This paper examines Ghana's evolving tourism policies with special reference to its spatial and pro-poor impacts. Using a sample of 182 respondents around the Kakum National Park in Ghana's Central Region, an area which is rich in tourism assets but economically poor, it examines residents’ expectations, experiences and perceptions about tourism development in the area. While some expectations were too much, others had been met, if only somewhat. Residents’ experiences in terms of direct socio-economic benefits were modest. But largely on account of indirect gains from a range of pro-poor interventions, the majority had a fairly positive perception of tourism in the area. Respondents of communities beyond the Park's reception area had gained more from associated interventions rather than from tourism. Age and place of birth were also found to be key variables that influenced residents’ perspectives on tourism development in the area. Nevertheless, residents’ overall perception suggests that sustainable tourism development requires an approach that simultaneously improves the tourism product and enhances residents’ livelihood options. The need for residents to be involved in decision-making if pro-poor tourism is to be successful was underlined.