International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Promoting Tourism in West Africa through Newspaper Constructionism, Framing and Salience: A Content Analysis of Select Newspapers in Nigeria
Godwin B. Okon

This study focused on the potentials of the mass media, with special highlights on newspapers, to favourably project the tourism industry in West Africa with a view to not only attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) but also commanding a huge traffic of tourists to the sub-region. The literature revealed that of the one billion tourist mileage recorded in December, 2012, by the global tourism industry, only 52 million tourists visited the entire continent of Africa. It was further revealed that the tourism tilt in Africa was predominantly towards South, East and North Africa; with West Africa being greatly obscured in the chart. The assumption however was predicated on the fact that the ability of newspapers to influence cognition derives from their ability to focus attention on specific events, issues and places through content subsumed in the notions of constructionism, framing and salience. This necessitated a content analysis of three purposively sampled newspapers in Nigeria. Analysis was done with a view to streamlining how the Nigerian Press, through content, accord viability to heritage (tourist) sites in West Africa by favourably projecting them and making them market ready. Findings revealed that the coverage given to tourist sites in West Africa by the newspapers studied was significantly shrift. It was also found that the inability of the newspapers to constructively package tourist sites in West Africa is among the reasons why the sub-region is still not where it should be in the tourism business. It was therefore recommended that the Nigerian press should adopt a regional approach to tourism development by focusing content on tourism and allied issues of great tourism concerns in West Africa while encouraging content that serves to uphold cross border tourism.

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