Tourism is a key industry in Ghana which brings together many people with different social and cultural backgrounds. Ghana is known for its beautiful scenic sites, rich cultural and historical heritage. Tourism development in Ghana is associated with various advantages to the host destinations. It promotes the creation of new friendships and the establishment of partnerships between communities. Tourism development in Ghana has greatly impacted other sectors and sub-sectors that work in coordination with the industry. The number of positive impacts outweigh the negative impacts.
Generally, when people come together, their habits and way of living are transformed in one way or the other. Tourism has significantly developed the economic, social and cultural exchanges that take place directly between tourists and the host communities. Besides, it has contributed to job creation and acceleration of the socialization of individuals in some regions. Tourism has greatly promoted income redistribution and the fight against poverty in Ghana.
Tourism development greatly impacts the Ghanaian economy and the natural and artificial environment. The destination’s local population and the tourists also benefit from tourism development. General and social advancement that usually accompany any tourism development normally have a positive impact in many areas of the economy; however, the development of the tourism industry can have negative social and cultural effects when the locals start emulating the habits, lifestyle, and dressing code of foreign visitors.
Tourism development contributes to the enhancement of the cultural heritage across many regions in Ghana. It motivates people to invest in local customs and cultures to promote and preserve them. A cultural exchange trip allows tourists to discover cities and all regions in Ghana. Tourists get a chance to learn the language, traditions, and history, to gain the local’s perspective and to master the skills and crafts for which they are known. Typically, tourists approach the local culture respectfully, interested in learning.
Tourists participate in the day-to-day life of local hosts, and they stay with them to shop in their local, everyday stores. In the case of students, they attend the local school as another member of the student body.
All the people who participate in a cultural exchange learn about the local culture alongside their host family in a completely natural way. Knowledge and understanding are generated, which in turn reduces the historical, cultural, social or natural impact, which is the basis of sustainable tourism.
Cultural exchange is a good example of sustainable tourism as it achieves the greatest possible balance between the tourists’ needs and those who receive them. Everyone’s a winner and takes something positive away from the experience, generating knowledge and links that stand the test of time.
Touristic regions are experiencing greater change than it appears; they open on the outside, which can only widen the field of dialogue among cultures and open up new prospects for cooperation among men.
In some cases, the massive arrival of tourists can disrupt the daily routines of the population. Although it should be noted that many social harms often attributed to tourism development may be as much connected to modernization, it is no less true that it is followed by many negative phenomena such as drug addiction, child labor and sometimes prostitution as it is the case in many African seaside resorts.
The strong urbanization of tourist sites, including the interest given to coastal areas, also promotes environmental degradation. However, it does not diminish the important role of this sector in socialization and exchanges among people. This experience is based on a different philosophy, which is, in turn, based on a hunger to learn and share knowledge.