Urban and Regional Planning Project Topics

The Relationship Between Land Use Policy and Tourism Development in Nigeria (Owu Waterfalls Ilorin )

The Relationship Between Land Use Policy and Tourism Development in Nigeria ( Owu Waterfalls Ilorin )

The Relationship Between Land Use Policy and Tourism Development in Nigeria ( Owu Waterfalls Ilorin)

Chapter One

Aims and Objectives of the Study

To investigate and understand the relationship between land use policies and tourism development in Nigeria, focusing on the specific case of Owu Waterfalls in Ilorin.

  1. To assess the existing land use policies in Nigeria and their implications for tourism development.
  2. To identify the challenges associated with aligning land use policies with the goals of sustainable tourism development.
  3. To propose recommendations for optimizing land use policies to enhance tourism development at Owu Waterfalls.



Conceptual Review

Land Use Policies in Tourism Development

Land use policies play a pivotal role in shaping the development and sustainability of tourism destinations, as emphasized by Adeniji (2018) in the context of sustainable physical development in Nigeria. In the realm of tourism, land use policies refer to the set of regulations and guidelines governing the utilization of land within specific areas designated for tourism activities. According to Choi and Paterson (2019), these policies encompass a range of components, including land zoning, regulations on permissible land uses, and guidelines for infrastructure development. The definition of land use policies in tourism is therefore broad, encapsulating the legal and regulatory framework that dictates how land can be utilized to support and enhance tourism activities.

One critical component within the realm of land use policies is land zoning, which entails the allocation of specific areas for distinct purposes within a tourist destination. Badoe and Miller (2020) assert that effective land zoning is integral to organizing and optimizing space for tourism-related activities. For instance, areas near Owu Waterfalls may be zoned for visitor accommodations, recreational facilities, or environmental conservation. The role of land zoning is intricately linked to the overall planning and management of tourist destinations. The study by Ayeni (2018) on predictive modelling of urban spatial structures underscores the significance of thoughtful land use policies in ensuring that different zones harmoniously contribute to the overall tourism experience. Moreover, Adedotun (2017) notes that regulations embedded in land use policies guide the permissible activities within each zone, influencing the aesthetic appeal, accessibility, and environmental sustainability of the tourist destination.

Land regulations, another vital component of land use policies, further dictate the parameters within which development can occur around tourist attractions. Choi and Paterson (2019) emphasize the importance of regulations in mitigating negative impacts on the environment and ensuring a harmonious coexistence between tourism development and the natural surroundings. For Owu Waterfalls, these regulations may involve restrictions on the height of structures, limitations on the extraction of natural resources, and guidelines for waste management. The empirical study by Oduwaye et al. (2021) on land use and traffic patterns in Lagos, Nigeria, provides insights into how the enforcement of regulations influences the overall functionality of urban areas, which can be extrapolated to the tourism context.

Sustainable Tourism Development

Sustainable tourism, as highlighted by Axhausen and Garling (2018), encompasses a holistic approach that aims to meet the needs of present tourists and host regions while preserving and enhancing opportunities for the future. The conceptualization of sustainable tourism revolves around three key principles: environmental sustainability, socio-cultural integrity, and economic viability. Muller, Laszlo, and Spulerova (2019) stress the importance of these principles, emphasizing that sustainable tourism seeks to minimize negative impacts on the environment, respect local cultures, and generate economic benefits for local communities.

The interplay between land use policies and sustainable tourism practices is evident in how these policies shape and guide tourism development while aligning with the principles of sustainability. Izakovicova, Sputerova, and Petrovic (2018) emphasize that land use policies serve as the backbone for promoting sustainable tourism by regulating land utilization, development, and conservation within tourist destinations. These policies influence land management decisions, ensuring the preservation of natural resources, protection of biodiversity, and maintenance of ecosystem services essential for sustainable tourism development.

The empirical study by Dimitriou (2017) on urban transport planning illustrates how land use policies significantly impact the sustainability of tourism. Land use policies that promote compact, mixed-use developments, and efficient transportation networks contribute to reducing environmental impacts associated with excessive sprawl and traffic congestion in tourist areas. Conversely, policies that prioritize conservation zones or sustainable design guidelines support the preservation of natural landscapes and cultural heritage sites, fostering a balance between tourism development and environmental conservation.

Moreover, Choi and Paterson (2019) highlight the pivotal role of land use policies in guiding infrastructure development within tourism destinations. Sustainable tourism practices necessitate infrastructure that minimizes environmental impacts, supports local communities, and enhances visitor experiences. Land use policies that mandate eco-friendly infrastructure, promote renewable energy usage, and encourage community participation in tourism-related ventures exemplify the integration of sustainable principles into tourism development.





The methodology chapter played a pivotal role in guiding the research process. It served as the roadmap for the study, outlining the various components that contributed to the investigation of the impact of land use policies on tourism development.

 Instrument for Data Collection

The principal instrument for data collection in this study was the structured questionnaire, carefully crafted to align with each specific research objective. This meticulous design was implemented to guarantee that the data collected directly corresponded to and addressed the overarching goals of the study. The emphasis on aligning the questionnaire with research objectives is in line with the recommendations of Saunders et al. (2019), advocating for a tailored approach to data collection instruments to ensure relevance and effectiveness.

