DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF AN ONLINE TOURISM MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
(CASE STUDY OF FEDEAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY) MINNA
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Tourism is the travel for recreation, leisure, religious, family business purposes, usually of a limited duration. Tourism is considered an activity essential to Nations because of its direct effects on social, cultural, educational and economic sectors of National societies and their International relations.
According to the third edition of the Oxford English dictionary, tourism is defined as the commercial organization and operation of holidays and visits to place of interest.
Tourism can be defined as a short-term movement of people to places some distance away from their normal place of residence to indulge in pleasurable activities. (Swarbrook and Horner, 2007).
When a person leaves his home town for another location in the same country, he is termed a Domestic tourist. But if he crosses the frontiers of his country, he then becomes an International tourist. The people who visit Minna in December to attend the Akpazuma festival are domestic tourists while those who come from other countries to visit the Gurara water falls, are International tourists.
However, tourism is fast becoming one of the most functional industries in the world. It makes great impact in Nations by helping to create employment opportunities, by developing infrastructures, and a very rich source of income and revenue.
It plays an important role by offering employment to a good number of a Nation’s population that could be doctors, dancers, engineers, labourers, entertainers etc. For instance, in places like Britain over three million people are engaged in tourism, also in Spain and Italy, the figures are higher than seventy percent respectively. This explains why both countries are world leaders in the tourism industry. Nigeria has a huge number of parks, holiday resorts, and hotels. It is estimated that the Nigerian tourism industry can employ a hundred thousand people. By doing this, the large number of unemployed people would be removed from idleness and joblessness.
Tourism helps improve a nation’s infrastructural development. It provides amenities such as good transport and communication network, cheap and comfortable accommodations, essential infrastructures and super structures. As a result of this, tourism has been integrated into the national plans of many countries to raise the economic standard of physical of their environments and improve the people’s social interaction. Tourism also creates a considerable impact on the improvement of the general features of the environment, the establishment of hotels and allied industries. It also provides benefits that come in the form of provision of necessary infrastructure, provision of electricity, the construction of roads, and portable water supply and sewage disposal system.
As a rich source of income and revenue; tourism has become one of the most integral source of foreign exchange and balance of payments to many tourism inclined countries. This can be exemplified by Britain whose greatest exports includes tourism which is one of the fastest growing items of International trade.
Besides being a source of foreign exchange earnings, tourism could also assist in promoting national unity and mutual understanding through domestic and international travels. If tourism is properly groomed in Nigeria, it will breed peace and unity and many Nigerians will have the opportunity to visit different other states and tribes. This will eliminate conflicts, and reduce tribalism and religious tensions.
Thus, promotes the spirit of oneness and love among citizens of various nations, creates and build a good relationship and united society.
Very importantly, it draws our minds back to our origin from the rapid western civilization and helps preserve the culture and heritage of people.
The preservation and enhancement of the tradition, and native handcraft helps to create distinct local tourism products and this in turn gives way for promotion and awareness of the Nation's heritage.
Nigeria has great tourism potentials. The awareness and understanding of tourism in the private sector shows that with a well-organized tourism private sector participation, and government realizations of tourism, tourism activities could generate employment, upliftment of social life in rural areas and the government will see reasons to provide the much needed tourist infrastructures for the growth of tourism in our country.
Nigeria is truly endowed with beautiful natural resources relative to other Nations in Africa and even on a global level. These natural resources include; peculiar geomorphologic features, water bodies, wild life and game reserves.
The application and use of computers in various facets of human activities cannot be over emphasized. Since the introduction of the microcomputers in the 1970’s and 1980’s, the world of office automation has continued to evolve with modernization made to the present ones.
