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1.1       Background to the Study

Tourism is currently the fastest growing sector of global economy. It is already the number one industry in many countries, in terms of foreign exchange earnings and job creation (Agene 2005). Tourism is at present the major export product for 83 percent of developing countries and main export of one third of them. In 2000 specifically, developing countries recorded 292.6 million international arrivals (WTO 2003). Ukene (2003) quoting IMF report of the year 2000 asserted that tourism generated U$504 billion in the year globally. In tourism marketing, the tourist is identified as a place customer. The role of marketing in place or tourism marketing is to create satisfied customers and keep them at a profit (Drucker, 1965).

Tourism development has undergone gradual but progressive evolution with each phase reflecting its growing importance in the economy. Organized tourism started in Nigeria in 1962. The Nigerian Tourism Association was formed by group of private practitioners to project the tourist image in Nigeria (Okon, 1997). The efforts of the association led to the admission of Nigeria as full member of the International Union of Official Organization Travel (IUOTO), now World Tourism Organization (WTO) in 1964. The Federal Government of Nigeria in 1990 issued a blue print on Tourism to demonstrate the development of tourism into an economically viable industry. The main thrust of the National Tourism Policy is devoted to the objectives of generating foreign exchange and employment etc. (Osuaka, 2001). Driven by the desire to realize these objectives, the Nigerian Government has remained committed to the growth and development of tourism in the country. This stance has been successively reflected in various monetary, fiscal and industrial policy measures employed to provide appropriate financing and incentives for the sector.

Prior to 1980, the type, known and practiced tourism was the standard commercial (mass) tourism which was based on commercially created beehive of activities such as festivals, carnivals and other seasonal events. But since the 1980s tourism trend has shifted focus to natural ecosystem and, this marked the emergence of tourism which has been considered a critical endeavor by environmentalists, so that future generations may experience destinations relatively untouched by human intervention (Honey, 2008). Coined by Hector Ceballos-Lascurain in 1983, the concept of tourism or responsible tourism or jungle tourism, and sustainable tourism (Sadry, 2009) have become prevalent concepts since the mid-1980s, and has experienced arguably the fastest growth of all sub-sectors in the tourism industry. Virtually, almost all the Local Government Areas in Nigeria have varying degrees of ecotourism attractions. This attests to the richness of the Nigerian natural and cultural attractions as described by Fagbile (2001). The economic importance of tourism is quite enormous.  It educates the travellers, provides funds for ecological conservation, creates jobs, protect and conserves the environment, improves the well-being of local people, ensures direct financial support to local people, creates political empowerment of local communities, generates revenue for government, maintains peace, law and order in society, fostering respect for different cultures and for human rights and  contribute to economic development.

However, tourism development suffered setbacks in the past because of lack of commitment by previous governments and this has attracted many scholarly enquiries on the factors that may determined the tourism service marketing responsiveness in Nigeria, considering its strategic importance to the economic development of any nation.


1.2       Statement of the problem

In recognition of the importance of tourism in national development, governments have demonstrated concerted efforts towards developing the sector by funding and maintaining the sector, but the result of such effort has not been ascertained by any known literature in the region.

At the moment, available literature such as Blackwell (1970), Ashworth and Voogd (1993), and Esu (2006), etc., focused on the challenges to tourism marketing while literature on the problems of tourism service marketing responsiveness in the region are scarce. In other words, past literatures on tourism marketing focused more on how to market tourism product and less, perhaps not at all on why tourists have not been visiting tourism sites in south-south zone of Nigeria inspite of the richness and attractiveness of most sites coupled with the efforts of government and firms in the hospitality industry at promoting these sites. Moreover, factors such as demographic characteristics, socioeconomic characteristics of tourists, destination characteristics, government policy, environmental factors and marketing communication characteristics may have been conjecturally identified as problems of tourism marketing responsiveness in the region. But it is quite unfortunate that such intuitive based determinants lacked empirical justification, thereby creating illusion as to which of the identified factors significantly influence tourism marketing responsiveness in the region. The above conjectured dimensions of impediment notwithstanding, there is still no sufficient empirical proof of which variable in each dimension most influenced tourism service marketing responsiveness. For instance, amongst demographic characteristics of age, gender, lifestyle, religious belief, attitude, cultural inclination, residency most influences tourism marketing responsiveness? Also, which of the socioeconomic factor such as income, education, employment status, occupation, perceived usefulness and fees/charges most influence tourism marketing responsiveness? Amongst destination characteristics, which of service quality, functionality of tangibles, convenience and comfort, service delivery most influence ecotourism marketing responsiveness? Assuming it is marketing communication strategy, which of advertising, social media, internet, air catalogue etc? If it is government policy, could it be immigration requirements, stay-time permit, and bilateral agreement? Should it be environmental factors, could it be topography, accessibility, security and safety, climatic condition, attitude of the host community etc that is most responsible for low tourism  service marketing  responsiveness in the region?