By customizing the questionnaire for each research objective, the study aimed to gather targeted and focused data, enabling a nuanced analysis of the complex interplay between land use policies and tourism development. This tailored approach reflects a methodological precision that enhances the study’s ability to draw meaningful conclusions and insights, as suggested by Saunders et al. (2019).

Furthermore, the structured questionnaire, aligned with research objectives, facilitated the organization of data in a manner that streamlined subsequent analysis. This approach contributes to the overall coherence and efficiency of the research process, aligning with best practices in survey research methodology (Saunders et al., 2019).

Target Population

The target population for this study included a comprehensive array of stakeholders within the tourism industry, comprising tourists, local communities, policymakers, and business owners in the identified regions. This deliberate and inclusive selection sought to capture a diverse range of perspectives and experiences within the tourism sector. According to Saunders et al. (2016, 2019), defining a clear target population is crucial for the generalizability and applicability of research findings.

Encompassing a wide range of stakeholders ensures a holistic understanding of the intricate dynamics between land use policies and tourism development. Tourists contribute unique insights based on their experiential interactions, while local communities, policymakers, and business owners offer critical perspectives on the economic, social, and environmental aspects of tourism. This holistic approach aligns with the recommendations of Anderson et al. (2020), emphasizing the importance of considering multiple stakeholders in research related to business issues, such as tourism development.

The decision to include a diverse range of stakeholders in the target population aligns with the overarching goal of comprehensively exploring the relationship between land use policies and tourism development from varied vantage points. This inclusive strategy enriches the study with multifaceted insights, contributing to a robust and well-rounded analysis.



Data Presentation





This chapter encompasses the summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations based on the research objectives and results from the empirical analysis carried out.

Summary of Findings

The comprehensive study aimed to unravel the intricate relationship between existing land use policies in Nigeria and their implications for tourism development, particularly focusing on the iconic Owu Waterfalls in Ilorin. Through a quantitative survey research design, involving 120 respondents, the study explored various facets of land use policies, seeking to understand their impact on tourism, challenges faced in aligning them with sustainable development goals, and potential avenues for optimization. The research instrument, a structured questionnaire, allowed for the systematic collection of data to glean insights into stakeholders’ perspectives, ranging from tourists and local communities to policymakers and business owners.

The demographic profile of the respondents indicated a diverse representation, encompassing different age groups, genders, and educational backgrounds. The majority of respondents were within the age range of 35-44, indicating a mature and potentially more experienced perspective. The educational diversity, with a significant portion holding bachelor’s degrees, suggested a mix of perspectives that could contribute richly to the study.

The study unveiled several key findings regarding the perceptions of stakeholders toward the existing land use policies and their impact on tourism development at Owu Waterfalls. Notably, a substantial percentage of respondents acknowledged that current policies adequately support the promotion and preservation of tourist attractions, with 67.3% agreeing or strongly agreeing. This positive sentiment extended to the perception that land zoning regulations contribute effectively to the accessibility and attractiveness of Owu Waterfalls to tourists, garnering a combined agreement percentage of 73.1%.

However, challenges emerged concerning the alignment of land use policies with sustainable tourism development goals. Respondents, to a significant extent, agreed that conflicting interests hinder effective alignment, with 67.3% expressing agreement or strong agreement. Additionally, a noteworthy 76.9% believed that insufficient integration of environmental conservation principles in current land use policies posed a challenge to sustainable tourism development.

Community involvement in policy formulation emerged as a critical factor. A majority of respondents, totalling 68.3%, agreed that limited community involvement hindered the achievement of sustainable tourism goals. This finding underscores the importance of participatory approaches in policy-making, aligning with contemporary notions of responsible and inclusive tourism development.

Economic considerations were also part of the exploration. The study found that a considerable portion of respondents, 77.9%, believed that the implementation of current land use policies positively contributed to the overall economic growth of the Owu Waterfalls region. This positive perception suggests that, despite challenges, there is recognition of the economic benefits derived from existing policies.

The findings regarding flexibility within land use policies revealed that a majority of respondents, comprising 84.6%, recognized the importance of flexibility for adapting to changing conditions and maximizing positive impacts on tourism development. This underscores the need for policies that can evolve in response to dynamic tourism trends and external factors.

Community engagement emerged as a theme with potential for improvement. While 78.8% agreed that increasing community engagement in decision-making could enhance tourism outcomes, the 14.4% expressing uncertainty or disagreement indicates areas requiring deeper exploration. Strengthening community involvement may be vital for achieving sustainable and community-supported tourism development.

Infrastructure development, guided by optimized land use policies, was perceived as essential by 79.8% of respondents for maximizing the tourism potential of Owu Waterfalls. This resonates with global trends highlighting the pivotal role of infrastructure in tourism success. Areas of uncertainty within this finding may warrant focused investigations into specific infrastructure needs and potential challenges.

