1. IntroductionTourism is an activity of increasing social and economic importance, which involves the movement of people from one point to the other in search of pleasure, fun, business, adventure, cultural and political exchanges, etc. The need to take accurate stock of such movements (at domestic and international levels in terms of where people go, eat and sleep during their stay and extent of their travels, funds expended at tourist destinations) is vital for planning purposes. Such data enable planners and developers to study patterns and trends exhibited by tourist traffic, and also serve as an indicators of the viability or performance of the sub-sector in general. Nigeria had her first international tourists in 1472, when Portuguese merchants visited Lagos, apparently in search of trade. There are also historical records of Trans-Saharan and caravan movements. Since then, the tourism industry has continued to show appreciable growth in the country. In 1962, the Government established the Nigerian Tourist Association (NTA) and charged it with the responsibility of promoting domestic and international tourism in the country. In 1976, NTA was dissolved and the Nigerian Tourism Board (NTB) established in its place. The development of the sub-sector was boosted in 1990, when the Ministry of Trade and Industry was created, and the NTB became a Corporation. The significance of tourism lies in its great potentials for generating foreign exchange. For example, according to Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), a total of 328,906 tourists arrived in Nigeria in 1987 and the receipt earned was N1.1 billion. Estimated earnings were expected to reach some N53 billion by the year 2000, and much higher by 2005, particularly given the stabilising democratic dispensation in the country. Nigeria has numerous tourist attractions located in the various parts of the country, although only a few of them are being exploited at present. When fully developed, the sub-sector has the potential of generating significant amounts of foreign exchange. The key agency that should be responsible for tourist data collection and production is the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC). So far, the active agencies in this direction include the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the Central Bank of Nigeria
(CBN), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), National Population Commission (NPC) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria [FAAN]. 2.Coverage, Scope, Uses and Users of Hotels, Restaurants and Tourism StatisticsThere is need for the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation to coordinate data from various other sources. Statistics on Hotels and Tourism should be national in outlook, such that potential users (particularly from outside the country) can have, at a glance, relevant information for the whole country. However, it is better to put in place monitoring strategies at the Local Government Area and State levels. This will help to reveal potentials in several other locations. Types of data expected on this dataset include: 1. Characteristics of tourist: Name, Age, Sex, Origin. 2. Tourist centre characteristics e.g location, available facilities and costs, accessibility including variety of transport available. 3. Tourist expenditure such as average expenses per day, expenditure on travels, fairs and exhibitions, tourist accommodation in Nigeria viz-a-viz arrivals into hotel, overnight stay, average length of stay, hotel occupancy rate, bed-space occupancy rate, etc. 4. Volume of Tourists: This refers to the number of tourists to a particular centre in a given year. In practice, this takes us to the number of arrivals or visits rather than number of tourists, as it is impracticable to allow for those who visit the same destination more than once in the year. Many of these statistics should be presented per annum. Currently, the most readily available statistics belong to the first category and is collected by almost all the agencies identified above. The tourism corporation should take the initiative in tracking all the listed categories of data. There is a wide range of uses to which statistics on tourism and hotels can be put. They are used for general planning purposes at the Government level. They are useful for mooring the growth of the sub-sector and its contribution to the national economy. For research purposes, the data are useful for monitoring population dynamics as they relate to Immigration statistics. They are also useful in planning and development of physical facilities and requirements of airports, roads, hotels, restaurants and other relevant facilities.
The actual and potential users of tourism statistics include the Government, tourist organisations and providers of tourist services. 3. Sources and Methods of Compiling Hotels, Restaurants and Tourism StatisticsThe collection and presentation of functional Hotels and Tourism data require a combination of survey and administrative or routine sources. Through surveys, the NTDC can obtain raw data on tourism activities within the country directly from the field, thereby reducing the total dependence on Government and private agencies. Administrative sources of data on Hotels and Tourism will include: [a] The Research Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria. [b] National Bureau of Statistics. [c] Virgin Nigeria Airways. [d] National Population Commission. [e] Federal Ministry of Culture and Tourism. [f] The Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation which coordinates the activities of: [i] International Youth Tourist Centre, Jos [ii] National Travel Bureau. [iii] Holiday Village and Amusement Parks. [g] The National Parks Board which coordinates the activities of the country’s six national parks: [i] Chad Basin National Park. [ii] Cross River National Park. [iii] Gashaka Gumti National Park. [iv] Kainji Lake National Park. [v] Old Oyo National Park. [vi] Yankari National Park. 4.Current Methods of Data Storage and DisseminationHotels, Restaurants and Tourism activities are supervised by several line ministries and parastatals. A data base of hotels, restaurants and tourism (as envisaged in this report) is only feasible at the level of the National Bureau of Statistics. Currently, these datasets are processed and disseminated in hard copy. Some of these line ministries and the NPC have since made proposals to establish sectoral data banks. For now, most of the existing data are available in hard copy, some of which (such as those published by the NBS) are circulated for free. When properly developed, the data should be stored and disseminated electronically from the NBS.
5. Data Base Coding System for Hotels, Restaurants and TourismThe coding system used is the International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC) of 1988. The ISIC division code allocated on the basis of exact correspondence in respect of the sub-sector is 55. The items and detail codes which form the last four digits of the code assigned to each variable are arbitrarily determined. The Division-Items-Detail (DID) coding system is the basis for coding all NBS’s datasets. The item under each dataset is the elementary entity or group of elementary entities about which statistical data are gathered. For example, in the Hotels, Restaurants and Tourism Division, Public Museum in Nigeria is coded 5501 as an item with five details. In coding the details, six digits are used to identify a particular variable as follows: the first two digits are for division, the next two for the item under the division and the last two (that is, the 5th & 6th digits) for the detail (variable) under the division and the item. Based on this coding system, the NBS data structure for Hotels, Restaurants and Tourism Statistics has been designed in conformity with the ISIC. The Division of data is coded 55 and the items are as shown below: There are nine items under the code: 6. CONCLUDING REMARKSThe significance of tourism data in national planning cannot be over-stressed. In more stable economies, there are recognisable, distinct peak periods, when most people patronise the local and international tourist centres. There is, therefore, the need to develop effective data banking in this area in Nigeria to facilitate its development. The country stands to gain from concerted development of this sub-sector, because its revenue-generating, employment-creating and other potentials are too tremendous to ignore.