Perhaps, the answer to these questions may be in the affirmative, but what becomes more worrisome afterall, is the uncertainty of the extent to which each of the identified variables have affected tourism service marketing responsiveness in the region. These and other salient issues prompted the researcher to consider an empirical investigation of the factors that significantly affect tourism service marketing responsiveness in the south-south geopolitical zone of Nigeria a worthwhile academic exercise, hence this study.


1.3       Objectives of the study

The main objective of this study will be to investigate factors that influence tourism marketing responsiveness in South-South zone of Nigeria. Specific objectives will be to:

  1. Ascertain the relationship between demographic characteristics of tourists and tourism service marketing responsiveness in the South-South zone of Nigeria.
  2. Ascertain the relationship between socioeconomic characteristics of tourists and tourism service marketing responsiveness in the South-South zone of Nigeria.
  1. Find out the relationship between government policy and tourism service marketing responsiveness in the South-South zone of Nigeria.
  2. Examine the relationship between environmental factors and tourism service marketing responsiveness in the South-South zone of Nigeria
  3. Examine the relationship between marketing communication factors and tourism service marketing responsiveness in the South-South zone of Nigeria


1.4       Research questions

In pursuance of the attainment of the objectives of the study, answers to the following questions will be sought:

  1. What is the relationship between demographic characteristics of tourists and tourism marketing responsiveness in the South-South zone of Nigeria?
  2. What relationship exists between socio-economic characteristics of tourists and tourism marketing responsiveness in the South-South zone of Nigeria?
  1. What relationship exists between government policy and tourism marketing responsiveness in the South-South zone of Nigeria?
  2. What is the relationship between environmental factors and tourism marketing responsiveness in the South-South zone of Nigeria?
  3. What is the relationship between marketing communication factors and tourism marketing responsiveness in the South-South zone of Nigeria


1.5       Hypotheses

To guide the conduct of this study, the following hypotheses will be tested:

  1. There is no significant relationship between demographic characteristics of tourists and tourism marketing responsiveness in the South-South zone of Nigeria.
  2. There is no relationship between socioeconomic characteristics of tourists and tourism marketing responsiveness in the South-South zone of Nigeria.
  1. Government policy has no significant relationship with tourism marketing responsiveness in the South-South zone of Nigeria.
  2. The relationship between environmental factors and tourism marketing responsiveness in the South-South zone of Nigeria is not significant.
  3. Marketing communication factors have no significant relationship with tourism marketing responsiveness in the South-South zone of Nigeria.


1.6       Significance of the study

The result of this study will be of great significance to the government who, upon recognition of the revenue potentials of tourism, have invested energy and resources into the sector. Thus knowing what makes tourists respond positively to their efforts will definitely optimize the performance of the sector and revenue to government. The study will also benefit investors. With the continuous promotion and emphasis placed on tourism development, the result of this study would serve as a guide to investors in their decision to invest and earn commensurate returns from their investment.

To the academic community, additional stock of material on tourism marketing would have been added at the end of this study, thereby increasing knowledge of and making available reference material for future researchers. To the tourists, this study will further strengthen their passion for tourism embarkation as what interest them most would best be addressed in this work.


1.7       Scope of the Study

The scope covers tourism service marketing responsiveness and its impediment from the view point of tourists. However, being a very broad area, tourism and its related concepts would also form part of this investigation. In terms of geophysical coverage, the study is carried out in South-South geopolitical zone of Nigeria. Nevertheless, inference from tourism related experience garnered from other countries will be made to strengthen the researcher’s intuitive expressions on the thrust of the study.

Also, the research problems and objectives involve areas such as government policy, environmental/climate changes, etc that may be considered non-tourism related. In this study, these areas will also be discussed as variables of interest. Concerning the period of investigation, the scope will extend to include a period not less one year as tourism business is more of leisure and attracts seasonality in which case, timing will be of essence in order to get tourists to respond to the demand of the research instrument.


First of all, this study will be limited by its scope. In other words, the investigation cannot be extended beyond tourism service marketing responsiveness and also beyond the South-South zone. This means that the findings of this study will only be relevant to tourism development in the region. However, inferences will be made by other regions that may wish to also investigate their tourism potentials in this manner. The difficulty in getting respondents, some of which will be foreigners will also limit this work. Again, short-time categories of tourists will be difficult to capture in this study as the researcher may not get to meeting them or they may have no time to even attend to questions filed in for their response.

