PROBLEMS AND PROSPECT OF HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY IN ADO EKITI, EKITI STATE
1.1 Background to the Study
The hospitality industry is a broad category of fields within the service industry that includes lodging, event planning, theme parks, transportation, cruise line, travelling 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.) Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017.
Hospitality industry, an aspect of Tourism which cannot be overlooked is defined according to “the prospectors act 1956. section 1 (3) as an establishment held out by the proprietors offering foods and drinks if so required sleeping accommodation without special contract to any traveller presenting himself to be in a fit state of mind to be received and is willing and able to pay for the services rendered to him by the establishment. Its history can be traced to the early civilization of the mind 16th century when the Romans built roads between the main cities and towns of the time along which posting houses known as stabuli were set up to provide holding, food drinks. Thus, Every city/town at this time had ale houses which provides only drink which later advanced to the building of what we now call the hospitality industry (hotel).
Hospitality industry is a major sector in the tourism industry, which, in turn is one of the most rapidly expanding fields in the service industry. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), travel and tourism has become the leading economic contributor to the world and national economies in terms of gross output, value added, capital investment, employment and tax contributions. Hospitality industry has brought tremendous growth to the global economy by providing services ranging from accommodation, sightseeing as well as other services related to the tourism industry. It not only provides employment but also plays a vital role in the economic returns of a state. Also the interaction with people from different cultures, thus educating people, is brought about by the hospitality industry. Hence, Hospitality industry plays a major role in the development of economy of Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State. In principle, it is expected that many people patronize the hospitality industry when the economy is buoyant, thereby signifying a positive correlation between the industry and the economy.
Globally, it is a money spinning industry with billions of dollars to its credit even though in this part of the world, people are still grappling with putting the industry on the right pedestal so as to wholly benefit like other countries (Chukwudi, 2015) . Just like any other business running in Nigeria, there are areas of concentration - accommodation and restaurants which seemingly, is the ‘honey pot’ for practitioners in Nigeria .
In recent times, the Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State economy has witnessed tremendous ‘growth’ in the hospitality industry leading to the emergence of hotels, fast food restaurant chains and night clubs. These positive trends in no small measure are clearly helping to re-define the face of the hospitality industry in Ekiti. Information on the street shows that the industry is booming. Nonetheless, it is believes people with adequate funds, are investing into the business with limited knowledge of the expertise required to run such business. Most of them forget that the industry requires investors that are aware of the fact that investment in this area requires long term commitment. Hence, they expect returns as soon as possible at the peril of their poorly remunerated staff.
The hospitality industry in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State is variegated depending on the location. Some of the outfits found in big cities boast of ‘reasonably’ high quality of service while those in the outskirts offer a lower standard. It is therefore not surprising that since the industry has become an ‘all comers affair’, there is in reality, no true classification of restaurants and hotels as obtainable in other countries. Consequently, most hotels have taken a bold step of prescribing their own grading leading to confusion amongst their clientele. It is on this background this study examines the problems and prospect of hospitality industry in Ado Ekiti.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The Nigerian Hospitality Industry is faced with a myriad of problems ranging from poor energy supply and insecurity to misconstrued internal perception, cynical global perspicacity, flawed hotel classification, poor customer service, little or no standardisation in operations, inconsistent regulatory environment and skilled labour shortages caused by a few entrepreneurs with little knowledge of the workings of the industry who hijack the process to perpetuate plans for their own personal aggrandisement.
The challenges cascades from the ineffective top echelon in government down to the least of employees in the industry. Arguably, the industry has not recorded much progress in terms of achievements from its past precedence. Notwithstanding, more than ever before, it has become more lucrative depending on which side of the divide you find yourself i.e. employer or employee.
Although the hospitality industry in Ado Ekiti offer different services to all classes of customers yet they suffer from a culture that is alien to supporting good customer service. It is on this backdrop this study examines the problems and prospect of hospitality industry in Ado Ekiti.
1.3 Research Questions
The following research questions were raised to guide this study;
1. What is the socio-economic contribution of hospitality industry in Ado Ekiti community
2. Does hospitality industry has impact on socio-economic development in Ado Ekiti?
3. What are the problems facing hospitality industry in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State ?
4. What are the possible solution to the problems facing hospitality industry in Ado Ekiti?
1.4 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses will be tested for the purpose of this study
Ho: There is no socio-economic contribution of hospitality industry on the host community
Hi: There is socio-economic contribution of hospitality industry on the host community
Ho: There is no significant impact of hospitality industry on the development of people in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State.
Hi: There is significant impact of hospitality industry on the development of people in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State.
