Users’ Perception of Suitability of Landscape Features of the Lagos Lagoon for Tourism
The Lagos lagoon is a major geographical feature in Lagos Metropolis and is the largest of the network of lagoons that stretch from the Republic of Benin through to the Nigerian Niger Delta. Some parts of the Lagos lagoon waterfront has degenerated into a slum with non-distinctive housing, mainly shanties at various points, wood processing, sand dredging, markets and commercial fishing activities. Water-based tourism is a proven revenue earner globally, usually providing revenue for the government and a source of enjoyment, employment and recreation to the residents and visitors alike. The tourism potentials of the lagoon remain largely untapped. To determine the place of landscape features of the Lagos Lagoon in its suitability for tourism, the paper evaluates its landscape characteristics and compares the perception of users of water-based recreation destinations along the waterfront with those of users of similar tourist attractions along the Lagos coast. The aim of the study is to answer questions of landscape perception and assessment of the area and to identify other factors which may be of relevance to its tourism development. Using structured questionnaires with pictures of the landscape features of the lagoon, field survey and interviews, the study identified the communities, problems, and factors influencing tourism at three venues on the lagoon waterfront and three water tourism venues along the Lagos coast. Results show that the landscape characteristics of the lagoon have a very significant effect on tourism in the area. It also identified the major factors influencing the tourism development of the Lagos Lagoon. The outcome of the research will be of benefit to property owners, industry practitioners and policy makers in determining appropriate facilities and land-use planning options in developing the natural resource.
Key words: Landscape assessment; Perception; Water tourism; Water-based recreation; Coastal tourism; Lagos Lagoon
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