Towards Understanding the Experiences and Expectations of Omani

Towards understanding the experiences
and meaning of empowerment for
Muslim women in tourism
By Lubna Al Mazroei
PhD student
Why tourism entrepreneurship?
Research on tourism entrepreneurship
Research on women in tourism entrepreneurship
Tourism entrepreneurship and women empowerment
Issues surrounding women empowerment through
tourism entrepreneurship
Women empowerment in tourism
The status of Muslim women
Embeddeness theory
Study aim and objectives
Research site: Oman
Female tourism entrepreneurs in Oman
Field work
Expected outcomes
Why Tourism Entrepreneurship?
• Difference between tourism entrepreneur and general
1. Create touristic enterprises
2. Provide mostly intangible offerings
3. Have a higher service content
4. Face with higher impact of seasonality
5. Face with immobility challenge
6. Face with operations restrictions in the market
(Koh and Hatten, 2002)
Research on tourism
• Adequate body of literature on tourism entrepreneurship.
• For example, government support for tourism SMEs
(Wanhill, 2000), destination competitiveness (Jones and
Haven-tang, 2005), sustainable tourism (Lordkipanidze,
Brezet and Backman, 2005), etc.
• Limited research on tourism entrepreneurship (Thomas,
2004; Ateljevic and Li, 2009; Shaw and Williams, 2010;
Thomas, Shaw and Page, 2011).
Research on women in tourism
• Limited research on women in tourism entrepreneurship
(Peeters and Ateljevic, 2009).
• Scant research on female tourism entrepreneurs in
Arab/Muslim societies (Tucker, 2007; Alonso-Almedia,
Tourism Entrepreneurship and
women empowerment
• Few studies identified the potential role of tourism
entrepreneurship to empower women (Swain, 1993;
Wilkinson and Pratiwi, 1995; Gentry, 2007).
• Tourism a potential source for achieving gender equality
and women’s empowerment (UNWTO, 2011).
• Question on whether or not tourism is indeed opening
doors for women (Manwa, 2008).
• Critical analysis of tourism entrepreneurship
opportunities for women and its potential to empower
Issues surrounding women
empowerment through tourism
• Large emphasis on the economic benefits of tourism
entrepreneurship (Bras and Dahles, 1998; Kwaramba, et
al, 2012).
• Tourism entrepreneurship opportunities linked to
stereotypical women’s work (Harris, Mcintosh and Lewis,
2007; Garcia-Ramon, Canoves and Valdovinos, 1995;
Manwa, 2008).
• Implications of social change (Van der Cammen, 1997;
Tucker, 2007).
Women empowerment in tourism
• Lack of women empowerment definitions in tourism.
• Only one available empowerment measurement
framework in the tourism discipline
(Scheyvens, 1999, 2000, 2002).
The status of Muslim women
• Ongoing debate on Islam influence on the status of
Muslim women (Mernissi, 1985; Moghadam, 2003; Alvi,
• Blame on patriarchal structure and misinterpretations of
Islam in Muslim societies (Abdalla, 1996; Nazir, 2005;
Omair, 2008; Al Maaitah, Al Maaitah, Olaimat and
Gharaeibeh, 2013).
Embeddedness theory
• “The roles of entrepreneurs within society and its formal
institutions” (Roomi and Harrison, 2008, p. 228).
• Embedded environment can:
– increase or limit individual ambitions to pursue their
entrepreneurship activities (Baughn, Chua and
Neupert, 2006; Welter, 2011).
– Have a major influence on women’s empowerment
(Cornwall and Anyiduho, 2011).
• Embeddedness theory used in tourism entrepreneurship
studies (Bosworth and Farrell, 2011; Saxena and Ilbery,
Study aim
To explore the nature and experiences of Muslim women
involved in tourism entrepreneurship with particular regards
to empowerment.
Study objectives
• To present a lived experience of Muslim women’s involvement
in tourism entrepreneurship.
• To explore the manifestation and meaning of empowerment for
Muslim women in tourism entrepreneurship.
• To understand the benefits of tourism entrepreneurship for
Muslim women.
• To understand the challenges and barriers that Muslim women
may encounter due to cultural, gender or religious constraints.
• To consider the extent to which Muslim women can be
empowered through tourism entrepreneurship through various
dimensions of empowerment.
