THE PROSPECTS OF THEATRE FESTIVALS IN NIGERIA AS TOURIST ATTRACTION
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Lagos State in Nigeria is endowed with a rich culture, however its contribution to event tourism is not known. The purpose of the study was to determine the contribution of the theatre festival on event tourism development in Lagos State, Nigeria. The objectives of the study were: to profile theatre festival products and their effects to event tourism development, to establish the strategies adopted to create awareness on theatre festivals to develop event tourism and to evaluate the influence of theatre festivals on event tourism development in Lagos State, Nigeria. The study adopted descriptive research survey design to collect primary data using a mixed quantitative and qualitative method. The study targeted a population of 517 who comprised of 500 members of three theatre festival associations and 17 government officials. Slovin’s formula was used to proportionately select a sample size of 347subjects from a target of 500 theatre association members. Simple random sampling method using lottery method was used to select the members of the theatre associations’ respondents. In addition, purposive sampling method was used to identify government official as expert respondents. The study used structured questionnaires to collect primary data from the theatre associations’ respondents, while the interview schedule was used to solicit information from government officials. Data collected from members of the theatre associations were cleaned, coded and entered into Statistical Package for Social Sciences for descriptive statistical analysis. In addition, multiple regression analysis was conducted to assess the relationship between independent and dependent variables. The findings of descriptive quantitative analysis were presented in tables and charts. Qualitative primary data solicited from government officials were thematically analysed and presented as key voices and verbatim reporting. The study, in conclusion, found that there is a variety of theatre festivals held in Lagos State. However, the theatre festivals, awareness strategies and their influence to tourism contributed to 21.0% to the development of event tourism in Lagos State. Though the three variables explored contributed little to event tourism development types of theatre festivals contributed the most (Beta=0.222) while awareness strategies of theatre festivals (Beta=0.033) contributed the least. The study recommends that the Nigeria Federal and State government together with stakeholder need to come up with policies and programs to identify and promote theatre festivals as an event tourism product. The study also recommends for international marketing of the rich these theatre festivals reach the global customers. The findings will benefit the Nigeria Federal and State government together with stakeholders with vital information on the state of theatre festivals in Lagos State. This vital information will help Nigeria Federal and State government to develop policies and programs for developing event tourism. The private sector, Non Governmental Organization and other stakeholders may use this document to identify opportunities for investment in cultural event tourism. Finally the study will benefit the world of academia since it will add to the literature on culture and event tourism.
Tourism is one of the major sources of income in the world, today, and an important export industry. International tourist arrivals reached a record of 982 million, an increase of 4.6% in
2010, while receipts grew by 3.8% to US$1.030 billion (UNWTO, 2016). According to
World Travel and Tourism Council Travel & Tourism Economy employment is estimated at 1,375,000 jobs in 2009, 6.4% of total employment, or 1 in every 15.6 jobs. By 2019, this should total 1,811,000 jobs, 7.3% of total employment or 1 in every 13.8 jobs. The 443,000 T & T direct industry jobs accounted for 2.1% of total employment in 2007 and are forecast to total 581,000 jobs or 2.3% of the total by 2019 (WTTC, 2016).
WTTC (2016) estimates revenue related tourism and travel in Nigeria will exceed $10 billion
2015 and will account for approximately 6% of the GDP. In a related development, United
Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO, 2012) observed that contribution of the Tourism sector to Nigeria government earning revenue from VAT levies recorded at N1149 billion in 2014 is considered to grossly understate the actual level of revenue received. One then wonders what is hampering the full event tourism development. Of the estimated 1.6 billion tourists arrivals projected for 2020 which will generate billions of foreign exchange, how many are Nigerians expecting?
Event tourism development is the systematic planning, marketing, and hosting of events elementarily as tourist attractions. Event tourism development research is up to date and inadequately developed in Lagos State, Nigeria. The development is essentially driven by objectives related to economic benefits. Indeed, there has been significant research into events in general. The focus on contribution of theatre festivals only has been so significant that the related personal, cultural, and social development have not gotten significant interest especially in Lagos State nigeria. Getz (2012) asserts that theatre festivals, event tourism and its development should make out the requisite inputs in terms of event tourism development. The inputs include what goes into actualizing contribution of theatre festivals on event tourism development, the related bidding costs, development of facilities, marketing, and cultural events transformation processes. As well, when considering contributions of theatre festivals and event tourism development management, one should consider the outcomes of the theatre festival events whether they are the desired ones or otherwise. In the extant literature, theatre festival events on tourism development are measured as a subjective element, largely through interviews.
Theatre festivals are important niche tourism product. Many destinations globally rely on natural and physical products such wildlife, beach, mountains, lakes, and parks. Culture provides opportunities for contribution of theatre festivals on event tourism product development. In Nigeria, this has been identified with some policy and planning documents that are involved in the formulation and implementing these policies. According to 2013 tourism policy, the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) and the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism are charged with the responsibility of promoting, marketing, planning and management of various festivals and tourism destinations in Nigeria.
