Destination Management Organizations As The Missing Link In Nigeria’s Tourism Development
Keywords:Organization, Destination Management, Strategic Planning, Tourism Development, local Communities
The Nigerian tourism industry has sufficient manpower and the natural and economic resources that could make it more attractive, resourceful and competitive. There are, however, both general and tourism-specific factors that inhibit its growth and development. Among the tourism specific factors is the dearth of synergy among the various stakeholders in the industry, and the absence of reasonable engagement with tourism destinations by Destination Management Organisations (DMOs). This paper highlights the critical importance of destination management and the indispensability of DMOs for the functional efficiency of Nigeria’s tourism in the 21st Century. Using the method of literary analysis of the World Tourism Organization’s (WTO) guidelines and recommendations for the establishment of destination management organizations, and the current mechanisms for the development of tourism in Nigeria, the discourse identifies structures that could readily assume the functions of destination management, presents the disadvantages of the tourism’s operations without proper destination management. The discourse argues that DMOs in collaboration with relevant organs of government are instrumental to sustaining such linked processes as policy making and integrated planning, product development and packaging, promotion and marketing, distribution and sales and destination operations and services as key primary activities of the tourism value chain. They are, indispensable to sustainable tourism development in Nigeria. Recommendations are made to the effect that the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) should initiate and champion the cause of establishing functional DMOs for the Nigerian Tourism industry.