ECONOMIC BENEFIT OF CARNIVALS IN NIGERIA (A STUDY OF ABUJA CARNIVALS)
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Carnivals constitute one of the main motivations in the choice of the tourist destinations worldwide. The empowerment of the “civilization” of “leisure”contributes to the development of this leisure tourism. Carnival events generate important flows of population, and constitute a vector of regional promotion. To this end, Carnival tourism then appears to be a key in the narrative of the area, since the lives and existences of its people revolve around the heritage of their varied civilizations. The Carnival diversity and collective heritage of the local people is firmly rooted in the core of tourism in Nigeria. This heritage, as opulent as it is diverse, is a fine agglomeration of the customs and Carnival practices of the various ethnicities making up Nigeria. To a
considerable degree, this accounts for the natural enthusiasm for festivals, jamborees, guided tours and other similar physical engagements as the principal preferences of tourism in Nigeria, channeled through the cultures and customs of the people. Studies have shown that Carnival festivals confer a lot of socioeconomic
benefits on a people (Mmom, 2003). It has also been described as an engine and pivot for strengthening unity among a people. During Carnival festivities, community people tend to forget their dierences; warring communities down their weapons and their attention is diverted from wars to fun. Through this process, unity is enhanced between and among communities in a region. Many festivals are organized to present dierent
Carnival practices, sites and symbols of places. Other festivals have contributed to the birth of non-mainstream urban identities and have created a new feeling of “festival moments”, as one of the key important features of the modern “experience economy”, while some festivals play an important role in creating distraction for
the people from the harsh reality of everyday life, a break away from work as a period of relaxation and occasionally upset the established social order (Kiwewa, 2012). Whatever the background or purpose, these festivals all had in common that they are powerful experiences, bringing together audiences and performers in a momentum of excitement and high quality content and excellence and had – even when not originally intended as such – a great impact on local economies (Sapsford, & Southern, (2007).They create a lot of jobs and involve many services: in addition to the core group of artists, directors, designers, composers, you find sound and lighting technicians, printers, publicists and media, cleaners, ushers, caterers, ushers, ticket sellers, drivers and
hotel owners and many more that benefit in one way or the other from the platform created by this festival. There is boost in business during festivities; given that the influx of people into the area tends to boost the local economy. This is so because there is increasing demand for accommodation; increasing demand for food; increasing demand for transportation and other communication infrastructure. More money flows into the local economy due to increased patronage. Artistes/ artists, transporters and traders have reported increased patronage; high sales turnover to business and general rise in income. As the range of Carnival festivals and major Carnival events has grown over the years, various evaluations and more in-depth studies have found that large scale events have a variety of potential impacts, including economic, social, Carnival, political, physical and environmental ones.