Thus, this is yet to be achieved because of lack of development and international recognition. The establishment of NTDC was to provide a way of boosting the economic, political, environmental, and social activities and also promote tourism potentials that are untapped.
Some organization such Hospitality and Tourism management of Nigeria (HATMAN) and National Association Hotel and tourism are responsible for the training of personnel for the tourism industry and management of tourism destination.
Contribution of theatre festivals have significance importance on the development conferences, seminars, exhibition and workshop on theatre festivals as well as a weapon for attracting tourist thereby, building tourist image within the different communities (Quinn, 2013). They are entertaining since they are usually.They help in passing religious content across. They help teach people particular social values. Theatre festivals also bring important benefits for the local community because they help to create a sense of belonging and recognition of the environment (Susic & Dordevic, 2013). Furthermore, the festivals are image makers and the raison d’être of city festivals that attract visitors and serve to raise the profiles of cities or regions (Quinn, 2013). They help create lasting cultural images and awareness.
Cultural tourism (or culture tourism) is the subset of tourism concerned with a country or region’s culture, specifically the lifestyle of the people in those geographical areas, the history of such people and their art; architecture; religion(s); and other elements that helped shape their way of life. It can also include tourism in rural areas showcasing the traditions of indigenous cultural communities (i.e. festivals, rituals) and their values and lifestyle, as well as niches like industrial tourism and creative tourism. It is generally agreed that cultural tourists spend substantially more than standard tourists do (Richards, 2016).
Theatre festivals are associated with key calendar moments and linked specifically to particular seasons and heritage sites which should provide an avenue of festivals and event tourism development. Over the last decade, these have been changed and developed upon. There is now a broad and diverse range of festivals events taking place all over the world (Getz, 2012). Festivals provide tourists the opportunity to see how the local communities celebrate their culture and how this affects the community development, it also helps the visitors to interact with the host community and help people to enjoy and meet their leisure needs (Getz, 2012).
Theatre festivals tourism (or culture tourism) is the subset of tourism concerned with a country or region’s culture, specifically the lifestyle of the people in those geographical areas, the history of such people and their art; architecture; religion(s); and other elements that helped shape their way of life. It can also include tourism in rural areas showcasing the traditions of indigenous cultural communities (i.e. festivals, rituals) and their values and lifestyle, as well as niches like industrial tourism and creative tourism. It is generally agreed that cultural tourists spend substantially more than standard tourists do and these were found not contributing to the development of event tourism in Nigeria (Richards, 2016).
However, festivals are considered to contribute significantly to the cultural and economic development wealth of a Nation. Festivals have a major impact on the development of cultural tourism to the host communities. The festival organizers are now using the historical and cultural themes to develop the annual events to attract visitors and creating a cultural image in the host cities by holding festivals in the community settings.
Ugwu (2014) opines that the ultimate meaning and crucial significance of festivals in the life of traditional Africans lies with the indigenous world-view, which is holistic, sacred and religious in character. Okpoko (2014) inferred that contributions of festivals should hold a great promise for contribution of theatre festivals events on tourism development”. Festivals attract as many tourists as fixed cultural attractions. Emphasizing more on the role of festivals in tourism development, Okpoko (2014) argued that African countries like Nigeria have theatre festivals that are rich in mythology, which can be harnessed to generate revenue.
Tourism gives economic benefits to a region (i.e.) small and medium-sized enterprises’ development, the creation of new jobs, provision of infrastructures etc. and this will, therefore, contribute to theatre festivals and event tourism development. Culturally, tourism can enhance the enrichment of the community; this is attributed to the meeting of different cultures (Adora, (2013) and Obafemi (2013). Also, tourism can positively contribute to the maintenance of natural environment by protecting, maintaining national parks and other protected areas (Okonkwo & Odum, 2014). Festivals are seen to contribute importantly to the cultural and economic development, which can have a major influence on the development of event tourism, especially to the host communities. Festival organizers use the event tourism to express the relationship between identity and place and play an important role of civic consciousness. Festivals are an important expression of human activity and contribute to the social and cultural life of their host communities (Raj &Vignali, 2013).
The festival events are seen as a significant weapon for attracting tourist and building the tourist s image within the different communities (Susic & Darvic, 2012). Furthermore, festivals are said to function as an image maker and the raison d”etre of city festivals that attract visitors and it serve to raise the profile of the city or region. It is in the same vain that Mayfild and Crompton (2013), Quinn (2013) see festivals and events as the fastest growing tourist attraction in the whole world today.
In addition, Ekanayake and Lonng (2012) observed event as a special type of tourism, which involves arranging and holding events to meet multiple tourist needs and helps extend the range of tourist products and boost event tourism development in the destination country. A destination might have potential elements for tourism growth and development in which the only thing needed is a guidance and proper execution in an organized manner, (Godfrey & Clarke 2013). Okpoko and Okpoko, (2014) have inferred that festivals hold great promise for tourism development. Of particular note in Nigeria and Lagos State, the Regatta festival is deep in culture and rich in tradition. However, Chio and Sikara (2012) opined that in Nigeria if tourism event was inappropriately planned it could destroy the very resources that are the foundation to the event development of the given area. According to Ngoka (2014) in Nigeria, there are challenges of marketing the state as a leisure destination as well as event venues. Other challenges include lack of properly packaged and branded destination, and lack of coordinated and consistent approach to positioning and promotion of Nigeria as a destination. While Lagos State, being a miniature Nigeria all the above and applicable to it.
