, Volume 82, Issue 2, pp 273–291 | Cite as

Ghanaian hospitality professionals’ perceptions of international tourism impacts

  • Foster Frempong
  • Joel Ian Deichmann


International tourism is recognized to be a contributor of utmost importance to Ghana’s economy. This paper examines perceptions of the effects of foreign visitors in Ghana, based upon data collected from Ghanaian hospitality professionals during 2014. Employing a cross-sectional research design, respondents in the tourism hubs of Accra, Kumasi, and Cape Coast are targeted through a convenience sampling technique, and the 78 resulting responses are analysed using IBM’s SPSS software. Careful attention is given to the economic, social, and environmental effects of international tourism, as viewed by Ghanaian service providers, who have the greatest contact with foreign tourists and are therefore deemed to be the most authoritative respondents. In line with expectations from the literature, tourism’s economic impact is perceived to be mainly positive. Surprisingly, respondent perception of tourism’s social impact is more negative than its environmental impact, reflecting a high level of cultural sensitivity on the part of Ghanaian hosts. Moreover, service providers perceive international visitors to behave very differently according to their country of origin. The study recommends that tour operators and government agencies help prepare visitors for traveling in Ghana and make them aware of the consequences of their behavior—both intended and unintended—to ameliorate effects that can be detrimental to all stakeholders. After addressing a series of what might be considered unrealistic expectations or frustrations on the part of travelers, the study also suggests that the Ghanaian government should, to the extent possible, play a more active role in managing tourism. As perceived by hospitality professionals, leaders need to invest in additional infrastructure, security, and information provision/marketing that will improve visitor satisfaction and encourage additional constructive tourism through word of mouth and return visits.


International tourism Impacts of tourism Origin effects Ghana 


  1. Akis, S., Peristianis, N., & Warner, J. (1996). Residents’ attitudes to tourism development: The case of Cyprus. Tourism Management, 17(7), 481–494.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Akwasi, S. (2013). Arrests over illegal gold mining in Ghana. Accessed 20 Jan 2014.
  3. Allen, W. (1992). Increased dangers to Caribbean marine ecosystems. BioScience, 42(5), 330–335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Allen, L. R., Hafer, H. R., Long, P. T., & Perdue, R. R. (1993). Rural residents attitudes toward recreation and tourism development. Journal of Travel Research, 31(4), 27–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Allport, G. W. (1954). The nature of prejudice. Reading: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  6. Amuquandoh, E. F., & Dei, A. L. (2007). Tourism development preferences among residents of Lake Bosomtwe basin, Ghana. GeoJournal, 70(2–3), 173–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Andereck, K., Valentine, K., Knopf, R., & Vogt, C. (2005). Residents’ perceptions of community tourism impacts. Annals of Tourism Research, 32(4), 1056–1076.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Andereck, K. L., & Vogt, C. (2007). The relationship between resident attitudes towards tourism and tourism development options. Journal of Travel Research, 39(1), 27–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ap, J. (1990). Residents’ perceptions research on the social impacts of tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 17(4), 610–616.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ap, J. (1992). Residents’ perceptions on tourism impacts. Annals of Tourism Research, 19(4), 665–690.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ap, J., & Crompton, J. L. (1998). Developing and testing a tourism impact scale. Journal of Travel Research, 37(2), 120–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Armenski, T., Dragičević, V., Pejović, L., Lukić, T., & Djurdjev, B. (2011). Interaction between tourists and residents: Influence on tourism development. Polish Psychological Review, 173(1), 107–118.Google Scholar
  13. Asiedu, A. (2005). Some benefits to migrants return visits to Ghana. Population, Space, and Place, 11(1), 1–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Bateson, J. E. G., & Hui, M. (1987). A model for crowding in the service experience: Empirical findings. In J. A. Czepiel, C. A. Congram, & J. Shanahan (Eds.), Integration for competitive advantage. Chicago: American Marketing Association.Google Scholar
