves to the
southeast in Niger State. It also contains the Kainji Dam, an artificial
lake which covers the town of old Bussa. Here Mungo Park, the
explorer was said to have come to grief in 1805. Boat trips on the lake
can be arranged by the Borgu Game Reserve office at Wawa. To
reduce the expense, it is better for several visitors to share the cost.

Fishing is allowed on the lake. The Borgu sector of Lake Kainji Nation
Park was set up as a Federal Game Reserve and is one of the largest in
West Africa. The park retains a robust animal population including
antelope, hon. hippopotamus, buffalo, roan antelope, jackal, baboon,
monkey and crocodile. The park is usually open from December to June
towards the dry season when the grass has dried out and the animals
move close to the water. Despite the provisions at Kainji and New

Bussa, hotel accommodation is insufficient to encourage many people
to stay for long periods.


1. Tarkwa Bay
Tarkwa Bay is a sheltered beach along the Lagos harbor. It is
accessible by a ‘Trazan’ boa from Maroko or ‘Fiki’ boat from
under Falo Bridge on Victoria Island.
This beach provides a pleasant outing with safe swimming
conditions, even for small children. Tourist may obtain deck
chairs and an awning on the beach, for relaxed, casual
comfort. Local yen dots sell delicious pineapples, coconuts
and variety of other delightful treats.
2. Bar Beach
Bar Beach, also known as Victoria Beach, is the most popular
beach among Nigerians. The main beach on Victoria Island is
located along Ahmadu Bello Way opposite the Federal Guest
House. It is usually crowded with Nigerians on public holidays.
3. Coconut Beach
Coconut Beach is a beautiful beach in the coastal town of
Badagry, west of Lagos. The beach is attractively set in an
area surrounded by coconut trees. About 20 miles towards the
border of Nigeria and the Republic of Benin, Coconut Beach is
accessible through the Lagos-Badagry expressway. Visitors
will find a friendly relaxed atmosphere.
4. Calabar Beach
This superb beach, at the mouth of the new Calabar River, is
about 2 miles long and 500 feet wide, uninhabited save for a
solitary fisherman’s hut. The beach is virtually isolated and

lends visitors the luxury of privacy in a beautiful setting off
the beaten path. Since the beach is flanked by a swamp and
can only be reached by boat or canoe, getting there is half the
fun and enhances one’s fascination with this enchanted

5. Lekki Beach
Tere are several beaches along the Lekki Peninsula, the
foremost being Lekki Beach, located a few miles from the city
center. Lekki Beach is another of Lagos’ attractive beaches
and remains popular with foreign tourists. Beach shelters
made of palm fronds and umbrellas, available for rents, keep
the sun at bay, as well as provide a place to enjoy snacks or
refreshments sold by local traders.
6. Eleko Beach
Opened in 1989, Eleko is the newest of Lagos’ Beaches, down
the Lekki Peninsula about 30 miles from Lagos. There are no
traders an no distractions on Eleko Beach, just peace and
tranquility, ideal for those seeking p[privacy.
7. The Obudu Ranch
The Obudu Ranch is a popular holiday destination for
adventurous tourists wishing to explore the remote corners of
Nigeria. Situated in the northeast corner of Cross River State,
only 45 miles from the Cameroon border, a tourist can enjoy
the countryside of both Nigeria and Cameroon at the same
8. Slave Trade in Nigeria
A dark historical era saw many people of West African leave
Europe, North and South American and the Callibbearn. The
Lagos State water front and Cooperation invited conference
delegates to two days conference the first day; we toured the

city of Lagos, on the second day and learned that Badagry
was an important slave route. Division created in Lagos State
in 1968. This could be tourist site, people from Nigeria and out
side Nigeria could visit for sight view.

Tourism investment atmosphere in Nigeria is now conducive given the
abundant resources available, large market, enthronement of enduring
democracy and a package of incentive put together by government.
Foreign investors and other interested individuals should take this
advantage to invest in the Nigerian tourism industry for sustainability
and profitable returns to make Nigeria the ultimate tourism destination
in Africa. Government policy on tourism generate foreign exchange,
encourage even development, promote tourism based rural
enterprises, generate employment and accelerate rural urban
integration and cultural exchange. Nigeria should be awakened to the
values of spending their leisure time and holidays in desirable activity.
Government, individuals and groups should identify and acquire many
natural resources areas as potentials for tourism and recreation in

Tourism in Nigeria yesterday, today and tomorrow has a great

difference because we have been awakened to the values of spending
our leisure time and holidays in desirable places in Nigeria.


Emeruem J. (2007), Monograph on Tourism and Recreation Planning.


Ikponikpo, C.O (1993) Developing Nigerians Country side

Tourist Resources Policy and Prospects. In Chokor,
B.A. ed. Environmental and Tourism in Nigeria.
Lagos: Environment and Behaviour
Association of Nigeria (EBAN)

Kehinde E.O. (1993), Towards Evolving a Viable Concept of

Tourism in Chokor, B.A. (ed) Environment and
Tourism in Nigeria Lagos: Environment and
Behaviour Association of Nigeria (EBAN)

S.B. Arokoyu and Temi Ologunorisa (1994) Tourism and