Tourism is the activity of people traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for leisure and pleasure.
It has become an important sector that has an impact on development of a country’s economy.
It has thus become a money spinner for many countries.
The benefits of tourism include income generation and creation of jobs.
When tourists spend their monies on goods and services, it can lead to creation of jobs.
Tourism is a major source of employment, and also contributes to the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, of the country.
Not only that, it also provides financial support for the conservation of ecosystem and natural resource management making the place more attractive and desirable to visitors.
To a large extent, the tourism sector fosters integration and unity among the nations of the world as well as generate foreign exchange.
Some of the tourist sites in Nigeria are the Olumo Rock, Idanre Hills, the National Theatre, Yankari Games Reserve, Old Oyo National Park, Olumirin Waterfalls, Obudu Cattle Ranch, Osun Osogbo Groove, Ikogosi Warm Spring, Tinapa Resorts, Zuma Rock and Mambilla Plateau.
Some countries such as United States of America, France, China, United Kingdom, Italy, Turkey, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Kenya and Egypt are benefitting tremendously from tourism.
However, a lot of factors such as insecurity, inadequate infrastructure, poor road network, crisis and conflicts among others have hindered the development of tourism in the country.
For instance, a lot of tourists have stayed away from visiting Nigeria in the last 3 years as a result of insecurity ranging from insurgency to militancy.
The time has come for the country to harness the potential in the tourism sector in order to protect its culture and heritage.
To do this, government at all levels should commit a lot of money to the development of the tourism sector.
Also, federal government needs to create a conducive environment so that visitors could be attracted to the nation’s tourist sites.
The provision of efficient transportation, stable power supply, water and telecommunications will make Nigeria a tourism destination for foreign nationals.
Above all, there should be attitudinal change by states and local government to improve their Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, through tourism development thereby reducing dependence on federal allocation.