Systems approach to developing sustainable quality tourism in Delta state, Nigeria

Type Working Paper - Sustainable Future, Requisite Holism, and Social Responsibility
Title Systems approach to developing sustainable quality tourism in Delta state, Nigeria
Though endowed with highly diverse environmental resources, Nigeria has experienced low tourist flows and economic
gains, causing concern to government and tourism business operators. Past tourism studies imbued with this concern are
fragmented, focusing on specific components of tourism. Tourism travels were explained in past studies in terms of
unidirectional models as push and pull factors which view tourism as a one way process, a start and finish relationship
between tourists generating and destination regions. Despite current realization that an underlying concept in planning
tourism is that tourism should be viewed as an interrelated system of supply and demand factors, tourism studies
employing systems thinking, concepts and methods are yet to evolve at the national, state or local levels in Nigeria.
Urged by need to apply systems thinking to tourism studies aimed at attaining sustainable quality tourism in Nigeria,
this contribution examines the structure and inter-relatedness of the demand and supply elements of the tourism
environment in Delta State, Nigeria. The contribution employs the framework of system thinking and concepts
proposed by Leiper and the World Tourism Organization to adopt a comprehensive view of tourism in Delta State,
Nigeria. The contribution examines factors in origin environment subsystem that stimulated tourist travel decisions and
factors in destination environment subsystem that influences tourist/visitor destination selection. The subsystems of
routes, alternative destinations, and modes of travel between origin and destination, and control subsystems such as tour
operation and travel agents were examined. Adjustment mechanisms involving tourist’s activities, experiences, contacts
with new environments, and possible feedback information (positive and negative) that enhances or discourages travel
propensity /motivation were examined and recommendations arising from the study were made. The contribution
concludes with strategies/suggestions indicating ways that the systems approach to sustainable quality tourism
development in Delta State specifically related to the Nigerian situation, and tourism planning, management and
development generally

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