Commentary and Insights:
Security has different meanings in different countries and is extremely important in creating and maintaining international leisure travel. In the United States this means technology: security cameras and monitoring, rapid communication and response technology. In developing countries such as Nigeria, the security conversation centers around much more primitive ideas.
“A hospitality and tourism consultant, Emeka Attamah, has made a case for the establishment of ‘Local Tourist Security’…in Nigeria.” This idea centers on the belief that locals should be involved in the policing of public places because they are well versed in the terrain and the criminals that operate in these areas and are therefore in the best position to fish them out.
After all, the success or failure of a tourism destination depends largely in part on how safe tourists perceive the destination to be. The idea of a Local Tourist Security in countries such as Nigeria means recruiting indigenous youth to provide surveillance and security near tourist sites. There are benefits and disadvantages to this proposal.
These individuals will be well versed in the region and the people who live there. Many of them will have lived in the area for generations and have insider knowledge on who’s who and where’s where of the town in which they are operating. However, these youth would be more malleable and perceptive to outside influence. More than likely they would be easier to pressure into certain ways of thinking or actions than their adult counterparts. In addition, initiatives such as Local Tourist Security seem to potentially promote child labor (although potentially milder than the stigma would have us believe), which is looked down upon internationally.
In conclusion, Local Tourist Security groups may be the best answer for areas such as Nigeria at the current time, but security in these countries is still miles behind the developed world. As a result these measure may attract additional national travel but will probably have minimal affect on international travel to Nigeria.