THE IMPACT OF RELIGION ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY OF NIGERIA
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Religion being a universal entity has been discussed by several scholars including J.S Mill, Emile Durkheim and E.B Idowu. It is as old as man, dates back to about 2000 years ago. Both religion and tourism cannot exist without humans, this stands to mean that both religion and tourism are practiced by humans. It has been discovered from a study that in other to understand and relate well with man, one has to have knowledge of his religion; reason being that it is the pivot with which other aspects of his life revolves. Due to some practices and acts attached to religion, most especially African religion, the wave of westernization seems to be blowing it into extinction ( Awolalu & Dopamu, 2005: 278). The coming of the whites alongside the introduction of their own religion (Christianity) has contributed to the death and epileptic state of our African customs, beliefs and values. Africans have been brain washed that we do not attach respect, interest, and value to our African religion any more Awolalu & Dopamu, 2005: 284). African religion is characterized with a lot of challenges. A good example is a case where priesthood is hereditary and when it gets to a person’s turn, it is discovered that the person has left to further his education. Irrespective of the challenges tied to religion, it still remains a viable tool in achieving sustainable development. It is also pertinent to state that religion has a great effect on tourism. Religion has influenced the tourism sector tremendously, even as some religious sites have over the years helped in promoting tourism.
Tourism of late has been revealed to be one of the fastest growing sectors of an economy. An analysis by Mani (2003), revealed an annual growth rate of 4% by the tourist sector of countries like UK, Italy, Spain, USA; including some African countries like Tunisia, morocco, Egypt, Kenya and South Africa. He added that there is an increase in the tourism sector due to increase in tourists arrivals.
Statistics has shown that tourism contributes about 10% to an economy and can employ about one-tenth of the world’s work force(Mirbabayer & Shagazatova, 2009). In addition, a prediction by the World Tourist Organization (WTO) has that by 2020 the number of international tourists will add up to 1.7billion, against 567million in 1995(ILO, 2001). However, the mono-cultural state of Nigeria poses a serious challenge on the growth of the tourism industry. Nigeria, an economy well endowed with vast resources and favorable climatic conditions all contribute towards making the tourism industry very viable.
The impact of religion on the development of tourism is really broad, as it affects it in so many ways. Religious sites across many countries of the world serve as attractive tourist sites for both international and local tourists. The success and growth of these tourist sites is based on the how best these are maintained in other to keep tourists always coming back. Hitherto, religion has kept tourist sites quite active has it gives it life due to how frequent tourists visit. Religious activities like Christians visit to Jerusalem and Muslims visit to Mecca; including festivities contribute towards the development of the tourism and hospitality industry of Nigeria.
Conclusively, in other to know more on the impact of religion on the development of the tourism and hospitality industry of Nigeria, this study aims at examining this.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Over the years, it has been observed that our African religion is gradually going into extinction. Due to this, the tourism industry of Nigeria is greatly affected. Westernization and the introduction of Christianity have contributed in wiping off our beliefs, customs and values; this has caused tourist attractions connected to such religions to be abandoned. Similarly, due to the fact that Nigeria is a mono-economy, the government has little or no interest in the funding and maintenance of tourist sites.
In addition, Nigerians lack good hospitable means of treating tourists. Nigerians tend to scare tourists through our words and actions, thereby scaring them from either visiting or coming back. All these culminate in the problems associated with the impact of religion on the development of tourism and hospitality industry of Nigeria; and this study seeks to proffer solutions to them.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVE OF STUDY
The main objective of the research work is to examine the impact of religion on the development of the tourism and hospitality industry of Nigeria. Other specific objectives of the study are stated below as follows:
1. To examine the relationship between religion and tourism development in Nigeria.
2. To examine the effect of Christianity on tourism and hospitality development in Nigeria
3. To investigate on the contribution of living faith church to the development of tourism and hospitality industry of Nigeria.
4. To determine the factors affecting the tourism and hospitality industry of Nigeria.
5. To proffer solution to the above problems
The study came up with the following research question so as to ascertain the above stated objectives. The research questions are as follows:
1. Is there any the relationship between religion and tourism development in Nigeria?
2. What is the effect of Christianity on tourism and hospitality development in Nigeria?
3. What are the contributions of living faith church to the development of tourism and hospitality industry of Nigeria?
4. What are the factors affecting the tourism and hospitality industry of Nigeria?
H0: Religion has no significant effect on the development of the tourism and hospitality industry of Nigeria
H1: Religion has significant effect on the development of the tourism and hospitality industry of Nigeria.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is meant to inform, educate and enlighten the general public, government and policy makers on the impact of religion on the development of the tourism and hospitality industry of Nigeria.
This study aims at educating the general public on the importance of religion on the development of the tourism and hospitality industry of Nigeria. It is meant to remind the general public that they have a role to play indevelopment of the tourism and hospitality industry of Nigeria.
This study also seeks to remind the government of Nigeria that a greater junk of the work onthe development of tourism and hospitality industry of Nigeria lays on them. It is meant to spur them to be on their toes towards achieving this.
Finally, policy makers equally play a part towards achieving the impact of religion on the development of the tourism and hospitality industry of Nigeria. It is expected that they should come up with policies that will supportthe development of the tourism and hospitality industry of Nigeria.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is restricted on theimpact of religion on the development of the tourism and hospitality industry of Nigeria.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
IMPACT:The action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another.
RELIGION:Is a cultural system of behaviors and practices, world views, sacred texts, holy places, ethics, and societal organization that relate humanity to what an anthropologist has called "an order of existence".Different religions may or may not contain various elements, ranging from the "divine", "sacred things", "faith", a "supernatural being or supernatural beings" or "some sort of intimacy and transcendence that will provide norms and power for the rest of life.
TOURISM:Tourism is travel for pleasure; also the theory and practice of touring, the business of attracting, accommodating, and entertaining tourists, and the business of operating tours. Tourism may be international, or within the traveler's country. The World Tourism Organization defines tourism more generally, in terms which go "beyond the common perception of tourism as being limited to holiday activity only ", as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".
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.
HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY:Is a broad category of fields within service industry that includes lodging, event planning, theme parks, transportation, cruise line, and additional fields within the tourism industry. The hospitality industry is a multibillion-dollar industry that depends on the availability of leisure time and disposable income. A hospitality unit such as a restaurant, hotel, or an amusement park consists of multiple groups such as facility maintenance and direct operations (servers, housekeepers, porters, kitchen workers, bartenders, management, marketing, and human resources etc.).
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