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IMPACT OF RAIL TRANSPORT DEVELOPMENT ON TOURISM PERFORMANCE IN NIGERIA
In world of change, one constant in the last quarter of the twentieth century has been the sustained growth of tourism both as an activity and an industry (occupation).
Leiper (2000:3) defined tourism as a whole range of individuals, businesses, organisations and placed which combine in some way to deliver a travel experience. Tourism is a multi dimensional multi-faceted activity which touches many lives and many different economic activities that is, it can be used for the development of the concerned areas if properly utilised by both the government and private sectors.
Tourism can be viewed as a situation in which the visitors interact with the hosts. This clearly means that tourism is the movement of people from their usual place of residence to another (destination) for either pleasure, recreation or other purpose.
The main things that can be deduced from the brief description of tourism above is that, it has to deal with the movement of people (transportation) from their usual place of residence to another. Also, the stay which deals with either leisure, pleasure or recreation is obviously not connected with any remunerated activity and for the desired result to be achieved, it has to be over 24hours but less than a year.
However, in the process of tourists carrying out the various tourism activities, there is need for a moving conveyance which is transportation. Osinubi (2006:1) defined transportation as the movement of people, goods and services from one place to another. The extent of accessibility of an area determines the inflow of tourist to such sites. A tourist attraction must be thrilling, exciting and beautiful which are parts of the real motivating factors for tourism activities.
1.1 Background of the research
According to G. O. Ogunremi(2003). The ultimate purpose of transport is to serve mankind. It is an integral part of the economy of every society whether advanced or simple economies; and both production and distribution of goods at all levels rely heavily on transport. Transport economists such as Bonavia, Norton, Sharp and Healey see transport as being indispensable to any economy which necessitated the construction of rail roads in Nigeria in the pre-colonial and colonial times. According to Hugh Norton, transportation enables society to enjoy the advantages of specialization of resources, and the benefits of division of labour by making it possible for products to be brought from great distances thus avoiding the necessity for local production of needs.
More importantly, the earliest demand for transportation of things arose from the fact that men wanted a variety of natural products but nature did not provide them in one place. This buttresses Walsh Healey’s assertion which says “man as a hunter and gatherer carried himself to wherever there was a surplus to meet his needs.” To satisfy immediate future needs, he had to carry some with him (O. Omosini, “Background To Railway Policy in Nigeria, 1877-1901”)
By 1886 the British Colonial activities and intentions under Governor Macgregor and Edgerton was to extend the construction of rail line to the furthermost part of Northern Nigeria (A. Akinjogbin, 2001:146). The issues regarding development of railway system in Nigeria through Port Harcourt were well articulated by different authors in line with the aim of British to annex the legitimate products in hinterland.
Rail construction in Nigeria served as a major catalyst to the socio-economic development of major towns in Nigeria, Port Harcourt and other communities in Kwara State as an integral part of the country benefited immensely from it since 1912. The construction of rail terminus in Port Harcourt boosted economic activities of Port Harcourt and its environs because it attracted many people to Port Harcourt.This research analyzes why it is necessary to formulate a policy that would hasten the rehabilitation of existing rail lines, particularly the existing structures at Port Harcourt terminus erected by the colonial master for the benefit of Port Harcourt community and travellers. It is important to look at the geographic location of Port Harcourt as a strategic point for white men during the period of railway construction.
Transportation as both heritage and contemporary attraction has been under valued by tourism and leisure promoters. However, it is increasingly being recognized that transport has significant potential both its own right and in combination with other locally or regional based attraction.
The transport experience can be the primary reason if not exclusive tourism experience, embracing qualities of heritage nostalgia, education, uniqueness, added value and entertainment.
Also, certain form of transportation offers a unique transport experience based on the nature of the transport and location it is set in, thereby contributing to the easy movement to the place. The unique transport experience increases the demand for transportation.
Transportation as one of the features of the tourism industry is as old as human existence. In ancient times, before tourism came into realization, people move on foot and travel aalong distance through a lot of time was wasted, because the primitive means of transportation was used. Modern day transportation came into existence due to the limitation placed on the places that can be reached on foot and has greatly contributed to the development of tourism.
Objectively, it can be deduced that it deals with the movement of people from place to place to place for leisure, recreation, pleasure etc.
Tourism as a neglected area of culture in Nigeria is of no doubt a recently introduced course in higher institutions. It is facing a lot of problem such as illiteracy, misconception of term etc. A lot has been done and is still going on to alleviate these problems by different organizations e.g. United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Association of Nigeria Journalist and Writers of Tourism (ANJET), Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) etc.