A number of studies have been done on event tourism and theatre festivals in Nigeria. Obioma (2013) studied theatre festivals of local communities in Nigeria and found out that local communities hosting these festivals are ignorant of the importance of theatre festivals as a tourism event. Olekesusi (2012) studied demand and supply factors in the Nigerian tourism industry and found out that there are inadequate tourism attraction measures that can bring investors on board and there aren’t enough infrastructures to support event tourism. Viviers (2014) found out that theatre festivals can affect significantly the lives of host communities if the residents are enthusiastic about festivals happening in their localities. Theatre festivals and events are becoming alternative tourist attractions globally due to change of tourist tastes. Small, Edwards & Sheridan, (2005) observed that most of the available studies have focussed on measuring economic impact of theatre festivals and event tourism. UNEP (2013) noted that theatre festivals can be a source of tourist attraction to culture tourists and this can promote exchange of culture between tourists and local communities. A study by Delamere (2013) on event festivals, found out that event festivals have a significant contribution by creating a positive cultural effect in the community. Several studies have pointed to inconsistent and limited findings on influences of cultural and event tourism and their effect on job creation and social economic development, as well as local communities lacking awareness on the importance of event or cultural tourism (Ayeni and Ebohon (2013), Yasarata (2010) and Igbojekwe et al, 2014).
Most of the studies focus on economic contribution of theatre festivals to host communities, factors that affect theatre festivals as tourism attraction and in general, factors influencing event tourism development. There is limited literature on contribution of theatre festivals to event tourism and therefore this study sought to fill this gap in literature by establishing the contribution of theatre festivals to event tourism in Lagos State, Nigeria.
The purpose of the study was to determine the contribution of theatre festivals to event tourism development in Lagos State, Nigeria.
To investigate the contribution of theatre festivals on event tourism development in Lagos State, Nigeria
This study was guided by the following specific objectives:
- To profile theatre festival products and their importance on event tourism development in Lagos State.
- To establish the strategies adopted to create awareness on theatre festivals to develop event tourism in Lagos State
- To examine the benefits of theatre festivals on event tourism development in Lagos State
- What are the types of theatre festival products available in Lagos State and how important is it to event tourism development?
- What strategies have been adopted in Lagos State to create awareness on the theatre festivals to develop event tourism?
- How do theatre festivals benefits event tourism development in Lagos State?
The government and the affiliated state agencies are major stakeholders involved in tourism development. The study findings highlighted the factors that can contribute to event tourism development of the host communities, state and Nigeria in general. The government has the responsibility of formulating policies, planning and execution, marketing and promotion of tourism related activities at the national level. And as such, the study findings would be of great importance to the government and affiliated state agencies to formulate policies to exploit the contribution of theatre festivals to develop event tourism in Lagos State, Nigeria.
The study will also benefit the private sectors who are also major stakeholders of tourism development. The study findings will benefit them since it will inform them on the opportunities available in theatre festival events and engage tourism business. The local community is an important stakeholder in tourism development since they own tourism attraction resources. The findings of this study will go along in offering first-hand information on the status of theatre festivals in Lagos State that will help the community to develop theatre festivals.
This study was restricted to the contribution of theatre festivals to the development of event tourism in Lagos State, Nigeria. The study only focused on profiling the theatre festival products and their benefits on event tourism development, strategies adopted to create awareness on theatre festivals and the benefits of theatre festivals to develop event tourism. Research data was collected from three major theatre festival associations involved in theatre festival events in Lagos State in November and December 2016. The study targeted 347 respondents who comprised of members of three theatre associations. The study also involved 10 Nigeria Federal Ministry of Culture and Tourism and seven (7)Lagos State government tourism officials. These however, constitute a total of 364 respondents involved in the study.
The study also experienced challenges of collecting data from the respondents due to limited time frame of this study. This resulted on extension of data collection beyond the scheduled time because of the unforeseen circumstances such as geographical spread and large number of respondents. This limitation was alleviated by incorporating more research assistance. The local communities were not cooperative enough because they believe that the researcher was going to make money out the work. This constraint was solved by ensuring them the study was purely an academic exercise meant to develop new knowledge in the field of event tourism.
The relationships between the independent and dependent variables are diagrammatically illustrated in conceptual framework in Figure 1.1 below.
Independent variables Dependent variable
Figure 1.1: Conceptual Framework
Source: Researcher: 2017
Figure1.1 illustrates conceptual framework adopted to show the contributions of theatre festivals on event tourism development. The conceptual framework illustrated in Figure 1.1
shows the relationship between the independent variable and the dependent variable which goes by the interplay of the independent variables on the dependent variables crystallizing on the contributions of theatre festivals on event tourism development.