The Relevance of Tourism on the Economic Development of Cross River State, Nigeria

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Journal of Geography and Regional Planning Vol. x(x), pp. xxx-xxx, xxxxxxx 2011 Available online at http://www.academicjournals.org/JGRP
DOIXXXXXXXXXXX
ISSN 2070-1845 ©2011 Academic Journals
Full Length Research Paper
The relevance of tourism on the economic development of Cross River State, Nigeria Ajake, Anim O. and Amalu, Titus E.*
Department of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria. Accepted 21 December, 2011
This study investigated the relevance of tourism on the economic growth of Cross River State, Nigeria. Special focus was on the difference in visitations over the years under investigation to the various tourists attractions within the state. Information for the study was basically from the questionnaire survey and participatory research method. The generated data were analyzed using descriptive statistics such as mean, simple percentages and graphic illustrations. The study demonstrated that there was a steady increase in the number of tourists visit to the various attraction sites in the area and that the greatest increase was observed in the number of tourists visiting for the purpose of cultural festivals. The result show that tourism influenced employment status, including enhancement of the people’s income in the state. Based on the aforementioned findings, it is recommended that all stakeholders in the tourism industry should be involved in the planning and execution of tourism projects and that tourism activities be organized all through the year to ensure more tourists visitation and avoid seasonality in the tourism industry. Key words: Tourism, influence, cultural enhancement, economic growth, cultural diversity. INTRODUCTION

The substantial growth of the tourism activity clearly marks tourism as one of the most remarkable economic and social phenomena of the past century. The number of international arrivals shows an evolution from a mere 25 million international arrivals in 1950 to an estimated 806 million in 2005, corresponding to an average annual growth rate of 6.5%. During this period, development was particularly strong in Asia and the Pacific (13% on average a year) and in the Middle East (10%) while the Americas (5%) and Europe (6%), grew at a slower pace and slightly below the world's average growth. New destinations are steadily increasing their market share while more mature regions such as Europe and the Americas tend to have less dynamic growth. International tourism receipts represented in 2003 approximately 6% of worldwide exports of goods and services (as expressed in US$). When considering service exports exclusively, the share of tourism exports increases to *Corresponding author. E-mail: amalutitus@yahoo.com. Tel: 07037171601 nearly 30%. In general, the growth of international tourism arrivals significantly outpaces growth of economic output as measured in gross domestic product (GDP). In years when world economic growth exceeds 4%, the growth of tourism volume tends to be higher. When GDP growth falls below 2%, tourism growth tends to be even lower, but when GDP rises to 3.5%, tourism had an average growth of 1.3 times faster than GDP; however, from the period of 1975 to 2000, tourism increased at an average rate of 4.6% a year (WTO, 2009). The UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has released the latest worldwide tourist arrivals figures showing a 7% decline to 600 million arrivals between January and August 2009. However, the rate of decline has eased in the past few months, with only a 3% drop in the two high-season months of July and August following a first half-year fall of 8%. Earnings from international arrivals have suffered somewhat more than volumes as consumers tend to trade down, stay closer to home and travel for shorter periods of time, and are estimated to have contracted in real terms by 9 to 10% in the first six months of 2009 compared to the 8% volume fall. International tourism in Europe was down 8%...
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