Conclusively, tourism and transportation are two inseparable twin as one helps the other which means the role transport plays in tourism cannot be under emphasized.
1.2 Statement of Research Problem
Tourism and transportation sectors have great concern over the increasing fall of state affairs which has be on blamed on the following.
Tourism in Nigeria has suffered a lot of set back during the last few years due to a lot of factors such as frequent ethnic and religions clashes and hostage taking for example in oil producing areas, which have tampered with the security system of the nation.
Furthermore, available roads to most of our attractions are not motorable, lack of electricity and potable accommodation is a luxury in most of our resorts while most of them are still without communication facilities despite the advent of Global system mobile communication in the country lack of awareness programme to encourage people to visit places. Thus, inadequate funds for rehabitation of facilities.
1.3 Aim and Objectives of the study
As the tourism industry is of rapid growing segment of today’s economy and consideration have been given to the importance of rail transportation development on tourism only. Therefore, the aim of this study centered on it.
It is also aimed at looking into the various problems that face the effective uses of rail transportation system and how these problems can be solved. The significance of rail transportation system in tourism industry will be adequately highlighted.
The study is going to analyze the impact of rail transportation development on tourism industry for effective performance and the various modes available. Also, the various problem that are likely to affect the expected impact of the rail transportation plays in tourism industry. Furthermore, it is going to link the development of tourism in Nigeria to the extent of development of rail transportation.
Government will also get to know of the negative impacts of poor transportation networks on tourism and ways these can be tackled for proper tourists’ flow into Nigeria especially the tourism destinations thereby benefiting from tourism.
1.4 Significance of the study
The importance of the study will facilitate the significance of rail transportation development system in tourism performance.
It will also stimulate researcher (s) to further investigate way of improving rail transportation system in tourism industry for effective performance.
Finally, the research will tend to highlight the relationship between transportation system and the tourism industry.
1.5 Research question
The following research questions are some of the questions to be used in the process of this study.
1.6 Research Hypothesis
The research hypothesis formulated is will be tested using 0.5 degree of error freedom.
H0 there is no significance impact on rail transport development to tourism performance
H0there is no contribution to the level of revenue from rail transport development to tourism industry
1.7 Conceptual framework
Source field researcher: 2016.
The researcher had to put together the reasons why there should be rail/road connection between the people and the environment. By so doing there will be safety in traveling conformability, and environment conservation.
1.8 Scope of the Study
This research work will cover activities on rail transportation, its development, impact to the economy, significance to tourism and its performance.
1.9 Limitation of the Study
The research will be limited to rail transportation development, and will be referencing the Port Harcourt railway corporation o Rivers State.
To have researched more, the researcher could not because of financial constraint
1.10 Definition of terms
– Tourism: It is the relationship of phenomenon arising from voluntary travel and stay of an individual away from his/her usual place of residence to a pre-determined destination in search of pleasure, leisure etc. and not connected with any remunerated activity.
– Visitor: Someone travelling from his place of usual residence to another place but not primarily for tourism activities though he/she might enjoy it during the stay in the area.
– Hotel: According to the proprietors act of 1956, a hotel is an establishment offering food, drinks and sleeping accommodation if so required by travellers who appear able and willing to pay for services and facilities provided.
– Travel Agent: It is an organisation who acts as an intermediary between tour operators and tourists by providing the various services needed by both parties though has a principal who he is directly responsible to. Such services are transport companies, hotel groups, travellers cheque, visas etc.
– Tour: It is a journey for pleasure during which several places of interest are visited.
– Tour Operator: It is the manufacturer of a tourism product who organizes and sells tour.
– Tourist destination: It refers to the place the attractions are physically sited. Also, it is a geographical unit visited by tourists which may be self contained, centre, a village, a town or city, district in an area, region, island, a country or a continent.
– Transportation: It refers to the act of moving tourist and the services required by them from one place to another.
– Industry: A branch of commercial enterprises concerned with the output of a specified product or service.
– International tourism: It is a type of tourism that involves tourists travelling from their own country to another place, mainly crossing the international boundaries.
– Domestic Tourism: It means the movement of tourists within the same country for either leisure, pleasure etc.
– Tourist market: It is defined by reference to the composite product, the seller (producer) who supplies it and the buyer (tourist) who exercises the demand for it.
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