Socio-Economic Assessment of Religious Tourism in Nigeria
The purpose of this study is to examine the socio-economic impact of religious tourism in Nigeria. Data for this study are from secondary sources and it covers 2000-2011. The technique of content analysis was used to analyze the contents of these materials. The paper reveals that the springing up of different Pentecostal Churches across the country and the various conventions and festivals being held annually and quarterly by this churches have virtually increase the numbers of arrivals from overseas countries who visit the country to attend various religious programs. This has generated employment for the inhabitants of the areas; religious tourism has become the highest earner of foreign exchange for the country's tourism industry even though tourism industry is still in embryonic stages and has not yet assumed a significant position in Nigeria’s GDP pie. This paper recommends that the hospitality industry should upgrade existing facilities while the government should construct or upgrade to international standards roads leading to major cities and rural areas and needs to provide basic amenities in tourism destinations. At the local government level, inventory of all tourist sites and festivals in different localities should be published so as to bring these tourist sites into limelight. All religious communities must educate their clergy on the need for religious harmony and the toleration of other faiths.
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