INVENTION OF TOURISM ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN NIGERIA
Several attempts have been made by the Federal Government to boost the tourism industry in Nigeria. This was overtly expressed in 1990 with the formulation of the National Tourism Policy and the subsequent promulgation of Decree 81 of 1992 establishing the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC). A further boost was the design and development of the Nigeria Tourism Development Master Plan in 2005. The Plan was prepared in collaboration with the United Nation World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Tourism Development International. The Master Plan was focused on strengthening institutional capacity of the Nigeria tourism sector. Since then not much has been achieved. The slow implementation of the Nigeria Tourism Master Plan can be attributed to the low political will expressed by political office holders and human capital deficiency in tourism planning by responsible public agencies. Notwithstanding the low level of implementation of the Nigeria Tourism Master Plan, sporadic developments have taken place in some States of the country such as Cross River State, Akwa Ibom State, Kebbi State, Lagos State, Osun State, Abuja, etc. Several initiatives by government to reposition the tourism industry in Nigeria as the cash cow of the country have failed. This scenario has been the concern of academics, tourism practitioners and most Nigerians. The question then is what are the underlying factors affecting the growth of the tourism industry in Nigeria? The industry is in a sully state even when the government has shown concern; although little effort. This paper posits that the slow development of the tourism industry is as a result of the absence of tourism entrepreneurship in Tourism destination development (TDD). This excerpt argues that the absence of national and local tourism entrepreneurship awareness is the bane of the industry and has led to the slow take off and growth of the industry. We conceptualize a four component tourism entrepreneurial development model that will transform the tourism industry in Nigeria. The transformational strategies are subsumed in the four components of the model: invention of tourism entrepreneurial programmes to catalyze aggressive tourism product development, harnessing the potential of existing hospitality enterprises in creating a tourism value chain, promoting community based tourism (CBT) in tourism resource management, and creating the right business environment through effective tourism regulatory framework and infrastructural base
The Structure Of Tourism Industry And Entrepreneurship It is generally known that five tools are necessary in the production milieu, namely: Man, material, money, method and machines. In all, man is the most important of the elements. Man is the only factor that can create value. The man who creates the value is referred to in this context as “tourism entrepreneur”, while the ability (knowledge and skill) to create the value is referred to as “tourism entrepreneurship. Tourism entrepreneurship covers a range of activities that are relevant in the creation and operation of a legal tourist enterprise. Legal tourism enterprise here refers to those businesses that operate on a profitable basis and seek to satisfy the needs of tourist and visitors. Tourism industry is a mixture of public and private organizations that are actively involved in the development, production and marketing of both products and services that satisfy the needs of tourists (Gee, Makene & Choy, 1989). Koh & Hatten (2002) categorize tourism entrepreneurs into groups:
• Inventive entrepreneur is one whose offering is truly new to the tourism market.
• Innovative entrepreneur is one whose offering is somewhat new
• Imitative entrepreneur is one whose offering has no significant difference from other established offerings in the tourism market.
• Social entrepreneur is one who establishes a non-profit touristic enterprise for support social ideas and norms.
• Lifestyle entrepreneur is one who launches a tourist enterprise to support his/her lifestyle and / or hobby/interest with no/little interest of growing his or her enterprise.
• Marginal entrepreneur is one who operates his/her tourist enterprise in the informal sector of the tourism industry
• Closet entrepreneur is one who operates a touristic enterprise alongside a fulltime job for various reasons.
There are several classifications of the tourism industry. We shall take the one by British Columbia (n.d.), which classifies tourism industry as one with eight industries (shown in the table, see next page).
The Importance Of Tourism Entrepreneurship No meaningful tourism development can take place in a destination without an integral platform through which entrepreneurs can play a dynamic role. The contribution of tourism entrepreneurship in tourism development is captured here:
• A community quantity and quality of supply of entrepreneurs significantly determine the magnitude and forms of its touristscape. This is because tourism entrepreneurs are the ‘person-causa’ of tourism development (Koh & Hatten, 2002).
