Historical Trajectories of Tourism Development Policies and Planning in Ghana, 1957–2017

Emmanuel Akwasi Adu-Ampong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Historical research on tourism development policies and planning is generally limited, with scant attention on destinations in the Global South. This paper traces the historical trajectories of the development of tourism policy and planning in Ghana using the “Development First” and “Tourism First” framework. A qualitative approach allows for a detailed contextual analysis of key national economic development plans and national tourism development policies and plans. Four broad political eras are identified: (i) 1957–1966: post-independence era of Development First; (ii) 1966–1981: political instability era of Tourism First; (iii) 1981–2000: structural adjustment era of mixed Tourism First-Development First and; (iv) 2000–2017: democratic consolidation era of Development First. The analysis highlights how the distinct historical contexts of state involvement shape the present and future characteristics of tourism development. The findings suggest the need for more detailed exploration of the historical processes of tourism development in Global South destinations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-141
JournalTourism Planning and Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Ghana
  • poverty reduction
  • sustainability
  • tourism history
  • tourism planning
  • tourism policy

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