Gender and Women Entrepreneurs’ Strategies in Tourism Markets: A Comparison between Tanzania and Sweden
Keywords:women entrepreneurs, tourism markets, motivation, gender, challenges
Complexity of tourism markets has been a challenge for both developed and developing countries. However, there is an argument that gender has been playing its role in influencing strategies used by women in the tourism market. Again, there may be prevailing differences between developed and developing countries in production and consumption of tourism. This study aimed at examining the way gender plays a role in motivation for women to start a tourism business by comparing Tanzanian and Swedish women. It used case studies of women engaged in tourism as entrepreneurs from Tanzania and Sweden in order to examine their situations in terms of their background and context. From an interpretivist perspective and a post-modernist constructivism approach, the case study strategy was applied and their experiences were captured by using in-depth interviews.
Results from the study revealed that strategies used by women are determined by their motivations to enter in tourism markets as well as challenges they encounter in their businesses (tourism), society and households. Moreover, despite their differences, women from both contexts are influenced by tourism market stakeholders’ perception on women’s position in the industry. Theoretically, this study has demonstrated that gender can be conceptualized through an individual’s motivation. This adds to variables such as context, individuals’ activities and division of labour, which are in gender literature. Results from this study lead to recommend that development and women empowerment should be customized in order to accommodate differences of women in various contexts.