Advancing Cultural Heritage for Sustainable Tourists' Patronage in Nigeria: Case Study of Deji's Palace Akure
The paper focuses on advancing cultural heritage in Ondo State, Nigeria and aimed at appraising the patronage of the selected heritage site to encourage tourist patronage and serve as a means for sustainable tourism development. The paper assessed selected cultural heritage in South-west Nigeria using Deji's Palace as a case study; identified some challenges facing cultural heritage and proffered solutions to the problems. The qualitative method was explored, with the primary data obtained through physical observation, interview and case study. The primary data was on people's perception of cultural heritage and the issues and challenges facing the heritage. Data was also obtained from secondary sources using literature and documents in cultural heritage and patronage. The population for the study were people who are conversant with the selected cultural heritage sites. The target included workers and residents at the selected cultural heritage, who have attained the desired age and understand the cultural heritage sites' basic things. Findings revealed that Ondo State, Nigeria stands to benefit a lot if her cultural heritages are adequately preserved and has high potentials of boosting the state's economy through tourism. Furthermore, sustainable tourism development in the selected heritage has many benefits that can aid development and positive outcomes in the community. The paper concludes that tourism is a tool for economic and infrastructural development, and community involvement will encourage grassroots participation in the tourism industry.
Keywords - Cultural Heritage, Nigeria, Tourists, Tourism, Patronage, Sustainable Development.