Tourism is the vehicle through which the culture, nature and history of a given society or location is appreciated by people of diverse nations. Tourism is traveling for predominantly recreational or leisure purposes or the provision of services to support this leisure travel. Furthermore, a tourist is someone who travels at least eighty kilometers (fifty miles) from home for the purpose of recreation. To a lay-man, tourism could just be the act of visiting other places for the purpose of sight seeing and enjoyment but the activities of tourism are more than that. In other words, tourism is said to be the activities of the people traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes related to the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited. It is recognize as a diverse multi-sectoral activity. While driven by visitors choice and expenditure much of the visitors experience rests on the environmental attributes, amenities and services that a destination provides. Tourism is vital for many countries due to the income generated by the consumption of goods and services by tourists the taxes levied on businesses in the tourism industry and the opportunity for employment in the service industries associated with tourism. Therefore, the important role which tourism plays in the computation of the national gross domestic product cannot be over emphasized, judging from available data. According to the World Travel and Tourism council data provided on Nigeria Tourism industry, an estimate of 1,856 job opportunity were created while tourism was credited to have contributed $5,816m to the GDP (6.6%) in the year 2006. so the acceptance and consequently, the competitiveness of a Tourism Information System (TIS) is mainly determined by the quantity and quality of data it provides.
1.1 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
This implies that the Nigerian tourism industry is yet to tap into the many opportunities which the information and Communication Technologies offers, then the various service industries associated with tourism would therefore derive immense benefits from the application of IT in Tourism.
The major aim of this research work is to create an information system that will be beneficial in some areas where IT can be deployed in tourism such as the administration and provision of information to potential tourists. The system is targeted at implementing a web based interactive query interface on tourism and tourist site in Cross River State, thereby making the retrieval of information easier and faster. The system would enable potential tourist to obtain relevant information on the various tourist sites in Cross River State, such information includes
This research is limited to selected tourist sites in Cross River State only. The research work, which will focus on the use of Information Technology (IT) toward facilitating the achievement of an overall national development through tourism. The proposed web based tourism information system will serve as information portal for tourists interested in visiting Cross River State in Nigeria.
1.4 JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY
This work focuses on the use of Information Technology (IT) towards facilitating an overall national development through tourism. Tourism is vital for many countries due to the income generated by the consumption of goods and services by tourists, the taxes levied on businesses in the tourism industry and the opportunity for employment in the service industries associated with tourism. The various service industries associated with tourism will therefore derive immense benefits from the application of IT in tourism.
However, web based tourist information systems are required not to offer online brochures only, but rather to provide both value and service.
With the advent of artificial intelligence and expert systems, which is aimed at mining human thinking and reasoning of experts, this feat in tourism information system, can be obtained. Tourism knowledge of experts can be stored and retrieved. The proposed web based tourism information system enables information to be retrieved at real timely.
1.5 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Information gotten for this research work was through personal interviews and review of related documents.
MYSQL will be used to store the captured information about Cross River Tourism Industry and an index of users queries will be created and stored in the database. The front-end application will be using HTML (hypertext markup language). The HTML pages presenting this information to the tourist will automatically be generated by the system in order to increase run time performance. Any time the underlying information changes, the affected pages will automatically re-generate.
The WAMP5 servers will provides the web implementation environment and the results will be displays in an index form.
The PHP (PHP hypertext preprocessor) scripting language will also be used for coding at the back-end.