1.5 Aim and Objectives of the Study
The aim of the research wok is to examine the problems and prospect of hospitality industry in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State . The specific objectives are to:
1. examine the socio-economic contribution of hospitality industry on Ado Ekiti community
2. Examine the impact of hospitality industry has on socio-economic development of Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State?
3. Examine the problems facing hospitality industry in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State,
4. Investigate the possible solution to the problems facing hospitality industry in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State?
1.6 The Study Area
Ekiti was an independent state prior to the British conquest. It was one of the many Yoruba states in what is today Nigeria. The Ekiti people as a nation and districts of Yoruba race trace some of her progeny to Oduduwa, the father and progenitor of Yoruba race even though good reason appear to establish the existence of aboriginal people in Ekiti region prior to influx of royalty from present day Ile Ife as that kingdom grew and abound.
There are two major schools of thought regarding Ekiti History. First was the story that tied the origin of Ekiti to Ife. The story goes that the Olofin, one of the sons of the Oduduwa had 16 children and in the means of searching for the new land to develop, they all journeyed out of Ile-Ife as they walked through the Iwo - Eleru(crave) near Akure and had stop over at a place called Igbo-Aka(forest of termites) closer to Ile-Oluji.
The Olofin, the 16 children and some other beloved people continued with their journey, but when they got to a particular lovely and flat land, the Owa-Obokun (the monarchy of Ijesha land) and Orangun of Ila decided to stay in the present Ijesha and Igomina land of in Osun state. While the remaining 14 children continued with the journey and later settled in the present day Ekiti land. They discovered that there were many hills in the place and they said in their mother's language that this is "Ile olokiti" the land of hills. Therefore, the Okiti later blended to Ekiti. So Ekiti derived her name through hills.
It must however be noted, that this history may describe the history of certain royalty in present-day Ekiti, but not all of Ekiti which is made up of 131 Principal towns, with their own royalty and many land owning communities with no royalty at all.In fact, the invading royalties from the East, went on to colonize and transform the aboriginals, distinguishing the Ekiti dialect upon mix with the Ife/Oyo tongue of the Yorubas according the Samuel Johnson, the renowned historian of early Yoruba States and Affairs
Second school of thought on Ekiti origin is more likely and grounded in actual history. It was said that Oduduwa, the ancestor of the Yoruba traveled to Ife [Ife Ooyelagbo] where he met people who were already settled there. Among the elders he met in the town were Agbonniregun [Stetillu], Obatala, Orelure, Obameri, Elesije, Obamirin, Obalejugbe just to mention a few. It is known that descendants of Agbonniregun [Baba Ifa] settled in Ekiti, examples being the Alara and Ajero who are sons of Ifa. Orunmila [Agbonniregun] himself spent a greater part of his life at Ado. Due to this, we have the saying ‘Ado ni ile Ifa’ [Ado is the home of Ifa]. The Ekiti have ever since settled in their present location.
Nobody can give accurate dates to these events due to the lack of written sources, but people have lived in Ekiti for centuries. It is on record that Ekiti Obas had prosperous reign in the 13th century. An example was the reign of Ewi Ata od Ado in the 1400s.
The State is mainly an upland zone, rising over 250 meters above sea level. It lies on an area underlain by metamorphic rock. It is generally undulating country with a characteristic landscape that consists of old plains broken by step-sided out-crops that may occur singularly or in groups or ridges. Such rocks out-crops exist mainly at Aramoko, Efon-Alaaye, Ikere-Ekiti,Igbara-odo- ekiti and Okemesi-Ekiti. The State is dotted with rugged hills, notable ones being Ikere-Ekiti Hills in the south, Efon-Alaaye Hills on the western boundary and Ado-Ekiti Hills in the centre.
Climate and vegetation
The State enjoys tropical climate with two distinct seasons. These are the rainy season (April–October) and the dry season (November–March). Temperature ranges between 21° and 28 °C with high humidity. The south westerly wind and the northeast trade winds blow in the rainy and dry (Harmattan) seasons respectively. Tropical forest exists in the south, while savannah occupies the northern peripheriesh
Towns and Administrative Divisions
The people of Ekiti State live mainly in towns. These towns include: Ado, Ikere Ekiti, Awo Ekiti, Ayegbaju Ekiti, Araromi Oke Ekiti, Efon-Alaaye, Aramoko Ekiti, Temidire-Ikole Local Govt, Igede Ekiti, Are Ekiti, Ikole, Ayede, Isan, Iye Ayede, Ire, Ijero, Ayetoro, Ipoti, Igogo, Ise, Itapa, Otun, Usi Ekiti, Ido, Emure, Iyin, Igede, Ilawe, Ode, Oye, Omuo, Ilupeju, Ikoro,Iloro, Ijurin, Ikun, Iye, Ijesa-Isu, Ayedun, Aisegba, Osin, Okemesi, Iworoko, Ifaki Ekiti, Osan, Erinmope, Asin-Ekiti, Orin, Ilogbo Ekiti, Osi, Igbole, Ora, Aye, Ikogosi Erio, [Igbara-Odo](Ogotun), Erijiyan Ekiti Iludun, Ilemeso, Otun, Itapaji, Ipao Ekiti, Oke Ako Ekiti, Irele Ekiti, Imojo, Ire Ekiti, Eda Oniyo, Gogo Ekiti, Odooro Ekiti, Ijan Ekiti, Epe Ekiti, Usi Ekiti, Ijesa-Isu Ekiti Ilasa-Ekiti, Iropora-Ekiti.
