Tourism activities throughout the world are major sources of internally generated revenue. They generate revenue for both the host communities and the government at large. Tourism potentials when fully harnessed served as the best means of livelihood and sustainability for any modern day society especially in the development of tourist sites (Greg, 2014). However, residence (non-tourists) attitude and behaviour towards enhancing revenue generation has been very poor. Residence (non-tourists) has always viewed tourism from a different point of perspective and this has affected the development of tourist/cultural sites in Nigeria (Greg, 2014). One major problem resulting to this behavioural change is that resident’s (host community) see tourists and investors as people that exploit their community rather than for development to harness the tourism potentials and natural resources provided by nature (Korstanje, 2007).

The World Tourism Organization (WTO) regards tourists as people who travel to and stay in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business, and other purpose not related to the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited. Tourism however can be described as a double edge activity. It has the potential to contribute in a positive manner to the socio-economic development of any modern society. Also, it is fast and sometimes uncontrolled growth can be a major source of environmental hazards and degradation as well as loss of local identity, biological features and physical resource that primarily attract tourist.

          As suggested by Awaritefe (2000; 2004; 2007), the spatial pattern of tourism destination distribution in Delta State can be summarized into four zones (Asaba/Aniocha, Warri/Ethiope, Ndokwa/Isoko, and Bomadi/Coastal). In the book titled “Delta State in Map”, Awaritefe as cited in Awaritefe (2007) in discussing how to develop quantity tourism in Delta State, stated that the major attractions for tourist revealed by previous and recent studies are natural and cultural features.

Hunziker and Krapf (1941) defined tourism as “the sum of the phenomena and relationships arising from the travel and stay of non-residents, in-so-far as they do not lead to permanent residence and are not connected with any earning activity”. Greg (2014) went on to give the definition of tourism as “the temporary, short-term movement of people to destinations outside the places where they normally live and work and their activities during stay at such destination. It includes movements for all purposes”. In 1981, the International Association of Scientific Experts in Tourism defined tourism in terms of particular activities chosen and undertaken outside the home. Tourism is an important, even vital, source of income for many countries. Its importance was recognized in the Manila Declaration on World Tourism of 1980 as “an activity essential to the life of nations because of its direct effects on the social, cultural, educational and economic sectors of national societies and on their international relations.

1.2     Study Background

The terms tourism and travel are sometimes used interchangeably. In this context, travel has a similar definition to tourism, but implies a more purposeful journey. The terms tourism and tourist are sometimes used pejoratively, to imply a shallow interest in the cultures or locations visited (Greg, 2014). By contrast, traveler is often used as a sign of distinction. Tourism is travel for recreation, leisure, religious, family or business purposes, usually for a limited duration. Tourism is commonly associated with international travel, but may also refer to travel to another place within the same country. The World Tourism Organization (WTO) defines tourists as people “travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purpose” (WTO, 2012).

          Tourism has become a popular global leisure activity. Tourism can be domestic or international, and international tourism has both incoming and outgoing implications on a country’s balance of payments. Today, tourism is a major source of income for many countries, and affects the economy of both the source and host countries, in some cases being of vital importance. Tourism brings in large amounts of income into a local economy in the form of payment for goods and services needed by tourists, accounting for 30% of the world’s trade of services, and 6% of overall exports of goods and services (WTO, 2012). Tourism also creates opportunities for employment in the service sector of the economy associated with it. The service industries which benefit from tourism include transportation services, such as airlines, cruise ships, and taxi cabs, hospitality, such as accommodations, including hotels and resorts, and entertainment venues, such as amusement parks, casinos, shopping malls, music venues, and theatres. This is in addition to goods bought by tourists, including souvenirs, clothing etc.

          Tourism involves some degree of interaction between residents (non-tourist) and temporary guest (tourist) to their area. Therefore, it will result in either positive or negative impacts. Any impacts from tourism that cause irritation amongst the local residents (non-tourists) might lead to problems with the development and sustainability of the industry and reduce economic benefit. As for the temporary guest (the tourists) only tourism impacts that affect their travel experience and travel expenses might divert them to other destinations (Korstanje, 2007). Thus, cultural tourist sites satisfy the tripartite concepts of conservation, full development, and utilization. This description matches the tourist sites in Delta State. However, little appreciation of them has led to their underdevelopment, underutilization and undervaluation, thereby robbing off their chances of meriting global first class list of tourism destinations.

Consequently, the primary aim of any destination management is to gain a thorough knowledge of tourist and non-tourist perceptions because understanding their attitudes towards the impacts and benefit of tourism implies to know the successful development, operation and sustainability of tourism industry (Leiper, 1983).More recently, creative tourism which was defined by Greg (2014) as tourism related to the active participation of travelers in the culture of the host community, through interactive workshop and informal learning experiences, has gained popularity as a form of cultural tourism, drawing on active participation by travelers in the culture of the host communities they visit. Several countries offer examples of this type of tourism development, including the United Kingdom, Austria, France, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Spain, Italy and New Zealand (Theobald, 1998).