  15. BBC News (2013). Ghana arrests gold miners from Niger, Nigeria, and Togo. Accessed 22 January 2015.
  16. Belisle, F. J., & Hoy, D. R. (1980). The perceived impact of tourism by residents, a case study in Santa Marta, Columbia. Annals of Tourism Research, 7(1), 83–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Bevilacqua, E., & Casti, E. (1989). The structure and impact of international tourism in the Veneto region, Italy. GeoJournal, 19(3), 285–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Bochner, S. (1982). The social psychology of cross-cultural relations. In S. Bochner (Ed.), Cultures in contact: Studies in cross-cultural interaction (pp. 5–44). Oxford: Pergamon.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Boo, E. (1990). Ecotourism: The potentials and pitfalls. Washington, DC: World Wildlife Fund.Google Scholar
  20. Brayley, R., Var, T., & Sheldon, P. (1990). Perceived influence of tourism on social issues. Annals of Tourism Research, 17(2), 285–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Brougham, J. E., & Butler, R. W. (1981). A segmentation analysis of resident attitudes to the social impact of tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 8(4), 569–590.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Brunt, P., & Courtney, P. (1999). Host perceptions of socio-cultural impacts. Annals of Tourism Research, 26(3), 493–515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Burns, P., & Holden, A. (1995). Tourism: A new perspective. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  24. Cook, W. Stuart. (1962). The systematic analysis of socially significant events: A strategy for social research. Journal of Social Issues, 18(2), 66–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Cooke, K. (1982). Guidelines for socially appropriate tourism development in British Columbia. Journal of Travel Research, 21(1), 22–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Crouch, G., & Ritchie, J. R. (1999). Tourism, competitiveness, and social prosperity. Journal of Business Research, 44(3), 137–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. De Kadt, E. (1979). Tourism passport to development? New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Deery, M., Jago, L., & Fredline, L. (2012). Rethinking social impacts of tourism research: A new research agenda. Tourism Management, 33(1), 64–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Deichmann, J. I. (2007). International tourism from the perspective of Czech hospitality professionals: A pilot study for exploring origin-specific stereotypes. e-Review of Tourism Research, 5(1), 6–15.Google Scholar
  30. Dogan, H. Z. (1987). Turizmin Sosyo-Kültürel Temelleri (Socio-cultural foundations of tourism). İzmir: Uğur Ofset.Google Scholar
  31. Doxey, G. V. (1975). A causation theory of visitor-resident irritants; methodology and research inferences, Travel and Tourism Research Association Sixth Annual Conference Proceedings, San Diego, California, pp. 195–198.Google Scholar
  32. Faulkner, B., & Tideswell, C. (1997). A framework for monitoring community impacts of tourism. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 5(1), 3–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Faulkner, H. W., & Walmsley, D. J. (1998). Globalisation and the pattern of inbound tourism in Australia. Australian Geographer, 29(1), 91–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Fredline, L., Deery, M. & Jago, L. (2006). Social impacts of tourism on communities. Gold Coast: CRC for Sustainable Tourism. Accessed 10 October 2013.
  35. Gajraj, A. (1988). A regional approach to environmentally sound tourism development. Tourism Recreation Research., 13(2), 5–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Gallup, G, Jr. (1990). The Gallup poll: Public opinion (pp. 79–84). Wilmington: Scholarly Resource.Google Scholar
  37. Gee, C. Y., Makens, J. C., & Choy, D. J. L. (1997). The travel industry (3rd ed.). New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.Google Scholar
  38. Getz, D. (1977). The impact of tourism on host communities: A research approach. In B. S. Duffield (Ed.), Tourism: A tool for regional development (pp. 9.1–9.13). Edinburgh: Tourism and Recreation Research Unit University of Edinburgh.Google Scholar
