State Parks: Potential for Domestic Ecotourism Industry

Adejumo, O. T. (2001-06-01)

Staff publications

Article

On global scale tourism is the leading export earner. The World Tourism Organization statistics revealed that international arrival for the year 2000 was 653 million people. This excludes arrival for domestic tourism, which was projected to be ten times more than international tourists (Brackenhury 2000). The reality of economic benefits from tourism prompted the creation of Federal Ministry of Culture and Tourism with an emphasis on domestic ecotourism. The goal was to stimulate local interest in tourism at the preserved ecological zones as expressed in section seven of the nation’s cultural policy. While section 7.13 of the policy emphasized the role of government in promoting and encouraging domestic tourism, section 7.20 implored the States to establish parks, game reserves and beaches for recreation. State parks are created to preserve areas of ecological, historical and scenic values. They occupy a pivotal position between National Parks and Local Government Parks in a typical three tier governmental system. In state parks conservation and recreation are compatible land uses. The aim of sustainable state park system is planning and managing ecological resources at the grass root for the educational, economic, recreational and environmental benefits of the people without jeopardizing the same benefits for future generations. This permits conservation – recreation symbiotic concept. It is a concept that explores the principle of ecosystem management, resource preservation and friendly tourism services. The preserved area has minimum human impact and is exclusive for public management. At the buffer zone series of park support services are planned for private participation while the park front country made up of interpretation center and transportation system is opened to public-private partnership