Some may wonder why there is a need for a computerized tourism information system. This is because;
o The world has become a global street. Day by day people engage in more activities on the internet, it is only fair to use the internet facility to make tourism activities more accessible and informative.
o If properly designed and implemented, an online tourism system would be more organized, and efficient than a manual filing system.
o It can also be used to complement the manual system; it can serve as a backup for all information in the files, thereby keeping them safer in the cloud
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
This project is embarked on to solve the following problems:
1. Delay in handling enquiries and making bookings, poor customer service and feedback.
2. Unauthorized access to vital documents and files of the corporation, and displacements of records.
3. Certain tourist locations and accommodations may be unavailable at certain times and the existing system may fail to communicate these to a customer as a result of unorganized information which may put customers in cases of unplanned expenses or an uncomfortable tour.
The major problems experienced is the poor information flow, delay in handling enquiries, making bookings, and poor customer service and feedback.
These problems make it difficult for customers to book their tour because the current system is inefficient.
Hence, an efficient system is required to eliminate such problems after a structural analysis of the existing system.
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES
The aim of this study is to develop an interactive website that helps potential visitors get enough information about the various destinations in Niger state that may ease their tour. It has the following objectives:
o To explore the problems encountered in the management of the existing manual tourism system
o To design a web based system that will make information more detailed, effective, and accurate, and ease the delay hitherto encountered with the existing manual system.
o To implement a web based tourism system that will help people appreciate the state’s natural endowment and also serve as a complementary tool for tourism management.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study would to a large extent, provide very useful output for a more effective operation of the tourism destinations in Niger state as a whole, it will also complement the efforts of the managers of these tourist centres by, helping them make more accurate judgments and also by providing detailed information accurately to the public for strategic and profitable achievements of the centres.
This research provides an awareness of the problem and prospects of tourism in Niger state to the general public, which will broaden their knowledge, understanding and help them understand the importance of tourism.
The government also has its benefits as the study appraises various governmental guidelines and offers some suggestions for more efficient operations of these resorts.
In summary, this project work will provide a solution to the subject of tourism management, an alternative to the existing manual system and will be readily available to anyone with a device that has a functional browser and access to the internet.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this research, design and development dwells only on Minna metropolis and a few prominent tourist destinations surrounding it. This is because, tourism is a broad topic and due to research time restriction, lack of needed research materials and resources, the scope of the study is limited.
1.6 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
In the cause of accomplishing these tasks, obstacles were encountered. Due to the wide scope and discovery of new tourist destinations in the state, it makes it intricate to have the background knowledge of these destinations and most importantly, areas needed for data collection of this study were inaccessible either for security reasons or otherwise. As a result of that, limited source of information was gathered.
Hence this study focuses only on six (8) tourist destinations for this project.
Even with the above constraints, I endeavoured to gather adequate information within my capability to carry out this study accurately so as to ensure objective and meaningful deductions.
1.7 OPERATION DEFINITION OF TERMS
1. Tourism: The business of providing places for people to visit and activities for them to do.
2. Tour: Touring process means to visit different environments,
3. Tourist: A person who travels or visits different places for pleasure or other reasons.
4. Domestic tourist: A person who leaves his home for another town in the same country
5. International tourist: A person who leaves his country to visit another country
6. Systems: A set of things working together as a whole to achieve the same sole objective.
7. Design: A plan made to show the function of a particular project before it is made. It can be referred to as a prototype of a product or system.
8. Program: A set of instructions that directs a computer on how to perform particular tasks.
9. Database: A set of data or information stored in a computer system that is accessible in many ways.
10. File: A collection of related records.
11. Information system: A system composed of different components that processes or interprets tourism information.
12. Booking system: The process of making arrangement so that a space in a hotel, or a particular period which you want to use for touring, is reserved for you.
13. Booking form: The form which user inputs details needed to make a reservation
14. Booking receipt: The document which shows that user has successfully made a reservation.
15. Web browser: It is a software application for retrieving, presenting information resources on the World Wide Web.
16. URI: The uniform resource identifier, identifies an information resource.
17. URL: The uniform resource locator is also known as the web address.
18. Web based information system: It is an information system that uses Internet web technologies to deliver information and services to users or other information systems.
19. Check IN: This is the process of reporting one’s arrival at a place.
20. Check OUT: This process depicts one’s departure from a place