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PROJECT TOPIC: TRAVEL LIFESTYLE AND OUTBOUND TOURISM INTENTION IN NIGERIA

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CHAPTER ONE

1.0 Introduction

Nigeria, one of the leading oil producers in Africa, recorded stable economic growth during the review period, driven by growth in both the oil and agricultural and service sectors. Its gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 6.4% in 2013, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates. In April 2014, the Nigerian government overhauled the GDP-calculation process by updating the base year from 1990 to 2010. Re-basing made Nigeria the largest economy in Africa, surpassing South Africa Tourism in Nigeria is mainly built around its natural attractions and the numerous festivals celebrated in the country throughout the year. The Durbar festival is celebrated annually in many cities in Nigeria and is a major attraction for domestic tourists. Other festivals include the Argungu Fishing Festival, the Festival of Light, the Calabar Carnival, the Eyo Festival, the Osun Festival and the Yam Festival. The country’s natural attractions and geographical sites also attract a large number of domestic and international tourists. In the World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2013, Nigeria ranked 136 out of 140 countries in terms of safety and security in 2013. Poverty and unemployment are major factors contributing to the country’s high crime rates. In addition to local, regional and national terrorism, armed robberies and attacks – particularly on tourists as they are perceived to be rich, kidnappings, carjacking, extortion and assaults are widespread. Safety and security concerns in the country are a deterrent for international tourists, with international tourist arrivals to Nigeria declining at a review-period CAGR of -10.47%. The number of visitors on leisure trips declined at a CAGR of -14.87%, while a slower decline was recorded in the number of business travelers, at a CAGR of -3.28%. However, the share of business travelers in terms of total international arrivals increased from 33.7% in 2009 to 45.9% in 2013. Warnings issued by several countries in the Americas and Europe advising people to avoid travel to Nigeria also contributed to the low volume and slow growth of international visitors. Nigeria has seen an increase in residents’ preference for international holidays, with outbound tourist volumes increasing at a review-period CAGR of 6.65%. Outbound tourist expenditure also rose at a review-period CAGR of 17.70%. Improving economic conditions in the country have led to rises in income levels, enabling more Nigerians to holiday abroad. However, the volume of business travelers recorded the highest growth at a review-period CAGR of 8.97%, indicating a rise in business-related tourism activity in the country. The airline market in Nigeria has faced numerous challenges recently. Several domestic airlines have ceased operations, and fatal air crashes have contributed to a negative image for the country’s airline services. Consumer confidence in Nigerian aviation services reached a low in 2012, with five fatal air crashes between March and October claiming more than 160 lives. Declines were recorded in both passenger traffic and revenue at respective rates of -4.2% and -3.6% in 2012. Overall, during the review period the total airline revenue increased at a CAGR of 5.02%, with strong domestic demand keeping the aviation industry active. The hotel market in Nigeria performed significantly well during the review period, with total revenue increasing at a robust CAGR of 21.32% from NGN682.8 billion (US$4.6 billion) in 2009 to NGN1.5 trillion (US$30.9 billion) in 2013. The total number of guests also increased at a CAGR of 5.46%. Rapid growth in the economy has attracted investors from around the world, and many leading hotel chains have expanded their footprints in the country. Increasing demand for luxury and upscale hotels by business travelers also contributed the increasing interest of international hotel chains in the country.


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