  39. GhanaWeb (2013). Ghana Earned $2.5 Billion from Tourism in 2012. Accessed 17 November 2014.
  40. Gurung, H. (1992). Environmental education in Nepal: A mechanism for resource conservation. World Leisure and Recreation, 34(2), 18–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Haley, J., Snaith, T., & Miller, G. (2005). The social impacts of tourism a case study of Bath, UK. Annals of Tourism Research, 32(3), 647–668.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Harrill, R., & Potts, T. (2003). Tourism planning in historic districts. Journal of American Planning Association, 69(3), 233–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Hierta, E. (1994). Rescuing the reef. National Parks, 68(11–12), 33.Google Scholar
  44. Husbands, W. (1989). Social status and perception of tourism in Zambia. Annals of Tourism Research, 16(2), 237–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Inskeep, E. (1991). Tourism planning: An integrated and sustainable development approach. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.Google Scholar
  46. Jurowski, C., & Gursoy, D. (2004). Distance effects on residents’ attitudes towards tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 31(2), 296–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Karen, P., & Mather, C. (1985). Tourism and environment in the Mount Everest region. Geographical Review, 75(1), 93–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Keogh, B. (1990). Resident recreationists’ perceptions and attitudes with respect to tourism development. Journal of Applied Recreation Research., 15(2), 71–83.Google Scholar
  49. King, B., Pizam, A., & Milman, A. (1993). Social impacts of tourism: Host perceptions. Annals of Tourism Research, 20(4), 650–655.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Kuvan, Y. Á. I., & Akan, P. (2005). Residents’ attitudes toward general and forest-related impacts of tourism: The case of Belek, Antalya. Tourism Management, 26(5), 691–706.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. La Pierre, Y. L. (1994). Illicit harvest. National Parks, 68(5–6), 33–37.Google Scholar
  52. Lea, J. (1988). Tourism and development in the Third World. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  53. Lee, D. (1994). Breaking the sound barrier. National Parks, 68(7–8), 25–29.Google Scholar
  54. Liu, J. C., & Var, T. (1986). Resident attitudes toward tourism impacts in Hawaii. Annals of Tourism Research, 13(2), 193–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Long, P. T., Perdue, R. R., & Allen, L. (1990). Rural resident tourism perceptions and attitudes by community level of tourism. Journal of Travel Research, 28(3), 3–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Macbeth, J. (1997). Planning in action: A report and reflections on sustainable tourism in the ex-shire of Omeo. In C. M. Hall, J. Jenkins, & G. Kearsley (Eds.), Tourism planning and policy in Australia and New Zealand: Cases, issues and practice (pp. 145–153). Sydney: Irwin.Google Scholar
  57. Mansfeld, Y. (1992). From motivation to actual travel. Annals of Tourism Research, 19(3), 399–419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Mathieson, A., & Wall, G. (1982). Tourism: Economic, physical, and social impacts. London: Longman.Google Scholar
  59. Mbaiwa, J. (2004). The Socio-cultural effects of tourism development in the Okavango Delta. Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change, 2(3), 163–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. McCool, S. F., & Martin, S. R. (1994). Community attachment and attitudes towards tourism development. Journal of Travel Research, 32(3), 29–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Milman, A., & Pizam, A. (1988). Social impacts of tourism on Central Florida. Annals of Tourism Research, 15(2), 191–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Ministry of Tourism. (2008). National Tourism Marketing Strategy. Accessed 17 November 2014.
  63. Ministry of Tourism. (2012). National tourism development plan, 2013–2027. Accessed 20 August 2015.
  64. Mordy, J.T. (2014) Deal with merrymakers who offend environmental laws: Environmentalist. MyJoyOnline. Accessed 22 January 2015.
  65. Mowforth, M., & Munt, I. (2006). Tourism and sustainability: Development and new tourism in the Third World. London: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.Google Scholar
