IN­VEN­TION OF TOURISM EN­TREPRENEUR­SHIP IN NIGE­RIA

Hospitality 9ja - - Table Of Contents - Dr. Bassey B. Esu

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

•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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.