Film Production and Tourism Development in Nigeria. An Analysis of the Impact of Media on Tourism

Research Paper (postgraduate), 2008

20 Pages, Grade: 4.5


Table of contents


Tourism and the Media

The Act of Tourism and Culture of Film Production in Nigeria

Site of production
Relations of production

The relationship between film location and tourism






There has been a move away from the traditional elements of practicing tourism towards urban based, short break tourism, emphasizing culture as products. This new trend focuses on specific spatial attractions that have been integrated into the national economy. This trend has been linked to the idea of a departure, which allows tourists’ senses to engage in a set of stimuli that contrast with that of the everyday and the mundane. This idea of departure has been initiated by a multiplicity of media especially the film/movie and television industries.

Key words: Tourism, Media, Film and Television Industry, Nollywood, Sense of departure, Image Making


This paper is about how the media in Nigeria can initiate a sense of departure to tourism sites through its movies/television programs. A major trend in tourism, this decade is the move away from the appreciation of the traditional elements of the practice-sight scenery, good weather and acquisition of luxury items –towards urban heritage –based, short –break, tourism emphasizing culture as products. The notion of departure or exit is in part initiated and constructed by a multiplicity of media, most importantly the film and television industries (Walsh 1992: 118) and packaged as advertisement.

The entrepreneurs or developers of the media even in developing countries, perceive the countryside, specifically, not as a natural living environment of limited socio-economic value, but as a commodity that can be packaged and sold for a price to viewers. That is, the rural localities, locally and internationally have become popular contexts for a myriad of television serials or the setting of films and videos. The images the media foster are beamed into the homes of many people and succeed in constraining the audience to enjoy an experience of the great outdoors in the comfort and safety of the idyllic places. In other words, the viewers may be moved to go in search of the locations used anticipating the findings of what they saw on their screens and may be encountering the very role players in the presentations. Films and movies may and actually in certain circumstances serve to generate interests in locations used, especially when the setting involves attractive countryside and captivating cultural practices of the people. The films, therefore, have become of great interest to the public because they package specific cultures of the idyllic lifestyles and promote market values that can generate huge incomes.

Tourism and the Media

This paper is based on how tourism and the media interconnect. Scholars on tourism especially in Nigeria have based their studies mainly on the archaeological aspect to the neglect of the socio-cultural and natural the natural dimensions. Their emphasis has been on the visit to some institutions and places such as museums, national parks and archaeological sites. The museum is increasingly seen as a powerful cultural expression of the historically layered identity of the community and as the most powerful institution, which has a lot to add to the development of the nation. Hence, the museum is a center that has to be well developed to promote tourism (Aremu 2001:92).

These facts are not disputed here, but in my perspective, it would interest readers to know that the media do impact on the development of tourism and its promotion in Nigeria. Some countries of the world have already launched into this new awareness of the role of the media. For instance, Australia may from distant shores, be perceived as the land of the great outdoors, of golden beaches and leisurely lifestyles favoured by temperate climes. At least that is impression one may derive from the range of television soap operas which, for example, find their way into homes in several countries.

Also in Glasgow, England, according to the Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism at Glasgow Caledonian University (2019), image making is successfully manipulated to a considerable effect for entrepreneurial response and subsequent tourism growth. In doing this, the Moffat Centre demonstrated how the use of the film “Outlander” increased visitor attractions to the locations used in the filmfrom the start of its broadcast in 2014. In their analysis 1,858,533 visited the locations in 2013 but when the film was broadcast 2014 from that time on up until 2018 the increase in the number of visitors has been from 1,912,224 to 2,787,647.

What is crucial to the success of tourism, whether of the old or new style, is a countryside visiting as well as the wider consumption of images representing a landmark, an achievement and a historical process that has robust influence on the promotion of an imagined community especially that of the nation, which is ideally represented. Such a community has been successfully promoted to viewers by television programmes and notably, in recent years by movies.