• Tourism entrepreneur is central in attracting and re-attracting visitors to the destination (Koh & Hatten, 2002).
• Entrepreneurs are the key tourism factor that are highly influential at a given point in time, inherently dynamic and capable of having long lasting effect on shaping the fortunes of a destination over time (Ryan, Mottiar & Quinn, 2012) .
• It is only when tourism entrepreneurs are present do a community’s climate; landscapes, flora, fauna, historic vestiges and ethno-cultural enclaves become tourism resources that may be transformed into tourist attractions (Koh & Hatten, 2002:27).
• Without the influence of entrepreneurs it is doubtful that a tourism industry would evolve, even areas that are favorably endowed with resources (Koh & Hatten, 2002).
• The innovation, flair and vision of entrepreneurs shape modern tourism (Russel, 2006:105; Russell & Faulkner, 1999, 2004; Mckercher, 1999).
• Britton (1991) cited how the building of just one hotel in an area triggered further development because it provided a base from which further construction can proceed and signals a confidence in the location.
• Hall (2004) found that tourism innovation in New Zealand occurred primarily because of champions and individual innovators who have been able to generate local interest and involvement.
• Mottiar & Tucker (2007) acknowledge that there are a growing number of significant studies on the impact of entrepreneurs on tourism development.
• Keen (2004) in his study of tourism in New Zealand claim that social and community entrepreneurs were the main facilitators of tourism development.
• The study by Johnson & Mattson (2005) revealed the impact of a single entrepreneur on destination development in Hay-on Wye.
• Hall (2004) asserts that in regional and rural areas: (i) small business and entrepreneurs are the foundation of the tourism product, deliver- ing the tourism reality, quite often in the form of niche products based on the resources available to them. (ii) They provide the platform that makes a region accessible and attractive. (iii) Entrepreneurs influence tourism development beyond their own individual contributions.
Developing Tourism Entrepreneurial Skills
An entrepreneur is one who identifies a tourism business opportunity and builds an organization to leverage the opportunities and to make profit. It is important that starters in tourism entrepreneurship should know and appreciate the various activities necessary in starting a tourism business to avoid the risk of business failure which is common among new value added in the market (Esu, 2013).Specifically, entrepreneurs can choose from a wide range of products based on tourist demand. The problem is the lack of knowledge about product development and packaging; this is because tourism is nascent business in Nigeria. The entrepreneurs are not knowledgeable in the specific activities and combinations of businesses. The startup activities include:
Identifying Tourism Business Opportunities In Nigeria
Tourism potential refers to the pool, array and collection of natural, cultural and man-made tourism resources possessed by a community, state and/or country that can be transformed and developed into visitor-ready attractions or finished products and services packaged to provide touristic experiences. Experiences are intangible offerings provided by a tourism service provider that cannot be seen or measured, but motivates the visitor to make a choice. Investments opportunities are capital goods or services that have economic and commercial benefits for the entrepreneur and for the society. Tourism business opportunities are conceptualized in this paper as tourist sites, attractions and spots that require designing, creating and packaging of touristic experiences and the provision of tourist facilities, tourist services and tourist infrastructure required to make the clusters and attractions within them visitor-ready by an entrepreneur for commercial purpose. The abundant tourism resources in Nigeria present with numerous opportunities for investors in the tourism sector of the economy. (UNWTO (2006) grouped the tourism resources and attractions in Nigeria into five tourism clusters:
•Tropical Rainforest Cluster
•Atlantic Gateway Cluster
•Conference Capital Cluster
•Scenic Nature Cluster
Each cluster is made up of core attractions (products) and other supporting and ancillary products packaged to give tourists maximum satisfactory experience. The Nigeria Tourism Master Plan also elaborated and proposed enhancements that must be carried out to transform these tourist sites/attractions to visitor-ready status, and subsequently create resources that could be harnessed or put together to form a delightful experience. Here is a long list of possible tourism product and services an entrepreneur can venture into in Nigeria.
culled from: Transforming the Nigeria Tourism Industry through Tourism Entrepreneurial Development