The growing interests of tourists in this new way to discover a culture regards particularly the operators and branding managers, at attentive to the possibility of attracting quality tourism, highlighting the intangible heritage (craft workshops, cooking classes, etc) and optimizing the use of existing infrastructure (for example, through the rent of halls and auditorium) (Korstanje, 2007). The WTO forecasts that international tourism will continue growing at the average annual rate of 4% (WTO, 2004). With the advent of e-commerce, tourism products have become one of the most traded items on the internet (WTO, 2004). Tourism products and services have been made available through intermediaries, although tourism providers (hotels, airlines etc.), including small-scale operators, can sell their services directly (Lu, 2004; Karanasios and Burgess, 2008). This has put pressure on intermediaries from both on-line and traditional shops.          

It has been suggested there is a strong correlation between tourism expenditure per capital and the degree to which countries play in the global context (WTO, 2012). Not only as a result of the important economic contribution of the tourism industry, but also as an indicator of the degree of confidence with which global citizens leverage the resources of the globe for the benefit of their local economics. This is why any projections of growth in tourism may serve as an indication of the relative influence that each country will exercise in the future.

          There has been a growing trend in tourism over the last few decades especially in Nigeria, where people go on international travel for short breaks is common. Tourists have a wide range of budgets and tastes, and a wide variety of resorts and hotels developed to cater for them. For example, some people prefer simple beach vacations, while others want more specialized holidays, quieter resorts, family-oriented holidays or niche market-targeted destination hotels. The developments in technology and transport infrastructure, such as jumbo jets, low-cost airlines and more accessible airports have made many types of tourism more affordable. The WTO estimated in 2009 that there are about half a million people on board aircraft at any given time. There have been changes in their lifestyle, for example some retired aged people sustain all year round tourism. This is facilitated by internet sales of tourist services. Some sites (tourists and non-tourists) have still not been accessed and harnessed till date. This has led the study for an evaluation of tourism potential for site development and spatial behaviour of residence in enhancing revenue generation. There is the need to proffer lasting solutions and recommendation to problems of tourism in Delta State.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

          Studies has shown that there has been less attention directed towards evaluation of tourism potential for development and spatial behaviour of residence in enhancing revenue generation in Nigeria and particularly in Delta State with abundant natural resources and tourist potentials. It has been discovered in repeated studies that focus has only been directed towards the development and management of tourism without taking cognizance of the tourism potential for development and spatial behaviour of residence in enhancing revenue generation.

In recent researches, it is discovered that, empirical studies on the travel reason, activities and values of various visitor groups in Nigeria are lacking. They are limited in studies to shed light on why tourist sites are still not developed to world class standard despite its tourism potentials. Also, there is need to find out why tourist and non-tourist select their travel destinations within their countries and whether tourists differ in their motives, values and activities. The reasons that underlie the choice of various types of destination by both tourist and non-tourist groups are still unclear (Ojo, et al, 1979; Chokor, 1993). Notwithstanding this area of neglect, Lee (2003) and Chokor (1993), observed that individual, cultural and religious variations in tourism values, reasons for travel and travel activities are still not very well understood in most tourism literatures and this is due to the dearth of studies in tourism potential for development and spatial behaviour of residence in enhancing revenue generation motivations and choices in general.

Over the years tourism development and management especially of tourist sites in Delta State has been very poor. This is because the main motivation for visiting a tourist site is based on the place heritage characteristics, and to the tourist’s perception rather than specific site attributes. Also, the interaction between tourists (non-residents) and non-tourists (residents) in Delta State have been very poor which have had huge negative impact on the development and management of tourism in these areas. This is because any impacts from tourism that cause irritation amongst the local residents (non-tourists) might lead to problems with the development and sustainability of the industry and thus reduce economic benefits. As for the tourists (non-residents) any tourism impact that affects their travel experience and travel expenses might divert them to other destinations. These have been the major problem faced by the communities in Delta State which have led tourists to divert to other States for tourist sight due to poor interaction among tourist and non-tourist in the tourist sites.

According to Ekeh (2005), the government on their part has failed to develop and harness tourist sites and tourism relies heavily upon the goodwill of the local residents (non-tourists), their support is essential for its development, successful operation and sustainability of the industry in the long term. It is pertinent to note here that tourists are more favourbly attracted by destinations in which the residents (non-tourists) are more friendly, honest and hospitable. Therefore, the perceptions of the non-tourist must increasingly be considered and also be given an active role in participating in the planning and management of local tourism development. One area where the Nigeria economy is not doing well is tourism. He concluded that this is as a result of the numerous untapped natural resources and tourist sites and inaccessibility of some tourist and non-tourist sites in Nigeria.

