PATTERN OF PATRONAGE OF TOURIST CENTER IN NIERIA, A CASE STUDY OF EKITI STATE
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Tourism as an industry is fastly becoming one of the most popular and profitable industry the world over which no country, state or localities (especially those endowed with tourism potentials) can afford to neglect. Its economic power is an indispensable promotion to the development of any nation.
It is either the backbone on one of the three fastest growing industries in countries like Kenya, Indonesia, United States of America, Canada, France, United Kingdom, Morocco, the Bahamas and Barbados. In Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries international tourism constitutes one of the principal service industries, contributing to the value of international trade than insurance, maritime transport or civil aviation. Expenditures on tourism constitute the largest single item in the world trade. In OECD member countries, it is treated as an economic activity in its own night and not an adjoint to other sectors of the economy.
Being a service industry, tourism can be subjected to empirical studies just like any industry. Its social and economic impacts on surrounding areas or periphery can therefore be measured. This is exactly what this research is all about. It uses the regional development theories or models of Gunner Myrdal (1957); Circular and Cummulative Causation, Albert Hirschman (1958), Polarization and Spread Effects and John Friedmann (1966); Core Periphery to examine the problems and benefits that Ikogosi Warm Springs Resort Centre (also known as Ikogosi Tourist Centre) has brought infused or divulged into the host state, taking Ikogosi-Ekiti as a case study.
Tourism is no longer an obscure industry all over the world. Its status in international trade is such that no serious-minded country can afford to ignore it. Many researchers, international, national regional as well as individual researchers have been conducted on the subject. Many authors, therefore, have one thing or the other to say on tourism.
According to Femi Olokesusi (1989), tourism is a form of recreation that requires leaving home for some other places, whether near or far. When such movements are confirmed within the country of the origin, it is referred to as “domestic Tourism”. On the other hand, when people travel from their countries of origin to another for recreation-related activities, such tourism is referred to as international; tourism.
In the words of Sangari Abdulmunin (1991), tourism, by the simple definition could mean the movement of a person from his abode to another of leisure.
The Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, Volume 18 defines tourism as the theory and practice of touring; travelling for pleasure. Also, the business of attracting tourists and providing for their accommodation and entertainment, the business of operating tours.
The definition of both “tourism” and “recreation” is needed at the onset because as claimed by Olekesui (1989), people often misconstrue recreation for tourism. Tourism in its simplest form can be defined as recreation that involves travelling while the contemporary, recreation is an activity performed during leisure that does not involve travelling.
Recreation is therefore defined as a refreshment or comfort produced by something affecting the senses or body. It is further defined as the action of recreating (oneself or another), or fact of being recreated by some pleasant occupation, pastime or amusement or a means of recreating oneself by a pleasurable exercise or employment. A recreationist is therefore seen as one who pursues a recreation.
According to Randle, tourism can either be domestic, intermediate or international. By domestic, he meant national citizens who wish to spend their holiday in the country while by intermediate, he refers to intra-continental tourism. Olokosusi (1989) also agreed with him on the classification of tourism. He however identified only two, viz: domestic and international tourism. Tourism thus classified is based on the origin and/or destination of the travelling recreationist.
Bryden (1972) defined tourism as the sum of the phenomenon and relationships arising from the travel and stay of non-residents, in so far as they do not lead to permanent residency and are not connected with any earning activity.While Wall et al (1985) indicated that tourism involves the movement of people away from their place of permanent abode and their temporary sojourn in other locations
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The aim of this research is to assess seasonal variation in patronage level of tourism centres in Ekiti State.
The specific objectives are to;
i. explore and develop inventory of tourism centres in Ekiti state.
ii. Socio economic characteristics of the staff and tourists in the tourism centres.
iii. examine tourism patronage and activities of these Centre’s.
iv. Identify problems of these Centre’s and make recommendation.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
For the purpose of meaningful research work the following research questions will be carried out.
i. what role is tourist centre playing in national development.
ii. How will you rate the level of patronage of this tourism centre.
iii. Is the centre equip with all the facilities needed
iv. What is the average income generated in the centre annually?.
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