Call for Papers – Special Issue on Sustainability in tourism policy and planning in Sub-Saharan Africa: past, present and future



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Tourism Planning and Development Journal

Special Issue on

Sustainability in tourism policy and planning in Sub-Saharan Africa: past, present and future


Guest Editors

Dr. Emmanuel A. Adu-Ampong

Sheffield Hallam University, UK & University of Johannesburg, South Africa


Dr. Albert N. Kimbu

University of Surrey, UK


Tourism (both domestic and international) is currently growing faster in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and in many other developing regions compared to the rest of the world. Though figures for domestic tourism in African countries are hard to come by, this is not the case with international arrivals. The UNWTO estimates that in absolute terms there were 58 million international tourist arrivals in SSA for the year ending 2016. There were 4 million more arrivals in 2016 compared to 2015 although this represented only 5% of all international arrivals around the world. In SSA tourism has long been seen as a powerful vehicle for achieving economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction (Holden and Novelli, 2011; Novelli, 2015). Achieving these goals requires the conceptualisation, realisation and implementation of appropriate policies and planning mechanisms. However, for most SSA countries, it has only been in the last two decades that the development of sustainable and achievable context specific policies and planning mechanisms has become the norm (Mbaiwa, 2005; Kimbu & Ngoasong, 2013; Jenkins, 2015; Backman and Munamura, 2017). Tourism policies and plans therefore need to reflect overall national development planning priorities and ambitions. It is through appropriate planning that the benefits and the costs of tourism development processes can be equitably distributed (Adu-Ampong, 2017). The arena of tourism policy and planning has expanded to include the state sector, the private sector, local communities and civil society organisations (Dredge and Jamal, 2015). It is important to consider how tourism policies and plans are being shaped through such interactions.

The growing influence of the tourism sector in SSA has resulted in a number of planning and policy shifts that need to be examined. This Special Issue on Sustainability in tourism policy and planning in Sub-Saharan Africa: past, present and future, therefore aims to open up a reassessment of the process of tourism policy and planning in SSA over the years. In particular we want to consider how the increasing focus on sustainability might shape future tourism planning and policy making.  The UNWTO has declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development while the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have three of the seventeen goals making an explicit reference to tourism in goal 8: economic growth and employment, goal 12: sustainable consumption and production, and goal 14: conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. Thus the tourism sector is being called upon to explicitly integrate sustainability in its economic, social and environmental dimensions than has been done previously. We are therefore looking for papers that seek to interrogate the role of tourism policies, plans and practices in achieving sustainable development in SSA.

With this call, we are seeking, among other things, for a critical (re)examination of tourism policy and planning practices in Sub-Saharan Africa. We are looking for theoretical, conceptual and empirical research papers that explore one or more of the economic, social, cultural, political, organisational or environmental dimensions of the subject. In particular, we are interested in papers that interrogate the characteristics, past and present successes and challenges as well as the future implications of incorporating sustainability into tourism policy, planning and development in Sub-Saharan Africa. In keeping with the aims and scope of Tourism Planning and Development, we welcome contributions from all disciplinary perspectives especially those of an inter-disciplinary nature. We encourage papers on all countries in Sub-Saharan Africa as well as all forms of tourism, both mass and niche market.

Research on tourism policy, planning and development that are related to (but not limited to) the following topics are particularly welcome:

  • Sustainable tourism development and climate change
  • Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Indigenous tourism development and sustainability
  • Tourism, pro poor tourism and poverty reduction
  • Tourism and local economic development
  • Theoretical perspectives on tourism policy and planning
  • National park policies and plans
  • Community-based tourism and sustainable development
  • Ecotourism policies and plans
  • Tourism policy instruments for sustainability
  • Stakeholder involvement in tourism planning and development
  • Promoting domestic tourism
  • Human resource development and management in the tourism sector
  • Tourism governance
  • Crisis and disaster recovery policy and planning for tourism
  • Role of private sector in tourism planning and development
  • The role of NGOs in tourism policy, planning and development
  • Public-private partnerships for sustainable tourism development
  • Scalar and intersectoral policy and planning issues beyond local and regional interpretations of SDGs


Expressions of Interest:

Please submit an abstract (300-500 words) to Emmanuel A. Adu-Ampong ( and Albert N. Kimbu ( outlining the following: a) Title of proposed paper, b) Contributing authors affiliations and contact details, and c) Summary of the proposed manuscript that outlines the purpose, contribution/ significance, and relevance to the special issue. Authors should ensure their submissions reflect the aim and scope of the journal. Abstracts will be reviewed on a rolling basis as they are received.


Key Dates:

Expressions of Interest: December 31, 2017

Deadline for Manuscript Submission: May 1, 2018

Reviews/Feedback on Manuscript Provided: August 1, 2018

Final Manuscript Due: December 1, 2018

The anticipated publication date is late/early 2019/2020. Papers will nonetheless be progressively made available online as soon as they have undergone the peer-review and have been accepted for publication.



Manuscripts can be theoretical or empirical in nature. Manuscripts will undergo a double-blind review. Submissions to Tourism Planning and Development are made using Scholar One Manuscripts, the online submission and peer review system. Registration and access is available at Papers must be formatted in accordance with Tourism Planning and Development style guidelines. To view the complete instructions for authors, please go to;


Selected References

Adu-Ampong, E. A. (2017). Divided we stand: institutional collaboration in tourism planning and development in the Central Region of Ghana. Current Issues in Tourism 20(3): 295-314.

Backman, K.F. and Munamura, I. (2017). Ecotourism in Sub-Saharan Africa. Thirty Years of Practice, London: Routledge

Dredge, D., & Jamal, T. (2015). Progress in tourism planning and policy: A post-structural perspective on knowledge production. Tourism Management, 51: 285-297.

Holden, A., & Novelli, M. (2011). The Changing Paradigms of Tourism in International Development: Placing the Poor First—Trojan Horse or Real Hope? Tourism Planning and Development, 8(3): 233-235

Jenkins, C. L. (2015). Tourism policy and planning for developing countries: some critical issues. Tourism Recreation Research, 40(2): 144-156.

Kimbu, A.N. & Ngoasong, M.Z. (2013). Centralized decentralization of tourism development: A network perspective. Annals of Tourism Research, 40: 235-259.

Mbaiwa, J. E. (2005). The problems and prospects of sustainable tourism development in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 13(3): 203-227.

Novelli, M. (2015). Tourism and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Current Issue and Local Realities, London: Routledge


4 thoughts on “Call for Papers – Special Issue on Sustainability in tourism policy and planning in Sub-Saharan Africa: past, present and future

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