MARKETING STRATEGY AND TOURISM PATRONAGE IN SOUTHWEST NIGERIA
The tourism industry has been identified as a very vital and popular global human activity that now becomes an economic booster which can contribute to the economic development of Nigeria. However, tourism industry in Nigeria has not been exploited to generate the expected contribution to the socio economic development of the country. One of the major reasons for this problem is the non-application of marketing strategies especially in the areas of promotion. This study thus examined the effect of marketing strategy on tourism patronage in Southwest Nigeria.
The study adopted a survey research design. A population made up of all tourism destinations in Southwest Nigeria with population of 85 staff was surveyed and the total enumeration method of sampling was used. A structured questionnaire was adapted and validated. The questionnaires returned were 74 which is 87% response rate. Twenty administrative officers in the tourism centre were also interviewed. The Cronbach’s Alpha coefficients for the constructs ranged between 0.72 and 0.93. The data were analysed using descriptive and inferential (hierarchical regression) statistics.
Findings revealed that there was a significant effect of product planning and development on tourism patronage in Southwest Nigeria (r = 0.628; F(1,83) =590.822; Adj. R2 = .421; p = <0.05); there was negative and significant relationship between price and tourism patronage(r = -0.674; p< 0.05); there was significant influence of Promotion on Tourism Patronage in Southwest Nigeria (r= .327; F(1.83)=153.527;Adjusted R2= .158; p<0.05); there was significant effect of place on tourism patronage in Southwest Nigeria (r=.370 F(I,83)=26.181; p <0.05); there was statistically significant impact of process on tourism patronage of selected tourism destinations (r=114;F(1,83)=15.863; Adjusted R2=.016; p <0.05); twhere was significant relationship between People (Personnel) and tourism patronage (r = 0.660, p <0.05); there was significant relationship between Physical Evidence and Tourism Patronage in South West Nigeria (r = 0.530, p <0.05). The findings further revealed that policies significantly moderated the relationship between Marketing Strategy and Tourism Patronage (r = .899, F (1, 70) = 11.511, R2 = 0.370, p < 0.05).
The study concluded that relative contribution of each of the independent variables (7ps of marketing strategy) to the tourism patronage, the standardized co-efficient (Beta weights, β) of the variables indicate that people made the highest contribution (β = .710, t = 5.119, p<.05); this is followed by physical environment (β= .427, t = 9.397, p<.05); and this is followed by process (β= .383, t = 8.255,p<.05). The study concluded that people made the highest contribution (β = 710, t = 5.119, p<.05), followed by physical environment (β= .427, t = 9.397, p<.05); and followed by process (β= .383, t = 8.255,p<.05). It was recommended that tourism business in Nigeria should adopt marketing strategy to enhance its performance. The Federal Government of Nigeria should also make adequate provisions for tourism development in Nigeria.
Keywords: Marketing strategy, Tourism patronage, Customer patronage, Government policies, Tourism revenue, South West Nigeria