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Saturday, 1 October 2016

Nigeria at 56: Key Contributions of Tourism to Nigeria’s Economy

October 1st is always an important day for Nigerians. It is the day we gained independence from Britain after many years of colonial administration.

The different sectors that make up the economy have performed well over the years. One of such sectors is the tourism and hospitality sector.

Although the successive Nigerian governments are yet to recognise that the tourism sector is a goldmine, the industry has copiously contributed to the economy. This is because of the overdependence on crude. And despite this anomaly and trending economy recession, the tourism/hospitality is still contributing.

In celebration of Nigeria’s independence, Jumia Travel takes a look at some of the significant contributions of tourism and the hospitality industry to Nigeria’s economy.

Employment Generation

There is no doubt that the travel and tourism sector has provided much-needed jobs to Nigerians. There are hotels, hospitality spots and many tourists attractions that employ millions of Nigeria. There are also e-commerce websites engaged in hotel and flight bookings that also engage young Nigerians. So in terms of employment generation, the tourism sector has a pass mark!

Looking at the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Travel & Tourism Economic Impact, 2015, it clearly showed that in 2014, Travel & tourism directly supported 883,500 jobs (1.4% of total employment) while the total contribution of Travel & Tourism to employment including jobs indirectly supported by the industry was 3.6% of total employment, 2,198,500 jobs.

Contribution to Nigeria’s GDP

The returns from crude oil are what Nigeria rely on for its Gross Domestic Product. The oil and gas sector accounts for about 35% of GDP and petroleum exports revenue represents over 90% of total exports revenue, according to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The tourism sector is also contributing in no small measure.

In 2014, the Direct Contribution of Travel and Tourism to GDP was 1,560.2 billion (1.7% of total GDP) while the total contribution of travel and tourism to GDP was 3,766.1 billion (4.1%) of GDP. This is according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Travel & Tourism Economic Impact 2015, Nigeria report. Again, these numbers are not encouraging because of the overdependence on oil.

Increased Foreign direct investments

Nigeria is the giant of Africa and it always attracts investments from different parts of the world due to the sheer size of its population. Today, there are now international hotel brands especially in Lagos that own chains in the country. To back this up, investments in the sector in 2014 was N889.3 billion or 6.6% of total investment.

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