In the article that was written by Hughes (1995) on Glasgow, it is noted that some measures were taken by the government to work on image making and the marketing of the city. For instance: “The marketers” successfully highlighted in a self-conscious or orchestrated way, the appeal of monuments to the sensibilities of shoppers, tourists and members of the service class. (Hughes 1995)

The mediated world in which we live writes Hughes (1995:31) ensures that public knowledge of places is acquired vicariously. In other words, while there seems yet empirical evidence that industrial location influences decisions on holiday choices and leisure trips, these are still directly affected by particular knowledge not often too certain. For instance in an article written by David Rowe and George Paton(1995) on the Australian beach and how it has been projected by the popular culture of a nation, the writers explored the following issues :

- How the heavy collective investment on the beach is a national symbol
- How tourism is linked to Australia’s role in global environmentalism.

In particular is the view of the possible impact of location on popular culture and the touristic images of the beach as an unproblematically given and sustainable leisure resources. The authors hinted that “ few countries have been closely connected to the concept of the beach idyllic life as Australia. The surf life -saver is one of the most enduring figures on the symbolic landscape of Australia (Young and Brown 1993) and the carefully targeted of the Australian beach by the Australian tourists’’. Commission is now daily supplemented by the global television images of Australia on popular dramas like “Paradise Beach''and “Home and Away’’. The media have fixed even more firmly the idea of Australian life to that of the beach.

Also in recent times as written by Poorva N.A. (2019) “ These cases reflect an increasingly popular trend in which film stimulates the tourists imagination and induces movement and border crossing in the direction in which cinema leads them”.

Tourism can be successfully explored in Nigeria with the aid of the media (the television and film industries). Looking at the culture of film production in Nigeria starting from the colonial period a new kind of theatre was created which led to the development of Nigeria’s film production. The theatre was a popular, modern, commercial, traveling musical theatre. The theatre combined elements of independence and imported cultures in a creative and innovative fusion. The roots of the theatre were in the coastal cities, such as Accra and the Family ports of the Gold coast (New Ghana) and the port of Lagos in Nigeria. This popular theatre was a hybrid form, attuned to novelty and fashion, marketable during colonialism because it accelerated the formation of a new class of the elite. Much of these elements, the film production in Nigeria would later embody.

In the later stages of the colonial period in the late 1940’s the concert party and popular theatre succeeded in establishing themselves as genuinely popular cultural forms. In 1960’s and 1970’s the theatrical development reached a peak of popularity and creativity. They floated on huge oil wealth that caused extraordinary spatial expansion, cultural efflorescence and diversification of interest motivating “departure ” from the mundane and the traditional to the idyllic, from the rural to the urban, from satellites to the metropolises. The traveling theatre soon gave way to low- budget dramas made on video for sale in motor parks and supermarkets.

The Act of Tourism and Culture of Film Production in Nigeria

Film production in Nigeria, and anywhere else in the world is influenced by a lot of variables. These variables determine the kind of culture that eventually emerges to define the peculiar film production in that society. Some of these variables are factors of production, means of production, site of production, mode of distribution or marketing and relations of production. This paper pursues the issue of tourism in Nigeria from the examination of these variables and their interconnectivity in film production.

Highly central to the discussion is the sense of departure, and in those wise the motivation provided by image, construction of image that is the sum perceptual beliefs, ideas and impressions, based on information processing from a verity construct (White 2004, Mackay and Fesenmaiser, 1997, Gastner 1993). The individual’s perception of departure is usually linked to a destination image, where something is happening or can happen, and is influenced by external factors of information dissemination such as the television radio, newspaper, personal communication etc. In the process of crystallizing a destination image, these information sources come together in an organized framework, within the individual, and are rationalized and evaluated in order to create a value for and interest in the place being proposed to be visited. From the information gathered from information in interviews and focused group discussion, several factors combine to synthesis Hollywood’s image, as a destination site. The economy of the nation is one of such factors. For instance Sammy, one of my informants, stated that, “to shoot a standard film one needs about 11.5 million Naira”. This figure is at 2008 but right now it is close to 30 to 40 million Naira. Considering the economic situation in the country, it is very difficult for producers to have this amount of money. They either have to go borrowing from the banks or from friends and relatives. These sources about the capability of the individual to repay the loans. In this wise, so many ideas are never developed. Many ideas never hit the streets for a producer in Nigeria to have 11-5 million Naira as disposable income, certainly is not easy. This is also not easy as many Non- government agencies (NGOs), are less willing to offer assistance to film producers. This may be as a result of lack of awareness of the value of films and filming to the general public and private institutions.

