Cultural Tourism – A Tool for Community Development: Case-Study of “Boabo” Festival in Igbobini Community, Ondo State, Nigeria

International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume II, Issue IX, September 2018 | ISSN 2454–6186

Cultural Tourism – A Tool for Community Development: Case-Study of “Boabo” Festival in Igbobini Community, Ondo State, Nigeria

ARUNA, Justina Olufunke (PhD)

Department of Sociology, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria

Abstract: – Cultural tourism is the social activity that enables one to experience cultural diversity in its practical manifestation while being the basis of gaining, at first-hand contact, an impressionable understanding of other people’s cultures that have endured over time. Also, it is an important contemporary approach in community-development discourse, especially recognized as capable of stabilizing ‘tottering’ economies and, inherently, integrating members with their communities for sustainable development. As a process promoting socio-economic development, community development allows community-members to plan together, generate necessary solutions, and take concerted action towards ensuring progress and safety for all in their respective communities. This study examines cultural tourism as a vital change-agent, through exploiting the “Boabo” festival in Igbobini’s rural community. Twenty five in-depth interviews were conducted with randomly selected residents and some strategic community-elders of Igbobini community. The study’s major findings are that: the “Boabo” festival, celebrated annually in December, constitutes a potentially attractive communal activity for cultural tourism in Ondo State and Nigeria; it can be a vital source of economic survival for the community, including creating more jobs; reinforcing community-identity; and, promoting indigenous cultural practices in globalisation. And, the study recommends that any self-help approach to “Boabo” festival for cultural tourism must necessarily be in partnership with external change-agents, such as intervention agencies – e.g., the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and advocacy groups for community development – especially, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for sustainability.

Key Words: Community Development, Cultural Tourism, Indigenous Cultures, Globalization and Sustainable Development.

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