CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Nigeria is sitting on a tourism goldmine that is as valuable as, if not more valuable than, oil. The tourism business has enormous potential for producing substantial investments in economic growth (Kraal, 1993). Despite the enormous opportunities for wealth creation, national income growth, foreign exchange earnings, labor-intensive employment opportunities, government revenue, and improved people’s standard of living that abound in the tourism sector, tourism’s contribution to Nigeria’s economic development leaves much to be desired. Unfortunately, despite solid evidence that the tourism sector has significant socioeconomic development potential, these potentials have not yet been completely realized in the country. While it is true that the tourism sector has provided revenue to Nigeria, such revenue has been insufficient. Several reasons have contributed to the fact that tourism in Nigeria has not reached its full potential. She has a low rate of international tourists due to her history of political instability and security challenges. The moment has come to reinvent ourselves as a tourism destination in order to maximize our tourism resources and potential as a country. Certain crucial factors must be maintained as irreducible minimums in this process. The push and pull aspects account for what motivates tourists to choose a particular destination. Security is become a major factor in travel decisions. Today, many tourism experts argue that staying safe while on vacation is an expected need for any visitor to a tourist site. Insecurity has a negative impact on tourism. The tourism industry’s performance is very sensitive to increased crime, whether real or imagined. As a result, providing quality in tourism necessitates safety and security. They have a significant part in determining vacation plans. The ability to create a safe and secure environment for guests determines whether a tourism location succeeds or fails. It is true that when the environment is safe, visitors are safe, and the tourism business will have a good chance of surviving if security is prioritized. Though only a small percentage of visitors are victims of crime while on vacation, it is vital to look into the differences in the crime experiences of various travelers. Patterns of crime have been observed.  Due to its geographical location and the availability of both natural and manmade attractions, Cross River State, particularly Calabar, the state capital, has seen a surge in tourist visits. It has been noted that an increase in tourist arrivals at a given area is frequently accompanied with an increase in crime, ranging from robbery, assault, and murder to kidnapping and burglary (Shaw and Mckay, 1972). Crime rates often rise in tandem with an area’s expansion and urbanization, and the rise of mass tourism is frequently accompanied by an increase in crime. The presence of a big number of visitors with a lot of money to spend, and who are often carrying valuables like cameras and jewelry, attracts criminals and leads to activities like robbery and drug dealing. Most streets in the hotspot places where these industries are located are now prone to high crime rates, resulting in the majority of tourists and residents being robbed and having their goods taken away. The presence of a significant number of tourists has resulted in changes in young people’s social behavior, which frequently leads to gangsterism and other social vices. This viewpoint is applicable to the Calabar city, which has seen the growth of the Scolombo boys, a dangerous and thoughtless gang comprised of poor or street boys and girls, in recent times as a result of increased tourism operations. They’ve been accused of robbing stores, stealing purses, and other crimes that have put residents, investors, and tourists on edge. Especially during the carnival. The researcher ran into some difficulties while conducting this research. The researcher was hampered by a lack of time, a financial crisis, and a lack of available materials to carry out the research work effectively. For example, a lack of information and unnecessary bureaucratic steps in the River State Ministry of Commerce and Industry all contributed to the difficulties encountered during this research.

Governments have recognized the need to diversify the economy and reduce the mono-product dependence on oil for decades. Tourism is unquestionably a viable alternative to oil as a key source of revenue for the country. It is regarded as a promising means of improving economic growth (Common Wealth Currents, 1998). This emphasizes how timely this research is. The global economic catastrophe, along with falling crude oil prices, makes it more important than ever to pursue alternate revenue streams. In the event that crude oil mono-economic dependency ends, tourism development should be one of the protections for a sustainable future.

Despite this acknowledgement, the current difficulty has been to transform the available potentials into a dynamic system.

STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

Tourism is projected to promote economic growth through increasing foreign exchange profits and state revenue, as well as improving people’s well-being in terms of job creation, revenue, and long-term development (Nwidum, 2007). In 1995, tourism supported more than 100 million employment worldwide, with that number predicted to rise to 300 million by 2005. (Sheldon, 1997). However, as Etuk (2012) points out, Nigeria’s performance in the tourist sector is still quite bad when compared to other nations’ scorecards. After the manufacturing and agricultural industries, tourism is the largest contributor to G.D.P. in Zimbabwe. Other countries, such as Kenya, South Africa, and Gambia, have outperformed Nigeria. Despite the fact that many

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