The Role of Recreational Behaviour in Influencing Domestic Tourism Participation in Nasarawa State, Nigeria
Fimber, Stephen Agbu
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Domestic Tourism has been acknowledged as a pathway to generate economic benefits and to develop the resident population socially and economically. However, tourism requires a lot of participation and support by the resident population to be sustained. Getting participation and acceptance from resident’s population is perhaps the greatest challenge for a national government and tourism markets. This challenge seems apparent in Nasarawa State, Nigeria which is characterized with culture, tribal and religious values practices and behaviour. The general objective of this research was to examine recreational behaviour in relation to domestic tourism participating in Nasarawa State, Nigeria. The specific objectives were to profile recreation behaviour of resident, examining antecedent factors influencing residents’ recreation behaviour and evaluating residents’ perceptions and attitudes towards domestic tourism. Data was collected using qualitative method. The research instrument was structured questionnaire for the public servants with a stratified simple sampling procedure where 388 questionnaires were administered, 371 were filed and returned which were physically checked, coded and entered into computer and analyzed and the response rate was 96%. Descriptive statistics were used to measure intervals and tendencies – test. Ordinary least square model was used to respond to the hypothesis, Pearson correlation was used to measure the relationships between variables while multiple regression analysis was used to reflect al the independent variables. The findings from the study reviewed that the residents’ high income means a positive motivation for participation in domestic tourism in Nasarawa State. The findings also revealed that participation in domestic tourism are influenced by hindrances which must be addressed as it is the case in Nasarawa State. In addition, the study provides that residents’ perception and attitudes toward domestic tourism were positive and indicate that how a people perceive the concept and activities of domestic tourism has an influence on whither to participate in tourism or not. Moreso, the result shows that the participation of residents in Nasarawa State, Nigeria can bring more positive than negative to the local economy of the state.so also, the findings revealed that public servants in Nasarawa state, Nigeria engage more in business, visit friends and relatives and wine and dine out during their leisure time and preferred friends, co-workers and family as travel companions when their engage in recreation and tourism activities. Friends and internet media were their sources of information about recreation and tourism activities. Recommendations are given on how government and policy makers in Nasarawa State, Nigeria can make contributions to develop domestic tourism. Finally, the study suggests further studies including conducting same research in Nasarawa State to involve all segment of the population as this focused in the public servants which income can be easily measured. The study concluded that recreation behaviours poses challenges in the rural and urban areas in Nigeria as in the case of Nasarawa State, Nigeria are yet to embrace the values of active recreation participation, despite knowledge of the recreation and tourism. Therefore, the only way to sustain domestic tourism participation is through the assessment of residents behaviours toward domestic tourism.