TOURIST DESTINATION: IMPACT OF MARKETING COMMUNICATION IN TOURISM PROMOTION IN NIGERIA

59

CHAPTER ONE/INTRODUCTION 

Marketing communications forms a key aspect of the delivery of tourism services. This sector is heavily dependent on marketing because of the industries special characteristics as services. However, marketing communications is a great deal more than simply about advertising. Getting the right messages to the right people is perhaps one of the most important factors in determining the success of this sector. Indeed, marketing communications forms its own sub-field of study within the discipline of marketing. And yet there are few textbooks that focus specifically on marketing communications for services, and none of them that look in detail into the communications issues, theories and strategies facing the contemporary tourism and tourism sector. This is despite the fact that this sector is an experiential services sector which relies so heavily on representations.  Representations can be described as impressions, images and depictions about the experiences or about what might be expected from service providers. Although there has been a great deal of academic attention given to the various dimensions of marketing communication in tourism and tourism services within the business and management literature, and within sociology on the semiotics of representations of tourist brochures, there has been remarkably little attention given to the broad dimensions of marketing communications, the concepts, strategies, issues and challenges underpinning this important function in a dynamic service sector environment. This project aims to at least partially address this omission. It is important, therefore, that the project begins by attempting to define and limit its scope given the broad nature of the topic and the wide variety of concepts that fall within the remit of marketing communications.

According to Smith (1988), an author of a specialist dictionary on tourism, the word ‘tourist’ was reportedly introduced in 1800 and the word ‘tourism’ in 1811. However, what exactly is tourism? Who are tourists? Regardless of the fact that both terms have now been part of the English language for over two centuries, there is still no universally acknowledged effective definition for either. For over many decades, researchers and practitioners have produced many precise definitions for both ‘tourist’ and ‘tourism’ but no definition of either term has become widely recognised. According to Smith (1988), he suggests that there “probably never will be a single definition of tourism” as economists, psychologists and geographers perceive certain things about tourism in their field (Smith 1988 as cited in Leiper 1995:3). However, any approach to defining tourism can be useful for the persons proposing it and for those who perceive the world in the subjective way. In this essay, academic authors such as Krapf and Hunziker (1942), Stear (2005) and McIntosh and Goeldner (1977) each defines ‘tourism’ in different methodical approaches.

After discussing ‘tourism’, the focus then shifts to ‘tourists’ where again, Stear (2005), Leiper (1979) and Weaver and Lawton (2006), defines ‘tourists’ and its heuristic concepts.  One of the first attempts to define tourism was that of two Swiss academics, Professors Hunziker and Krapf of Berne University. They defined tourism in a 1942 study as a complex of environmental impacts: “the sum of the phenomena and relationships arising from the travel and stay of non-residents, in so far as they do not lead to permanent residence and are not connected to any earning activity.” This definition has been acknowledged by many international associations including the International Association of Scientific Experts on Tourism (AIEST).

The advantages of this definition are is acknowledgements of wide-ranging impacts; it bases a very large number of issues that is studied under the name ‘tourism’. Additionally, Krapf and Hunziker’s definition is highly intellectual as they manage to distinguish tourism from migration however; its theory is based on “travel and stay” making an assumption that this is necessary for tourism, thus preventing day tours. While the definition’s approach is reasonable, the definition is noticeably “too vague” (Leiper, 1995: 17) as it includes a huge amount of human activity that few thinking individuals would regard as coming within the scope of tourism. Because of their broad definition on tourism, prisoners, hospital patients, boarding students and soldiers at war can easily fit in the definition, thus exposing a major defect. Furthermore, the phrase “sum of phenomena and relationships” does not specify any ‘methodical applications of extensions’ nor does it include business travel which is highly important as it is connected with earnings (Leiper, 1979: 349).

