Background of the study
Tourism is viewed as one of the fastest growing fields over recent decades, especially in emerging and developing economies. According to Thapa (2012), although the tourism industry has obviously grown, it is important to maintain and develop it with a sustainable strategy for further expansion. Investment in infrastructure development, emphasizing tourism infrastructure, is considered one of the critical factors to help achieve this goal. Stevens, B., Schieb, P.A. & Andrieu, M. (2016) espoused that tourism revolves round the provision of infinite variety of psychic and physical experiences, pleasurable conditions to consumers designated as tourist who travel out of their home environment to enjoy such facilities and services. Thus even the journeys to such destination must have to be pleasant, whether it is by land, air or sea. According to Nwakonobi (2004), tourism is a conglomeration of services related to all forms of hospitality, travel, accommodation, entertainment, recreation, sports and education whose by-products are safety, infrastructure, material/technical bases and goods and services.
Tourism infrastructure is a sort of infrastructure consisting of facilities and services conducted within a particular location to suit the demands of local population and specialized purposes. It is viewed as the physical part that is developed and constructed to cater to tourists. Tourism infrastructure has the capacity to improve competitiveness and promote tourism by providing travel amenities for tourists. The importance of tourist infrastructure is evident in the fact that it can help to boosting the efficiency of production and distribution of tourism services, and, in certain situations, such as isolated places, even increase the supply of tourism services. Infrastructure boosts tourist development by enhancing the appeal and competitiveness of a resort. Tourists frequently anticipate facilities in their chosen location to be equivalent to what they experience at home. Prideaux (2000) emphasizes the importance of transport infrastructure as an essential component of successful tourism in that it offers impetus for the expansion of current tourist sites and the establishment of new attractions. More so, the construction of high quality tourism resort in any nation depends on the presence of a critical mass of public infrastructure.
Consequently the absence of it might impose substantial load on operational expense with attendant detrimental influence on the competitiveness of a location.
Therefore, solid infrastructure in a place pulls demand for its products. Tourism infrastructures are often characterized as physical, cultural, service and government. Physical infrastructures consist of transportation, lodging, power, communication and water. Physical infrastructures can be separated into transport, social, and environmental categories. Therefore tourism infrastructure has long been regarded an element of tourism and plays a major role in attracting tourists even a Seetanah E. in 2011 stress “the function of service infrastructure in establishing product experience and molding the overall image of a location for tourists”. Thus, it is upon this assumption that this study tries to investigate the contribution tourist infrastructure as the cornerstone for tourism development.
Statement of the problem
Tourism has been considered as a crucial sector in the hospitality industry with great possibility of providing economic growth and development. However the status and condition of the road network, infrastructure, assets and facilities in Nigeria are exceedingly bad and this is having a detrimental influence on nearly all socio-economic activities in the nation (Pandey, D. 2018). Because of its international flavor, tourism is one of the tools a country can use to build its economy and promote her growth. For tourism to survive and prosper, solid infrastructure is necessary. Bell-ham, H. L. (2013) affirmed that by identifying poor infrastructures as the bane of tourism in Nigeria, it is anticipated that urgent action will be initiated by the government to do everything necessary to improve, rehabilitate and construct good infrastructure in the country which will translate into increase influx of tourists to the country and it positive impacts to the nation. More so, for the competitiveness of the Nigerian tourist sector to be maintained, the state and other stakeholders should realize the fact that tourism, as unique a phenomena, depends on numerous elements, and that it has tremendous potential to improve the country. It is upon this premise that this study seeks to examine infrastructures and their contribution to tourism development in Nigeria.
Objective of the study
The broad objective of this study is examine infrastructures and their contribution to tourism development in Nigeria. Specifically the study seeks to:
1. Examine the importance of infrastructure to tourism.
2. Investigate the challenges of innovating good infrastructure in tourist centre in Nigeria.
3. Determine the relationship between infrastructures and tourism development in Nigeria.
The research is guided by the following questions:
1. Is infrastructure necessary for tourism development?
2. What are the importance of infrastructure to tourism industry?
3. What are the challenges of innovating good infrastructure in tourist centre in Nigeria?
4. What are the relationship between infrastructures and tourism development in Nigeria?
Significance of the study
Although many writers have acknowledged the need for infrastructure in a successful program of tourism development, very limited empirical research exists to shed light on this hypothesis.Findings from the study will be of great significance government, hospitality industry and academia. To government, the study will enlighten them on the need to invest in hospitality industry by helping them place adequate edifice which is capable of attracting tourist all over the world as private organizations cannot handle this alone. The result of the study will contribute to the general body of Knowledge and serve as a reference material to both scholars and student who wishes to conduct further studies in related field.
Scope of the study
The scope of this study borders on infrastructures and its contribution to tourism development in Nigeria. It will further examine the importance of infrastructure to tourism. It will investigate the challenges of innovating good infrastructure in tourist centre in Nigeria. The study is however delimited Obudu Cattle Ranch in Cross River State.
Limitation of the study
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing that it is a new discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. However in spite of the constraint all these constraint were downplayed to give the best.
Definition of Terms
Infrastructure: The basic physical and organizational structures and facilities (e.g. buildings, roads, power supplies) needed for the operation of a society or enterprise.
Tourism: Tourism is a social, cultural and economic phenomenon which entails the movement of people to countries or places outside their usual environment for personal or business/professional purposes.
Tourist Infrastructure: Tourism infrastructure is a range of devices and institutions constituting material and organizational basis for tourism development. It comprises four basic elements: accommodation facilities, gastronomy facilities, accompanying facilities and communication facilities.