Tourism as a strategy for poverty reduction for rural areas in Nigeria: a study of Kutigi traditional hat and fan making
Poverty is regarded as the world epidemic disease that must be killed otherwise it will kill its victims. Poverty comes in different forms such as hunger, deprivation of social amenities by governments especially at the rural areas, inability to earn a daily living, inability to secure job opportunities which could be by government or private firms, and deliberate attempt to neglect certain section of the country either through tribe, region or religion. The study focused on tourism as a strategy for poverty reduction for rural areas in Nigeria, with emphasis on Kutigi traditional hat and fan making. Tourism is an industry that concerned itself with movement of people from one destination to another for the purpose of leisure and relaxation for a period of at least 24 hours. Tourism has diverse forms, however, the study centred on rural tourism. It is a form of mass tourism or alternative tourism which centred on rural natural destinations, handicrafts, and eco-tourism to enhance tourists’ experience. The study use qualitative research and interview method to collect data for the study. Seven families, comprising of their heads were interviewed for a period of one week due to the fact that they were predominantly illiterates. The population of these traditional handicrafts range from 100 to 200 scattered among interior villages, and their monthly income is between ₦100, 000. 00 to ₦300,000.00 depending on the market demands of their products. The study therefore, found that rural tourism reduces poverty, creates employments, enhances living standard of the rural people, and develop rural areas.
Keywords: Poverty, Tourism, Rural tourism, Mass tourism, Kutigi, Rural area