Lastly, environmental conservation emerged as a priority for stakeholders. A significant majority, 81.7%, believed that ensuring land use policies prioritize environmental conservation is vital for the long-term sustainability of tourism development. This finding aligns with global sustainability imperatives and emphasizes the importance of environmental stewardship in tourism policy frameworks.

In summary, the study provides a holistic overview of stakeholders’ perceptions regarding existing land use policies and their implications for tourism development at Owu Waterfalls. The findings offer valuable insights for policymakers, community leaders, and other stakeholders involved in shaping and implementing land use policies, pointing toward areas of strength and opportunities for enhancement in the quest for sustainable and impactful tourism development.


The hypotheses tested in this study provided valuable insights into the intricate relationship between land use policies and tourism development at Owu Waterfalls. The results of the statistical analyses contribute to a nuanced understanding of specific aspects of this relationship.

Firstly, the hypothesis testing aimed to ascertain the presence of a significant correlation between the flexibility of land use policies and the level of tourism development at Owu Waterfalls. The findings, with a critical table value of 2.92, revealed a mean of 73.00 and a standard deviation of 8.76. The calculated t-test value did not surpass the critical table value, suggesting a lack of significant correlation. This indicates that, based on the sample data, flexibility within land use policies may not have a substantial impact on the level of tourism development.

Secondly, the hypothesis addressing the inadequate alignment between land use policies and sustainable tourism goals contributing to challenges in tourism development yielded a mean of 66.00 and a standard deviation of 4.08. The t-test results, compared against the critical table value of 2.92, did not demonstrate a significant correlation. Consequently, the study suggests that challenges in tourism development at Owu Waterfalls may not be significantly influenced by the degree of alignment between land use policies and sustainable goals.

In conclusion, while the study provides valuable insights into stakeholders’ perceptions and preferences, the hypothesis testing indicates that the identified challenges and correlations may not be statistically significant based on the sample data. This nuanced interpretation underscores the complexity of the relationship between land use policies and tourism development, highlighting the need for further research and a holistic approach to policy formulation and implementation.


The following recommendations were proposed:

  1. Enhance Flexibility in Land Use Policies: Consider introducing mechanisms for increased flexibility within land use policies. This could involve periodic reviews and adjustments to accommodate changing conditions and evolving tourism trends, ensuring the policies remain responsive to the dynamic nature of the tourism sector.
  2. Strengthen Community Engagement: Foster greater community involvement in the decision-making processes related to land use policies. Establish platforms for continuous dialogue and collaboration between policymakers, local communities, and other stakeholders. This inclusive approach can contribute to policies that better reflect the diverse needs and aspirations of the community.
  3. Prioritize Environmental Conservation: Emphasize the integration of environmental conservation principles within land use policies. Ensure that policies are designed to protect natural resources, preserve biodiversity, and promote sustainable practices, aligning with global standards for responsible tourism.
  4. Optimize Infrastructure Development: Align land use policies with strategic infrastructure development plans to maximize the tourism potential of Owu Waterfalls. This includes investments in transportation, accommodation, and recreational facilities, aiming to enhance the overall visitor experience and accessibility.
  5. Improve Integration of Socio-Economic Considerations: Enhance the consideration of socio-economic factors in land use policies. Conduct comprehensive assessments of the impact of policies on local communities, ensuring that tourism development contributes positively to economic growth, job creation, and overall community well-being.
  6. Foster Collaboration Among Stakeholders: Promote collaboration among various stakeholders, including government bodies, private enterprises, local communities, and non-governmental organizations. Establishing partnerships can facilitate a more coordinated and effective implementation of land use policies for tourism development.
  7. Regular Monitoring and Evaluation: Implement a robust system for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of land use policies in achieving tourism development goals. Periodic assessments can provide valuable feedback, enabling policymakers to make informed adjustments and improvements based on real-time data.
  8. Capacity Building and Awareness Programs: Invest in capacity-building initiatives and awareness programs targeted at local communities, businesses, and policymakers. This will ensure a shared understanding of the importance of sustainable tourism practices, fostering a culture of responsible tourism development around Owu Waterfalls.


  • Adedotun, S. B. (2017). Urban Form and Households’ Mobility Patterns in Osun State, Nigeria. Unpublished PhD Thesis submitted to Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Ogbomoso Nigeria.
  • Adeniji, J. (2018). Future challenges of sustainable physical development in Nigeria. In K. Adeniji & V. I. Ogu (Eds.), Sustainable physical development in Nigeria (pp. 227–17). NISER.
  • Adeniji, S. A. (2018). Urban Public Transport in Nigerian Cities, Some Reflections on the Conventional and Unconventional Wisdom. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, Oweri.
  • Ahmed, Z., Asghar, M. M., Malik, M. N., & Nawaz, K. (2020). Moving towards a sustainable environment: The dynamic linkage between natural resources, human capital, urbanization, economic growth and ecological footprint in China. Resources Policy, Elsevier, 67, 101677. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resourpol.2020.101677.
  • Anderson, V., Fontinha, R., & Robson, F. (2020). Research Methods in Human Resource Management: Investigating a Business Issue (4th ed.). CIPD. Chapter 5: Planning the research process.
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