While the Hunziker and Krapf definition excludes business travels, one economic definition by McIntosh and Goeldner (1977) recognises that tourism involves the business components entirely: “Tourism can be defined as the science, art and business of attracting and transporting visitors, accommodating them and graciously catering to their needs and wants.” This economic approach to a definition can be easily criticised. It is a supply-side definition emphasising tourism as an industry and career choice. This definition states nothing unequivocally about the tourist and the human element, which is debatably the main aspect of the subject matter. Nor does it recognise any spatial or temporal elements, which are equally significant in the tourism industry. It only contains a purposive element which is merely to gain profit from their stay through transportation, accommodation and hospitality.  However, as stated by King and Hyde (1989), they suggest that ‘a tourist may spend a night away from home at the house of a friend or relative, using a private car, and engage in no commercial transaction during the visit’ (as cited in Leiper 1995:18). Therefore, defining tourism as an economic industry misses a basic point, that expenditure is not necessary even though it is generally an unlikely condition, although it is possible. Beyond these exceptions, virtually anyone making a temporary trip away from her or his usual place of residence may be considered to be engaged in tourism.  Given examples of McIntosh and Goeldner’s economic and Hunziker and Krapf’s holistic definition of tourism, Stear (2005) expands their definitions as he particularly focuses on a set of specific activities: “Tourism is travel and temporary stay involving at least one night away from the region of a person’s usual home that is undertaken with the major expectation of satisfying leisure needs that are perceived as being at places outside of, and qualitatively different to, the home region.” This definition specifies tourism as a particular set of specific activities, and it focuses attention on some of the key features of those specific activities, including the relationship between the traveller and what is commonly known as a tourist “attraction”. It distinguishes tourism from other forms of travel, such as commuting, to work or university each day, which it clearly does not resemble.

Tourism can be domestic or international, and international tourism has both incoming and outgoing implications on a country’s balance of payments. Today, tourism is a major source of income for many countries, and affects the economy of both the source and host countries, in some cases being of vital importance. Tourism suffered as a result of a strong economic slowdown of the late-2000s recession, between the second half of 2008 and the end of 2009, and the outbreak of the H1N1 influenza virus, but slowly recovered. International tourism receipts (the travel item in the balance of payments) grew to US$1.03 trillion (€740 billion) in 2011, corresponding to an increase in real terms of 3.8% from 2010. International tourist arrivals surpassed the milestone of 1 billion tourists globally for the first time in 2012, emerging markets such as Russia and Brazilhad significantly increased their spending over the previous decade.

Tourism in Nigeria centres largely on events, due to the country’s ample amount of ethnic groups, but also includes rain forests, savannah, waterfalls, and other natural attractions. The industry suffers from the country’s poor electricity, roads, and water quality.

The tourism industry is regulated by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, a Nigerian government ministry. In an attempt to raise the profile of the country’s tourism sector, a beauty pageant, the Miss Tourism Nigeria Pageant, was created in 2004. The winners in 2004, 2005, and 2006 have been, respectively, Shirley Aghotse, Abigail Longe, and Gloria Zirigbe.

In recent years, carnivals have become a major attraction to visitors, particularly in Port Harcourt and Calabar in December of each year.

Tourism is an important, even vital, source of income for many regions and countries. Its importance was recognized in the Manila Declaration on World Tourism of 1980 as “an activity essential to the life of nations because of its direct effects on the social, cultural, educational, and economic sectors of national societies and on their international relations.”

Tourism brings in large amounts of income into a local economy in the form of payment for goods and services needed by tourists, accounting for 30% of the world’s trade of services, and 6% of overall exports of goods and services. It also creates opportunities for employment in the service sector of the economy associated with tourism.

The service industries which benefit from tourism include transportation services, such as airlines, cruise ships, and taxicabs; hospitality services, such as accommodations, including hotels and resorts; and entertainment venues, such as amusement parks, casinos, shopping malls, music venues, and theatres. This is in addition to goods bought by tourists, including souvenirs, clothing and other supplies.

However, that is not to suggest that tourists are not aware of the tourism treasures of Plateau, as sharp-eyed tourists have been visiting the state in their leisure time. This project work therefore will attempt to enumerate the implications of introducing marketing communication in the tourism industry of Jos Museum.