Giriah and Prayer (2009) further stressed that tourism has played a key role in the society and its importance cannot be overemphasized. It has become a vital part of the economy and fourth largest industry in the global economy, delivering not only economic benefit to individuals, organization and government but also having the capacity to deliver peace and prosperity, especially in the developing countries of the diverse tourism possibilities and rich cultural heritage in Nigeria. Though, not much has been done especially to these tourist sites in Delta State to fully develop and successfully operate and sustain them into the global tourism industry. This can be accounted for by these cultural sites management failure in the course of planning to consider properly attributes which are used to measure the satisfaction and effects of tourists and non-tourists. Since the 1970s, non-tourist (residents and hosts) attitudes and perceptions toward tourism impacts on their community have been broadly analyzed by developers of the tourism industry, policy makers, and academicians (McGehee and Andereck, 2004, Andreck and Vogt, 2000, Lankford, 1994). Hence, the value of tourist perception study is not only justified in order to identify factors that influence attitudes and behaviours, but it is often times closely connected to full development of tourism industries (Houlot, 1961). In light of the above shortcomings, this study is therefore carried out as an evaluation of tourism potential for development and spatial behvaviour of residence in enhancing revenue generation and to proffer solution(s) to address the above anomalies.

1.3     Aim and Objectives of the Study

The aim of this study is to examine an evaluation of tourism potential for development and spatial behvaviour of residence in enhancing revenue generation. The specific objectives include:

To identify the various tourist destinations within the study area. To highlight the activities visitors (tourists) and non-tourists engage in while on tour within the study area. To compare tourist and non-tourist behaviour in their tourism values, motives and activities. To examine the spatial behaviour of residence in enhancing revenue generation. To examine the tourism potentials in the study area and prepared map of tourism areas accordingly. To suggest measures as recommendations based on the findings of this research work.

1.4     Research Questions

The study will therefore provide answers to the following research questions;

What are the various tourist destinations within the study area? What are the activities visitors (tourists) engage in while on tour within the study area? How do you compare tourists and non-tourists behaviour in their tourism values, motives and activities? What are the various tourism potentials in the area What are the spatial behaviour of residence in enhancing revenue generation What do you suggest as the best remedy to solve tourism development problems in the study area?

1.5     Research Hypotheses

          The following null hypotheses will be tested in this research work.

There is no significant relationship between tourism potential for development and spatial behaviour of residence in enhancing revenue generation. Tourist perception on tourist sites does not differ significantly from non-tourist perception of tourist sites. Tourists do not differ significantly from non-tourists behaviour in their travel and tourism values, motive and activities.

1.5     Significance of the Study

This study will be of great relevance to the tourist, non-tourist and host communities, tourism industry managers, and government, as the study will, to some extent, solve the problem of lack of literature (information) on how to fully develop, successfully operate and sustain Delta State tourist sites. It will provide information/data (both primary and secondary) on tourist and non-tourist perception towards the full development of these tourist sites and will go a long way in addressing problems confronting tourism development in Delta State. The study will therefore enumerate challenges to tourist and non-tourist and satisfy perceived travel needs and benefits.

          Also, the study will reveal the factors that will draw the attention or encourage the government, the host communities and public-private partnership to invest or be involved directly or indirectly in the development, management and sustainability of these tourism sites.

1.6     Scope of the Study

For the purpose of effective coverage the study will be limited to the assessment of the various ways in which the development, successful operation and sustainability of Nigeria (Delta State in particular) tourist sites are affected by tourist (non-residents) and non-tourist (residents) attitudes and as well as the major factors that influence their awareness attitudes and perception.

The study will carry-out an evaluation of tourism potentials for development and spatial behaviour of residence in enhancing revenue generation as well as to compare tourist and non-tourist in their tourism values, motives and activities with special emphasis on highlighting the activities visitors (tourists) and residents (non-tourists) engage in while on tour within Nigeria (particularly Delta State). Finally, it will identify the various tourist destinations within the study area.

1.7     STUDY AREA

For the purpose of easy and even representation, the study will be carried out in Delta State which is geographically located in the Niger Delta Region and the South-South geo-political zone of Nigeria. The content will be discuss under the following sub-topics;

1.7.1  Location and Size

Delta State is located in the southern part of the Niger Delta region in Nigeria. Delta State lies approximately within latitude 050001Nand 060 301Nof the equator and longitude 050001E and 050 451E of the Greenwich meridian. It is bounded by Edo State in the North, Bayelsa State in the South-East, Anambra State in the East and the Atlantic Ocean in the west. Delta as a state has experienced rapid increase in size over the years, due to the presence of various tourist sites such as the River Ethiope Source, shrine, hotels, bars, beach and restaurant. This attracts people from surrounding area, to itself, because of its tourist attraction thus resulting to the rapid development of the area. The covers an area of 1,920km2.

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