Volunteer tourism impacts in Ghana: a practice approach

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Relatively little empirical research has been conducted on impacts of volunteer tourism in local communities. This paper therefore focuses on the local consequences of volunteer tourism for two projects in Tamale, Ghana: Zion Primary School and Tamale Children's Home. A practice approach provides a useful theoretical framework to investigate how volunteers and local actors interact in these projects. In a practice approach, interactions become central to the analysis, highlighting the ways in which volunteers, local people and the local context mutually influence one another. Observations and interviews with volunteers and local actors were used to identify positive and negative consequences of their interactions, which are strongly interlinked and depend on routines, backgrounds and positions of the actors, and contextual conditions. The consequences of volunteer practices are also linked to other current and future practices. A practice approach provides insights into complex situations and may be more suited to analysing the impacts of volunteer tourism than a traditional mono-disciplinary focus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1486-1501
Number of pages16
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2016


  • Ghana
  • actor-context approach
  • impacts
  • interactions
  • social practice
  • volunteer tourism


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