Sustainable Tourism Practice; a Panacea for Reviving Bilikisu-Sugbon Tourist Attraction and Reducing Poverty in Oke-Eri, Ogun State, Nigeria

Abstract

This study investigates the current status of the Bilikisu Sugbon tourist attraction in Oke-Eri, Via Ijebu-Ode-Ibadan Express way, Ogun State, Nigeria. It also assess the standard of living of the residents of the Oke-Eri community. The attraction, haven received lots of attention from scholars in archaeology and other disciplines, and also government of Ogun State in the past with the goal of making it a befitting tourist destination has remained in a poor state.A survey was conducted to gather information on the current status of the tourist site. Random sampling technique was used to select 100 local residents of the community and 50 tourists during the 2015 Christmas celebration and another 50 during the 2016 Eid’L Fitri Festival celebration, and questionnaires were administered to them accordingly. Also, purposive sampling method was used to select specific people and groups in the community for personal interview and focus group discussion respectively. Key informant interview method was also used to gather information from three community chiefs and two management staff of the Ogun State Tourism Board. Data gathered were subjected to analysis and presented using frequency counts, simple percentile, charts, chi square.Findings of the study revealed that, the economic activity in Oke-Eri is very low (P<0.05) and there is a high level of poverty in the community despite the tourism potentials present there. It was found that, reviving the Bilikisu-Sungbo tourist site would help in reducing poverty and enhance the socio-economic status the community (P<0.05). The study also revealed that what led to the dilapidation of the attraction after it was earlier developed by the Ogun State Government in the early 1980s was political instability and lack of sustainable development practice. The study concludes that, there is urgent need for the Ogun State government to be committed to the reconstruction of the Bilikisu-Sugbon tourist site in Oke-Eri either through direct investment or encouraging public-private-partnership (PPP) initiative, in order, to redeem the image of the attraction, foster socio-economic growth of the community and reduce poverty in the community. The study therefore recommends that there must be a sustainable master plan in place, public-private-partnership (PPP) initiative should be considered and the local community should be actively involved in the reconstruction process and management of the attraction when re-opened to the general public as a tourist site as part of requirements for ensuring sustainability.

Keywords: Panacea, Poverty, Revival, Sustainability, Tourism

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 41-61 (Download PDF)

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