THE CONTRIBUTION OF VULMA CULTURE IN TOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN ADAMAWA STATE A case study of Mubi South Local Government Area
Our Common Future Report several years ago was emphatic that cultural activities constitute an integral part of human existence. And as man intensifies effort towards development defined as enhancement of his standard of living, culture cannot be relegated to the background in view of its role in fostering sustainable development. However, culture-driven development has never been seriously considered in several parts of Africa including Nigeria. And within the context of man’s activities on the environment, much care is needed to strike a balance between meeting the needs of this generation without necessarily jeopardizing the opportunities of the future generation which sustainable development entails. Thus, the research highlights the imperative of integrating culture into efforts to promote development. The centrality of culture in the overall effort at ensuring development in Nigeria is emphasized. Furthermore, it laments the neglect of culture on the part of government in terms of funding, policy mechanism and emphasize the fact that conscious effort geared towards the promotion of culture remains the focal point of sustainable development in Nigeria. The research also highlights sundry hindrances and roadblocks to cultural development in Nigeria and proffer suggestions aimed at improving the prevailing dilemma. Historical descriptive approach was adopted as method of data collection in research on the research. The research findings of the research were collaborative of the fact that culture has direct bearing on development.
Agarwal 1997. Having unique indigenous cultures, nature-based attractions, beautiful landscapes, and pleasant weather conditions, local communities in Africa, and other Third World countries, are increasingly being promoted and marketed in major tourist generating countries, particularly in Europe and North America, as offering immense touristic and recreational opportunities. Particularly, indigenous communities in the Third World are perceived as providing abundant opportunities for rich tourists from the North who have got the financial resources to spend in adventure and exotic recreational activities. As a consequence, an increasing number of international tourists are travelling to different tourist destinations in Africa and other less developed regions of the world. In 2001 for instance, over 28 million international tourists, mainly from Europe and North America, travelled to different destinations in Africa. It is further estimated that with the current international growth rate of the tourism industry, over 77 million international tourists will visit Africa by the year 2020 (WTO 2004).
Neo-classical economists and development experts contend that unlike factor driven technology based development, local communities in Africa and other parts of the Third World have a comparative advantage in the development of tourism and other non-technology based economic sectors. The development of tourism amongst local communities is, therefore, perceived as fitting quite well with the ‘natural process of development based on comparative advantage’ (Brohman 1996). This argument is based on the premise that local communities, particularly in Africa, should mainly specialise in primary exports, including tourism, where they have comparative advantage rather than depending on technology based economic sectors that do not conform with the principles of comparative advantage in the global market demand.
Particularly, local communities in sub-Saharan Africa are usually perceived as having a comparative advantage in the development of tourism. This is due to the fact that they possess unique indigenous cultural and nature-based attractions that the Western tourists lack in their transformed and urbanised environments (Butler and Hinch 1996; Cohen 1996). Many Western tourists are haggling for these forms of touristic attractions in order to escape from the perceived monotony of everyday life in the often over-crowded and congested urban conglomerates. In this regard, tourists want to travel to other places, albeit temporarily, in order to escape from the monotony of routine life and are, therefore, looking for alternative environments that are perceived as having fascinating indigenous cultures and pristine nature attractions (Smith 1995; Sharpley 1999).