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Tourism Development in Anambra – Challenges and Prospects

Tourism Development in Anambra – Challenges and Prospects

INTRODUCTION  

       Anambra State tourism is mainly motivated by her rich cultural resources which could be packaged and “sold” to potential tourists. This statement is particularly relevant since it seems that the bulk of Nigeria’s customers would usually come from within and because domestic tourism has always accounted for a greater percentage of world total tourist movement. The main attractions for this category of visitors would normally be cultural resources and carnivals. The lack of strong tourism culture in Anambra State generally explains in part why natural attractions have not usually been appreciated by the people. Some are not even aware that such attractions exist. The opportunity for a citizen to know his own environment a deeper awareness of national identity, and a sense of belonging to a culture are all major reasons for stimulating domestic and international tourism.        Apart from employment creation, tourism is a good source of foreign exchange and income generation in tourism-oriented economics. Tourism is also invaluable in heritage management and conservation. On the other hand, tourism can lead to social and environmental problems namely prostitution, spread of communicable diseases, pollution and environmental depletion, among others.        It has been observed that there is need for developing countries, such as Nigeria to fashion out their own form of tourism not necessarily along the lines of those practiced in the developed nations. Ward et al have suggested that “developing countries should make the rich cultural heritage the selling point of their own form of tourism”4. In this thesis, there is an attempt to review some cultural resources in Anambra State whose tourism potential can be exploited.

        This work is written specially to look at tourism and cultural resource management in Anambra State from 1960 to 2010. Anambra State is richly endowed with great cultural heritage and tourist attraction which will lead to the economic growth of the state if properly harnessed.

        Having mentioned the advantages and disadvantages inherent in tourism, one might appreciate the fact that in as much as tourism is now a huge and growing industry “as much as 80,000 billion dollars was generated world wide” 3, there is need for countries to be cautious in their approach to tourism. While the developed countries have found it easy profiting from tourism, the developing countries have not found it easy singing the same tune. An example that readily come to mind is Togo, where the government as far back as 1981 initiated efforts aimed at promoting and encouraging tourism. Kazadi repots that in spite of the various investments in tourism, Togo’s foreign income came primarily from its exports like, coffee, cocoa, cotton and textiles. Yong reports that in the Caribean, Tourism replaced the banana industry as the country’s main source of foreign income. There arose a situation where those who were left on the plantations could not cope with the labour requirements of the banana plantations with a consequent loss of productivity and earnings, so tourism led to a great increase in goods importation and a great strain on the balance of payment.

        Cultural resource management is one of the areas of specialization in the Nigerian Universities and its ultimate objective is to enable Africans properly reconceptulize and revolutionize their history from a truly African perspective as well as a universal one. It offers options in Museum studies and Tourism. The choice of tourism as one of the options emphasizes the importance of tourism. Tourism rank high in economic development efforts of many nations. According to Pat Uche Okopoko, tourism is becoming a dominant sector of economic activity world wide. Over 8% of all jobs are estimated by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) to depend on travel and tourism and it is hoped that the sector will create over 5.5 million jobs per year over the next deade”2.

Anambra state like all the states of Nigeria, share a special imperative to reform and authenticate history, especially their history. This imperative demands a profound knowledge of history, a need which demands that we excavate and re-excavate available records through all available means and vigorously sift and evaluate these for the truth (or the nearest approximation to the truth) about the state. It is believed that if such a need is systematically and vigorously pursued, it should logically lead to the rejection of the concept of history as simply a social text. For one thing, it would reveal that written history is merely the vocabulary of power, and power is history’s most educatively attired false witness. According to Bassey W. Andah, “authentic excavations of African cultural history need to descend into the burrows of Africa’s invisible silent times, persons, peoples, places and things, the virtual ground where one can truly examine African relationships with history in all its textual manifestation and strive for control of the text of our experience”1.

STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

The proper management of both tourism and cultural resources aid not only in preserving the cultural heritage of the people but also a reserving and authenticating the history of a community. To this end, this study:

  1. Attempts to document and examine the tourism attributes and other cultural resources of Anambra state.
  2. Highlights their contributions in presenting available information on the history of the people.
  3. Examines the problems encountered in their proper management.

PURPOSE OF STUDY   

The Nigerian Tourism Board was established by Decree No. 54 of 1976, which also established a Tourism Committee in each state of the federation. Although Anambra State committee decree was formally set up in 1987, it has not really achieved or tangible success. This work is an attempt to study how the state has been managing tourism and their cultural resources. In this work, attention should be given to tourism development in Anambra State, problems of cultural resource management, challenges and prospects of tourism and cultural resource management in Anambra State.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY  

This research will do a conceptual review of Tourism and Cultural Resource Management, the problem challenges and prospect of Tourism and cultural resource management in Anambra State. This work is therefore designed to portray the importance of tourism as a revenue generator in a state and why the state government should give it a pride of place in its economic sphere and also the problems of tourism and cultural resource management in Anambra State. This work will serve as a guiding tool for future studies in documenting the relevance of Tourism and Cultural Resource Management in Anambra State.

SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF STUDY      

   The work also included in its study, the different festivals in Anambra State such as Nwafor festivals in Ogidi, Afia Olu Nnewi, Uzoiyi festival in Umuoji, Mmamu festival, New yam festival in Anambra State and so on. However these are not the only popular festivals that are capable of attracting tourists in the state but a work of this nature cannot be expected to cover all the festivals in Anambra State.        More so, the problem of handling money minded informants cannot be over-emphasized, such informants would not offer any information where there is nothing to offer. One has learnt through this experience that it takes patience, endurance and diplomacy to accomplish field work.

        There were many problems encountered during the course of this research. The problems of getting the staff of Anambra State Tourism Board to provide reports needed by the researcher. The staff of the state Tourism which is now part of the Ministry and Information and Culture was reluctant to divulge the whole truth as it concerns the management of tourism and cultural resource. The problem of informants not keeping to their appointment schedules with the researcher. The researcher also found it rather had to get some reliable information since the state has been divided.

This research covers the period 1960 to 2010. The year 1960 was taken as a starting point because of Igboukwu excavation by Thurstain Shaw in 1959 which ended in 1960. The year 2010 was chosen as the ending point because government activities in turning most of their plans into action. The area chosen for this study is Anambra State. The intention behind the study is to review the importance of tourism and cultural resource and also to point out that its potentials are not harnessed because of the government’s lethargy towards tourism.

LITERATURE REVIEW       

 Emejulu, Ifeyinwa H., her thesis “the contributions of women to tourism in Enugu and Anambra State,” writes on tourism in Enugu and Anambra States with her major interest on the contributions of women without assessing the management of tourism and cultural resources.        Nwokeke Ifenna I, writes on “Tourism and Hospitality in Nnewinot on Tourism and cultural resource management in Anambra State.        Emejulu, Ifeyinwa H., in her article on Tourism in Anambra State, talks only on the challenges and prospects. Although she traces the history of tourism in Anambra State but she fails to delve into cultural resource management, so more work needs to be done.        Adejuwon, F.I. & Ekpeyong, write on Overview of Tourism Industry in Nigeria-Giant in the Tropics and here, they emphasized on the Nigerian tourism Industry seeing Nigeria as Giant in the Tropics.        Ekechukwu, L.C. in his book, Encouraging National Development through the promotion of tourism emphasized the need of tourism in National development but fails to go into the management of tourism and cultural resources.        Lea, J. writes on Tourism and Development in third world but not in Tourism and cultural resources management.        It is now obvious that there is need for this research since no body has written on it. Though, the above mentioned materials helped and gave due to the writing of this work.

Leonard et al, in his book, An introduction to Tourism states the origin of tourism and its need for national development but has not gone deep into the management of tourism.

        Halloway, W., in his book Social Tourism: its nature and problems, narrates the nature and problems of Social Tourism without looking at the cultural resources management.

        Anyichie, O., on the other hand has written on Tourism and sports Development in Nigeria but not on Tourism and cultural resources management in Anambra State.

        Achor, L., in his book, The role of festivals in tourism development, states the need role of festivals in tourism development without going into the management of cultural resources.

        Bansal S.P, has written on Tourism Development and its impact but not on Tourism and Cultural resource management. Ahana Chakraborty and Chakravarti B.K have also written on Global Tourism but did not to into the management of Cultural resources.

        Okpoko Pat. Uche, in his book, Tourism Planning and Development, states the need for planning and development of tourism in order to harness the huge heritage resource of Africa for tourism. In this book, he did not go into tourism and cultural resource management neither did he particularized it to Anambra State.

There are written materials on tourism and cultural resource management in general but none has been on Anambra State in particular. Andah, W. Bassey, in his book, Cultural Resource Management (An African Dimension) reviews the current state of African cultural resource management and also assesses its role in the development of Africa. Although, his book assessed the role of cultural resource management in Africa, it did not focus on Nigeria and Anambra State.

SOURCES AND METHODOLOGY 

For an effective research into the activity of tourist agencies, festivals and other organizations, field research and library methods were used. This was done to obtain maximum information available. The library research was done to provide a background for the study. While it is to be admitted that not all that was required was obtained from the library, substantial literature was available on the concept of tourism and its growth or development, cultural resource management in Africa etc.

        This work comprises two main parts. Part one deals with written materials. Part two is solely the oral interview.

The bulk of the sources material for this research was from oral tradition and some written source. Tourism is believed to have always been practiced by the Igbo people, hence when they celebrate their different festivals they invite friends and relatives from far and near. In the celebrated novel- Things Fall Apart Achebe “Portrays how the people of Umuofia, during the new yam festival, invited friends and relatives from neigbouring villages, a festival like the New Yam festival was seen as “an occasion for joy throughout Umuofia and people were far and wide”6.

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