ANALYSIS OF THE PATRONAGE CHARACTERISTICS OF TOURISM DESTINATIONS
Tourism destinations patronage is not uniform. They vary according to the uniqueness of the destinations. For a destination to be successful, it is imperative to address tourist‟s expectations and satisfactions in other to determine the areas of strength to utilize and areas of weaknesses to improve. This study advances the understanding of tourist demographic characteristics, trip characteristics and travel motivations of tourists in the study area. Using krejcie and morgan sample table, 380 questionnaires were administered. The study found that tourists were typically highly educated, young adults and mostly males, working full time with high income. On average tourists stayed in Jos for 1-7 days and traveled alone for adventure, leisure or educational purposes. The study also reveals and ranked the factors motivating and militating tourist‟s choice of Jos. Visiting of relations and friends, weather/climate, scenic beauty and unique attractions ranked higher in motivating tourist choice of Jos, while frequent and incessant crisis ranked highest in discouraging tourist choice of Jos. An Important Performance Analysis Technique (IPA) was used to determine the most important and performing tourism component in the study area. It was discovered that attraction is the most important performing component of Jos as a tourist destination. In the light of the above, the study makes recommendations to improve the study area‟s attractiveness and to satisfy tourist needs and expectations in other to enhance patronage.
Tourism destination is the primary location of supply or the focus of resourceps, facilities and services (tourism infrastructure) that are available to cater for the needs of tourists (Keyser, 2009). For destination to function properly and compete effectively all the component must be in place. Destinations are outlets for tourists who desire to experience places, people and environments away from where they live. People‟s views about the tourism experiences and resources available at the tourism destinations draw tourists from originating areas or markets along routes to the destination or tourist receiving area. Nigeria lies in the tropical region of West Africa, it is a great country endowed with vast landforms, art and culture, wildlife, rich historical background, natural and mineral resources. It is so endowed that almost every destination has a unique characteristics worthy of inviting travelers. Over the years tourism had developed with the effort of both public and private investors in the industry. Tourists have also been trooping in continuously to engage in different tourism activities at various destinations (Obudu Ranch Resort in Cross River State, Yankari National Park in Bauchi State, Ibeno Beach in Akwa Ibom State, Ogbunike Cave in Anambra State, NOK village in Kaduna State, Birnin Kudu Rock Painting in Jigawa State, Oguta Lake Holiday Complex in Imo State, etc.). Jos is the capital of Plateau State and is blessed with abundant tourism potentials, such as spectacular rock formations, hydrological bodies, wildlife, rich festivals and craft which necessitated the existing tourism drive in jos. The tourism activities that take place in Jos can be categorized into cultural/heritage tourism, ecotourism, leisure tourism, geotourism and educational tourism.