  66. Osabutey, A. (2014). Where the streets now have names. CityScope. Accessed 20 March 2015.
  67. Oxford Business Group. (2012). Ghana: Tapping potential in tourism. Accessed 17 November 2014.
  68. Pearce, D. G. (1989). International and domestic tourism: Interfaces and issues. GeoJournal, 19(3), 257–262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Perdue, R. R., Long, P. T., & Allen, L. (1987). Rural resident tourism perceptions and attitudes. Annals of Tourism Research, 14(3), 420–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Pizam, A. (1978). Tourisms impacts: The social costs to the destination community as perceived by its residents. Journal of Travel Research, 16(4), 8–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Rist, G. (1997). History of development. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  72. Ritchie, J. R. B. (1988). Consensus policy formulation in tourism. Tourism Management, 9(3), 199–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Robinson, G., & Hall, D. (2000). The community: A sustainable concept in tourism development. In D. Hall & G. Robinson (Eds.), Tourism and sustainable community development (pp. 1–13). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  74. Saarinen, J. (2006). Traditions of sustainability in tourism studies. Annals of Tourism, 33(4), 1121–1140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Selin, S. (1999). Developing a Typology of sustainable tourism partnerships. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 7(3–4), 260–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Shaw, G., & Williams, A. (1994). Critical issues in tourism: A geographical perspective. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  77. Sheldon, P., & Var, T. (1984). Resident attitudes to tourism in North Wales. Tourism Management, 5(1), 40–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Simons, P. (1988). Après ski le deluge. New Scientist, 14, 49–52.Google Scholar
  79. Sirakaya, E., Teye, V., & Sönmez, S. (2002). Understanding residents’ support for tourism development in the Central Region of Ghana. Journal of Travel Research, 41(1), 57–67.Google Scholar
  80. Smith, V. L. (1985). The Inuit as host: Heritage and wilderness tourism in Nunavut. In M. F. Price & V. L. Smith (Eds.), People and tourism in fragile environment (pp. 33–55). Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  81. Socher, E. (1976). No litter please on Everest. Geographical Magazine, 48(2), 388.Google Scholar
  82. Tallantire, J. (1993). Happy holidays or conservation nightmares? Geographical, 65(11), 53–56.Google Scholar
  83. Telfer, D., & Sharpley, R. (2008). Tourism and development in the developing world. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  84. Teye, V., Sirakaya, E., & Sönmez, S. (2002). Residents’ attitudes toward tourism development. Annals of Tourism Research, 29(3), 668–688.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. The Guardian. (2013). Ghana deports thousands in crackdown on illegal Chinese goldminers. July 5. Accessed 15 August 2014.
  86. Thyne, M., Lawson, R., & Todd, S. (2006). The use of conjoint analysis to assess the impact of the cross-cultural exchange between hosts and guests. Tourism Management, 27(2), 201–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Tisdell, C. (1996). Ecotourism, economics and the environment: Observations from China. Journal of Travel Research, 34(4), 11–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Tosun, C. (2002). Host perceptions of impacts: A comparative tourism study. Annals of Tourism Research, 29(1), 231–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Tyler, C. (1989). Killing the goose. Geographical Magazine, 61(10), 38–43.Google Scholar
  90. Um, S., & Crompton, J. L. (1987). Measuring residents’ attachment levels in a host community. Journal of Travel Research, 26(2), 27–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. United Nations (2015). Global partnership for development. Accessed 23 April 2015.
  92. UNWTO. (2014). World tourism organization tourism highlights (2014 edition). Accessed 29 November 2014.
  93. US Government Printing Office. (1979). Compilation of selected acts concerning national parks and recreation related matters, prepared for the use of the committee on interior and insular affairs, house of representatives. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office. 81.Google Scholar
  94. Var, T., Kendal, K. W., & Tarakcioglu, E. (1985). Resident attitudes toward tourists in a Turkish resort town. Annals of Tourism Research, 12(4), 652–658.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Wall, G., & Mathieson, A. (2006). Tourism: Changes, impacts, and opportunities (2nd ed). Harlow, Eng.; New York: Pearson Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  96. Wang, C., & Mito, P. S. (1997). Environmental impacts of tourism on US National Parks. Journal of Travel Research, 35(4), 31–36.Google Scholar
  97. Wheeller, B. (1991). Tourism’s troubled times: Responsible tourism is not the answer. Tourism Management, 12(2), 91–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Williams, D. R., McDonald, C. D., Riden, C. M. & Uysal, M. (1995). Community attachment, regional identity, and resident attitudes toward tourism. In Proceedings of the 26th TTRA Annual Conferences.Google Scholar
  99. World Bank (2014).World development indicators. Accessed 17 October 2014.
  100. World Commission on Environment and Development. (1987). Our common future. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  101. World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). (2014) Travel & tourism economic impact 2013: Ghana. Accessed 13 January 2015.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography and Rural DevelopmentKwame Nkrumah University of Science and TechnologyKumasiGhana
  2. 2.Global Studies DepartmentBentley UniversityWalthamUSA

Personalised recommendations