Ekitis are culturally homogeneous and they speak a dialect of Yoruba language known as Ekiti. The homogeneous nature of Ekiti confers on the state some uniqueness among the states of the federation. Slight differences are noticeable in the Ekiti dialects of the Yoruba language spoken by the border communities to other states. For example, the people of Ado local government area do not speak exactly the same dialect with the people of Ijero Local government area, while the people of Ikole area speak something different from the people of Ikere area.
The communities influenced by their locations include Otun (Moba land) that speaks a dialect close to the one spoken by the Igbominas in Kwara State. The people of Oke-Ako, Irele, Omuo speak a similar dialect to that of Ijesas of Osun State. However, part of the uniqueness of the Ekitis is that wherever is your own part of the state, you will understand well, when the other Ekiti man/woman speaks, in spite of the dialectal variations. In addition, all towns in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State take a common suffix, “Ekiti,” after their names. The main staple food of the people of Ekiti is pounded yam with Isapa soup or vegetable soup.
Interestingly, not all parts of Ekiti are today part of Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State. Historical Ekiti includes Akure as documented by Samuel Johnson, and also parts of Ekiti LGA in Kwara State. Indeed, Ijeshaland being part of Ekiti Parapo is also in Osun State.
Ekiti land is naturally endowed with numerous natural resources. The state is potentially rich in mineral deposits. These include granite, kaolin, columbite, channockete, iron ore, baryte, aquamine, gemstone, phosphate, limestone,GOLD among others. They are largely deposited in different towns and villages of Ijero, Ekiti West, Ado - Ekiti, Ikole, Ikere, Ise-Ekiti and other Local Government Areas.
The Land is also blessed with water resources, some of its major rivers are Ero, Osun, Ose, and Ogbese. More so a variety of tourist attractions abound in the state namely, Ikogosi Warm Spring, Ipole - Iloro Water Falls, Olosunta hills, Ikere, Fajuyi Memorial Park Ado - Ekiti and so on. The Ikogosi tourist centre is the most popular and the most developed. The warm spring is a unique natural feature, and supporting facilities are developed in the centre. The spring is at present being processed and packaged into bottled water for commercial purpose by a private company - UAC Nigeria.
Moreover, the land is buoyant in agricultural resources with cocoa as its leading cash crop. It was largely known that Ekiti land constituted well over 40% of the cocoa products of the famous old Western Region. The land is also known for its forest resources, notably timber. Because of the favourable climatic conditions, the land enjoys luxuriant vegetation, thus, it has abundant resources of different species of timber. Food crops such as yam, cassava, and also grains like rice and maize are grown in large qualities. Other notable crops such as kola nut and varieties of fruits are also cultivated in commercial quantities.
1.7. Significance of the Study
This will enlighten the local populace about the important of hospitality industry on the social economic development in Ado, Ekiti State at large. It will help to know the resources to be developed, managed and promoted for hospitality and community development.
This development can bring forth the provision of social amenities and infrastructures, construction of modern roads, active cultural institutions, sustainable environment, provision of employment opportunities and many other benefits in the study areas.
Finally, the recommendations that would be given in this report would optimistically provide the necessary information and strategies needed by the students, researchers, government and other sets of people, who are concerned in the development and management of cultural and natural resources to boost the disciplines of archaeology, museum, tourism and other cultural related fields in the community.
1.8 Organization of the Study
The study has five chapters. The first Chapter provides background to the study, where among other things; it presents the problem statement, study objectives, research questions. The second Chapter presents a critical review of literature relevant to the study. A detailed description of the methodology employed, study area and the data used by the present study is provided in Chapter three. The fourth Chapter presents results and discussion. Summary, recommendations and conclusion are provided in Chapter five of this research work.