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Frederick Doe, Alexander Preko, Hellen Akroful and Effie Kwaaba Okai-Anderson
The place of festivals in national economic development has received increased attention from researchers globally. However, there appears to be a relatively small and…
The place of festivals in national economic development has received increased attention from researchers globally. However, there appears to be a relatively small and disparate literature on the subject especially within the Ghanaian context. The study seeks to contribute to the global recognition of festivals as developmental tools and thus presents the effects of festival tourism on socio-economic capital of the people of Kwahu traditional area (Ghana) and how festival tourism in the region engenders economic benefits to businesses and the community.
This study is guided by the social development theory. A quantitative cross-sectional survey utilizing convenience technique was used to gather data from a sample of 398 residents of the selected towns and the regression model was used to analyse the data.
The findings revealed festival tourism to have a positive effect on community cohesiveness but not statistically significant. Further, the festival brought economic gains but had negative social effects on development of the selected towns.
This research is destination-specific. The application of the findings to other festivals would demand a bigger sample size for generalisation to be made.
The findings suggest that for growth of festival tourism in Ghana to be actualised, the Ghana Tourism Authority needs to ensure festivals do not erode entrenched traditional values and negate efforts at developing social structures and systems by putting measures to reduce the negative effect of commoditisation of festivals on the communities' cultural authenticity. Law enforcement agents should also be massively beefed up to curtail crime and social vices.
The study's findings extend earlier studies to extend the scope in festival tourism literature. This study found that festival tourism has effect on both community cohesion and economic development of the people of Kwahu traditional area.