1.1 Background to the Study
Nigeria is sitting on a tourism goldmine, which is as rich if not richer than oil. The tourism industry boasts of potentials capable of generating significant investments toward economic development (Kraal, 1993). In spite of enormous opportunities for wealth creation, growth of national income, foreign exchange earnings, labour intensive employment opportunities, government revenue and improved standard of living of people in general that abound in the tourism sector, the contribution of tourism to economic development in Nigeria leaves much to be desired. It is regrettable that despite strong evidence that the tourism sector has good potentials for socio-economic development, these have not yet been fully realized in the country. It is true that Nigeria has been generating revenue from the tourism sector, however, such revenue generated is highly insignificant compared to the potential the industry has.
The fact that tourism in Nigeria has not got to the expected height is attributed to several factors. Due to her record of political instability and security challenges, she attracts low rate of international tourists. To get the best from our tourism resources and potentials as a country the time has come to recreate ourselves as a tourism destination. In doing so, there are certain critical factors that must be upheld as irreducible minimums. These include the push and pull factors which account for what motivate tourists in their choices of destination. Security is now an important motivation for travel. Today many scholars in the tourism industry advocate that being safe on holiday is an expected requirement for any visitor in a tourist destination. However it has been observed that places that develop an unsafe reputation can be substituted by alternative destinations that are perceived as safer for tourists. Many people are of the opinion that any tourist destination must offer certain facilities and services such as accommodation and security (Crompton, 1979 and Krippendorf, 1987).
Tourism is sensitive to insecurity. The performance of the tourism industry is highly sensitive to rising crime whether real or perceived. Therefore safety and security are vital to providing quality in tourism. They play major role in making travel choices. The success or failure of a tourism destination depends on being able to provide a safe and secure environment for visitors. It is true that when the environment is safe, the visitors are also safe and if the tourism industry emphasizes security, it will have a good chance of surviving. Though it is true that only a minority of tourists suffer criminal victimization while on holiday, it is important to explore variations in the crime experiences of different tourists. It is observed that crime patterns vary according to factors such as the nature of tourism, its scale, and the type of development, the season, as well as variations relating to the tourists themselves and issues associated with their behaviour.