Another limitation will be the differences in the socioeconomic characteristics of tourist. This limitation will make data mining process quite cumbersome and time-consuming. Nevertheless, the researcher intends to solve these problems by extending the period of study to one year and getting the services of experts in data mining.





1.9       Definition of Terms Used in the Study

Tourism: Tourism is defined as the science, art and business of attracting and transporting visitors, accommodating them and functionally catering for their needs and wants.

Ecotourism: This means nature-based tourism.

Tourism Marketing: This is defined as the delivery of tourism services that offer tourists maximum satisfaction leading to repeat visit to destination, positive word of mouth and at a profit.

Tourism Service Marketing Responsiveness: This is defined as the continuous visit by tourists to a destination due to the awareness created by persistent communication of the potentials of the destination to potential tourist.  It is also defined as the measure of accountability to investment with aspect to the actualization of the goals of the tourism development in Nigeria.

Destination: This means tourism site or the place or location where the tourists’ attraction is located.

Tourism Product: This means the object of attraction and other facilities that support the tourist stay in the destination area.

Data Mining: Data mining is the analysis of data for relationships that have not previously been discovered.

Tourist: This is someone who travels out of his place of normal residence to a destination for leisure, learning and recreation.

Tourism Experience: This means how an individual perceives a product, which forms a benchmark for future decision experience.

Leisure: Leisure is defined as the disposal time available to and used by an individual, after work, for sleep or performance of personal and household chores.

Recreation: This is a measure of the leisure time used to undertake house–based activities (like watching television, telling stories, playing games, etc) and some outdoor activities (such as visiting the theatre, sports, shopping malls etc that last for less than 24 hours).


1.10    Organization of the Report

This study would be presented in five chapters. Chapter one will contain the introductory statement including background to the study, statement of problem, research objective, research questions, hypotheses, significance of study etc.  In chapter two, related literature would be reviewed. The focus shall be on the theoretical review, conceptual framework and empirical framework all of which would centre on tourism service marketing responsiveness and the impeding factors as well as other related terms. Chapter three will contain the research methodology with focus on the design adopted, population, sample, sources of data, method of data collection, research instrument and method of data analysis. In chapter four, the data collected will be analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics, while summary, conclusion and recommendation along with area for further studies and contribution to knowledge would be stated in chapter five


1.11    The Study Area      

This study was conducted in six States in the South-South Geopolitical zone of Nigeria namely Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo and, Rivers.  The South-south states are known to play key role in the development of Nigeria, especially through her rich crude oil deposits. These states or this zone is also known to have numerous natural attractions since they lie within the forest belt of Nigeria and is characteristically tropical in nature. These States share similar agro-ecological zone and have a similar temperature, rainfall and socio-cultural pattern of life. There are two distinct seasons rainy and dry season, with the rain evenly distributed throughout the year and decreasing from over 3,000mm in the South to about 2,700mm in the North (Ironkwe, 2005). The relative humidity is highest at 0.900 hours (Nigeria time).

The study area is the south-south zone of Nigeria and the justification for adopting the south-south zone in this study is because it is most convenient and accessible to the researcher. The south-south zone has an area of 236, 768.99 sq kilometers and lies between latitude 9º32′ and 5º33′ north and latitude 14º25′ and 9º26′ east of the equator (Akpan, 2001). Thus the zone lies entirely within the tropics. The climate is made up of dry and wet season. The topography is mainly one of plain lands. The vegetation consists of wooded savanna and grass, with some noticeable trees like; iroko, locust bean, malina, ake-apple and sheer butter trees. The major occupations of the people are farming, trading and fishing.

An aerial view o the zone shows an almost unbroken carpet of green treetops with farmlands. The south-south zone has an estimated population of about 13,392,963 people with diverse cultures, thus making the south-south zone one of the most thickly populated areas of the country with enormous natural and human resources (NPC, 1992). It consists of six states and their capitals are as indicated in brackets after each states name: Akwa Ibom – (Uyo), Cross River – (Calabar), Rivers – (Port-Harcourt), Bayelsa – (Yenegoa), Edo – (Benin), Delta – (Asaba), the zone has a total of 123 Local Government Areas spread as follows:

Furthermore, the zone is made up of heterogeneous groups including the Igbos, Urhobos and Itsekiri from Edo and Delta states, the Ijaws from Rivers and Bayelsa states, Annang, Oron and Ibibio from Akwa Ibom state and the Efiks, Ejagham and Bekwara from Cross River state to mention but a few. The people are predominantly of Christian faith with some form of traditional religion and Islam practiced by a relatively few.

This study will be conducted in Akwa Ibom and Cross River States. The zone is naturally endowed with crude petroleum, gas and abundant human resources. A map showing the geographical delineation of the zone is shown in


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