We were made to understand by Precious one of our informants, that to shoot a standard film, Nollywood needs professionals at each level of production process. Professionals are needed for each of these sequences of actions. Story Script Edit screen Play Story board location.

There are people whose job is just script writing. They are paid for their inputs. In Nigeria, however, there are rarely story boards. They are the ones in charge of stories to ascertain if they are screen worthy. They are scarce because the board is made up of professionals such as film script writers and there are not much of them in Nollywood. A lot of man oeuvres are done in order to produce a film. That is, since professionals are less relied upon at each level and they are, when available, not well paid. Production is done cutting corners, because of lack of funds, producers sometimes muddle up the sequence of production, at times, the producer is the scriptwriter, the producers, directors and sometimes actor/actress. The essential point here is that film making in Nigeria needs a healthy business environment, financial security trained and responsible workforce, and captivating attraction of sufficient quality to ensure a steady flow of visitors- who stay longer and visit more often-for a significant on their investment (Wearing and Neil 1999). An example to follow is Glasgow. As hinted in the literature review that the community had taken some measures that is in the form of Scottish Development Agency in conjunction with some management consultants such as Mckinsey and company to brand a suitable image marketable or attractive to a steady inflow of tourists and investors. If Nigerian government could embark on funding Nollywood steadily and providing the state-of- quality films from Nollywood may be a thing of the past and tourism industry in Nigeria will certainly improve.

Means of production: The means of production here includes human resources, technology, location and access to location. As stated by some informants in the course of the research the human resources in Nollywood films production is mostly from the eastern part of the country, because most of the films tend to have Igbo cultural background. We recall here Charles Perrow’s (1972) comments on particularism, a concept very relevant to the organization of Nollywood. Perrow hints on something deeper about particularism There is a more important and deeper reason for particularims in organization, this reason, which does not rest in the inadequacies of the human resources, illustrates the characteristics tensions that exists in large, complex organizations. It involves one of the dominant themes of the book organizations must be seen as tools. Particularism is one means of gaining or maintaining control over the tool (Persow 1972) Particularism is something used to get something done with, it is into just a resource, it is also the source of power over others. Whether the directors in Nollywood are aware of it or not. Particularism could be construed as a kind of tool within a complex organization. It has become a source of power over others through and income generation which favours of a group of people. The quality of these human resourced is of course, a different matter.

Education of the human resource is of utmost importance, as at yet there are a few educated professionals in Nollywood such as Richard Mofe Damijo, Joke Silva, Olu Jacobs, Bimbo Akintola and a few more. Education of personnel is of utmost importance because this is needed for technology handling which film industry heavily depends on and without which it cannot cut down cost of production and enhance its quality. In Hollywood films, 7 percent is graphic. In Nigeria, this percentage is difficult to reach. This could be attributed to the cost of importing necessary technologies, which is very high and prohibilitie. As a result the industry is forced to rely on cheap means, as Halison Ogbu, an actor and informant observed: It was only recently that in Nollywood HD cameras are now in use. In Western context films, recordings are on 35 mm celluloid, this is rare in Nollywood although some improvements in this regard has been made in the industry. For instance, Teco Benson’s. “Mirror of Beauty” and “Mission to Nowhere were recorded in 35mm celluloid.


Excerpt out of 20 pages


Film Production and Tourism Development in Nigeria. An Analysis of the Impact of Media on Tourism
University of Ibadan
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
film, production, tourism, development, nigeria, analysis, impact, media
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Chinwe Chimezie Uwaoma (Author), 2008, Film Production and Tourism Development in Nigeria. An Analysis of the Impact of Media on Tourism, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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