ANALYSIS OF THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE REGULATION OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY IN NIGERIA
Nigeria like other micro economies heavily dependent on petroleum, and sometimes Agriculture had to explore alternatives to grow its Gross Domestic Product as a result of fluctuations in oil price and effects of climate change on agriculture .Since the country have geographical landscapes with clusters of potentially endowed tourism sites coupled, with increase in disposal income, demand for leisure the Government took the initiative to prioritize Tourism and Hospitality as one of its options for economic diversification. The tourism industry is a non-production and multifaceted economic inlet that has linkages with other sectors of the economy culminating in increased opportunities and relationships requiring proper management. In order to maximize benefits from these linkages, Nigeria like many other countries developed policies, plans and laws which defined scope, functions of tourism and hospitality institutions, as well as rights accruable to consumers and suppliers of tourism products .The enactment of Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation Act is a product of Nigeria‟s commitment to develop its tourism sector and ensure compliance to regulatory guidelines.In analyzing the Nigeria Tourism industry, this research adopted both the doctrinal and empirical Research method. In the former, primary and secondary documents like the Nigerian Constitution, the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation Act and other legislations that impinged on the affairs of the industry were examined while in the later, questionnaires, response to telephone interviews and emails were used to generate statistical data from both private and public sector.The findings of this research revealed, extremely awareness of tourism and its legislation. apparent conflict between the position of the Constitution and the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation Act on grading, classification and regulation of tourism establishments and institutions despite a Supreme Court decision that altered the prior position. This research further revealed that in spite of government‟s efforts the country was yet to derive sufficient benefits to make it compete favorably with other countries who have similarly regulated their tourism and hospitality industry. There is dearth of information on the activities of the sector and low level of awareness by the populace. This research recommended an urgent presentation of a bill to review/amend these area of conflict,improve funding for the use of established tourism institutions, increase public awareness and encourage the introduction of tourism and hospitality at all levels of the Nigerian schools. It is optimistic that these remedies amongst other will ensure future growth of the Nigeria‟s Tourism and Hospitality industry.
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