Tourism destination competitiveness depends on a viable recreation and hospitality facilities that often represent the destination products. The study assessed the challenges in this development of the hospitality industry. Data was basically from questionnaire survey and participatory research method. Data generated were analyzed descriptively using simple percentage, mean, charts, graphs and tables. Students’t-test was employed to examine the level of significance between the people involved in tourism and non-tourism related activities in the study area. The result revealed that the calculated t-value of 2.8 is greater than the critical t-value of 1.76 which means that there was a significant difference between challenges involved and the problem in the study area. Based on the findings, it is recommended that managers of this hospitality industry should improve the standard of services and equip their industry with modern recreational facilities while government and private investors should host events in the state to increase patronage of this industries.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Hospitality means providing service to others, as well as demonstrating consistent excellence and quality. It should also mean profitably providing value at any price level, while demonstrating your own unique points of distinction. Most of all, hospitality should be a “place”, where people can still be exceptional individuals and they can extend their own personality and style (Hogan, 2008).The hospitality industry is part of a huge group of companies known as travel and tourism industry, which provides the necessary or desirable goods and services to travelers. The hospitality and tourism industries are the largest and fastest-growing industries in the world (Walker, 2010).
The hospitality businesses make continuous efforts for maintaining a positive image along with great guest service. It appears that quality service is the basis to industry success. Thus, those organizations that focus on quality become the leaders for on-going guest satisfaction, creating loyalty and influencing
The growth of the global tourism industry is immense, with international arrivals growing by 51 percent over the last ten years, from 594 million in 1997 to an estimated 898 million in 2007 (UNWTO, 2008). In terms of tourism expenditure, a total of US$733 billion was spent in 2006, marking an increase of US$372 billion since 1996 (UNWTO, 2008). Based on this performance, it is forecasted that the world tourism arrivals will continue to increase in the coming years and reach 1.6 billion tourists by the year 2020.
In line with the overwhelming pace of tourism growth, tourism and hospitality have become an important source of employment for many countries, making it one of the key employers in the global economy.
According to the estimates from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in 2004, tourism generates around 214.7 million jobs worldwide (or 8.1% of world employment) and accounts for over 10% of global gross domestic product (GDP). Employment in the world’s tourism and hospitality industry in 2007 is also estimated at 8.3% of total world employment, with 231 million jobs, or one in every 12 jobs worldwide. These figures clearly indicate that the role of tourism and hospitality as a job provider is significant. With more countries, especially those at the developing stage, giving priority towards making tourism an important income generator.
Since the late 1980s tourism has received considerable attention in the economic development strategy of Nigeria. The number of tourist arrivals and amount of tourists’ expenditure has steadily increased, while both public and private investment activity in various tourism sub-sectors have expanded. The government established a Ministry of Tourism in 1993 to underscore its commitment to tourism development, and with assistance from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Tourism Organisation (WTO). Tourism is a major social phenomenon of the modern society with enormous economic consequences. Its importance as an instrument for economic development and employment generation particularly in remote areas and a positive step for poverty elimination has been accepted the world over.
In Nigeria, tourism is one of the important subsectors in the services sector. It is young and a developing industry in Nigeria. Traditionally, the major foreign exchange earners of Nigeria are gold, timber and cocoa.
However, Nigeria has shifted focus from over-dependence on these traditional commodities and sees tourism as a potential to become the number one foreign exchange earner. Tourism is placed third in terms of foreign exchange earnings for Nigeria. The tourism sector has the potential to contribute to economic growth. This can be seen in the areas of employment creation as well as income generation potential. Thus, the tourism subsector has shown that it can contribute significantly to Gross Domestic Product, private sector investment, employment and export diversification, and contribution to foreign exchange earnings [The State of the Nigeria economy (SGE), 1991].
Hospitality industry is the industry that provides foods, drinks, accommodation, entertainments and other services to people away from their place of usual residence. The major tool needed to ensure the success and survival of the hospitality industry is MARKETING, as a result of technological advancement, we have what we called E-marketing today, which is refer to as the means of conducting business activities using electronic data transmission. We need to have knowledge on how to get these services rendered, its challenges, effects and prospects in the industry.
1.1 History of the Hospitality Industry
Hospitality activities have been in existence from time immemorial. During the seventh and eighteenth century, it was the monastries that supply the accommodation for people or travellers. All travellers were expected to contribute according to their means to the Abbeys fund at the monastries. As time went on the numbers of travellers increase and travellers arriving in groups at monastries became much and it was often difficult to accommodate them all.
To overcome this, separate lodging houses called INNS were built. In the early part of nineteenth century, the development of railway system began. More travellers changed from road to rail, which brought a decline in the use of INNS.
The railway companies met the demand of passengers by building hotels near the railway terminus. Safer, faster and more comfortable easier travel and more spending as a result of industrial development led to the expansion of holiday resorts. The trends in the 1980s has been to add leisure centres to the facilities available to guests. This includes Jacuzzi, swimming pool, night clubs, casinos and so on.
1.2 Objectives of the study
The primary purpose of this study is to assess the challenges of development of hospitality industry, its prospect, challenges, trends and some of possible solution to it. .
Another reason for this study is to evaluate the level of importance and degree of development in the hospitality industry.
Furthermore, the study is equally going to examine the problems associated with the hospitality development.
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