Research site: Oman
• Unique socio-economic, political and cultural
arrangements in Oman.
• Evidence of barriers and challenges encountered by
female entrepreneurs in general in Oman (McElwee and
Al-Riyami, 2003; Dechant and Al Lamky, 2005; Al-Sadi,
Belwal and Al-Badi, 2013).
• No research conducted on assessing tourism
entrepreneurship opportunities for women in Oman.
• Tourism entrepreneurship is a fairly new activity in
Female tourism entrepreneurs in
• Collective entrepreneurs:
– Sidab women sewing group
– Zaree women
• Solo entrepreneurs
– Handicrafts and souvenirs
– Accommodation
– Tours
– Restaurants
Field work (1)
• Methods for collective entrepreneurs:
– Participant observation (Riley and Love, 2000; Ribeiro
and Foemmel, 2012)
“A method in which an observer takes part in the daily
activities, rituals, interactions, and events of the people
being studied as one of the means of learning the
explicit and tacit aspects of their culture” (DeWalt and
DeWalt, 2011, p.1).
– Informal interviews (Jennings, 2005)
Field work (2)
– Photographs
– Field notes (Emerson, Fretz and Shaw, 2011)
• Methods for solo entrepreneurs:
– Semi structured interviews (Finn, Elliott-White and
Walton, 2000; Jennings, 2005).
Expected outcomes
• A conceptual framework on the nature and
experiences of Muslim women in tourism
• Potential to develop a tourism entrepreneurship
initiative for women in Oman.
• Broader implications on gender equality and
women empowerment in tourism.
References (1)
Abdalla, I. A. 1996. Attitudes towards women in the Arabian Gulf region. Women in
Management Review, 11, 29-39.
Al Maaitah, R., Al Maaitah, H., Olaimat, H. and Gharaeibeh, M. 2013. Arab women and
political development. Journal of International Women's Studies, 12, 7-26.
Alonso-Almedia, M. D., 2012. Water and waste management in the Moroccan tourism
industry: The case of three women entrepreneurs. Women Studies International Forum, 35,
Al-Sadi, R., Belwal, R. & Al-Badi, R. 2013. Woman Entrepreneurship in the Al-Batinah
Region of Oman: An identification of the Barriers. Journal of International Women's
Studies, 12, 58-75.
Alvi, H. 2005. The human rights of women and social transformation in the Arab Middle
East. Middle East Review of International Affairs, 9, 142-160.
Ateljevic, J. and Li, L., 2009. Tourism entrepreneurship: Concepts and issues. In: J.
Ateljevic and P. Stephen, eds. 2009 Tourism and Entrepreneurship: International
Perspectives. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann, pp. 9-32.
Baughn, C., Chua, B. and Neupert, K. 2006. The normative context for women's
participation in entrepreneurship: A multicounty study. Entrepreneurship Theory and
Practice, 30, 687-708.
Bras, K. and Dahles, H., 1998. Women entrepreneurs and beach tourism in Sanur, Bali:
Gender, employment opportunities, and government policy. Pacific Tourism Review, 1, pp.
Bosworth, G. and Farrell, H. 2011. Tourism entrepreneurs in Northumberland. Annals of
Tourism Research, 38, 1474-1494.
References (2)
Cornwall, A. and Anyidoho, N. A. 2010. Introduction: women's empowerment: contentions
and contestations. Development, 53, 144-149.
Dechant, K. and Lamky, A. 2005. Toward an understanding of Arab women entrepreneurs
in Bahrain and Oman. Journal of Development Entrepreneurship, 10 (2), 123-140.
DeWalt, K. and DeWalt, B. 2010. Participant observation: A guide for fieldworkers. 2nd
edition. Lanham: Altmira Press.
Emerson, R., Fretz, R. and Shaw, L. 2011. Writing ethnographic field notes. 2 nd edition.
Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Finn, M., Elliott-White, M. and Walton, M. 2000. Tourism and leisure research methods:
Data collection, analysis and interpretation. Harlow: Longman.
Gentry, M. K., 2007. Belizean women and tourism work: opportunity or impediment? Annals
of Tourism Research, 34(2), 477-496.
Garcia-Ramon, M. D., Canoves, G. and Valdovinos, N., 1995. Farm tourism, gender and
the environment in Spain. Annals of Tourism Research, 22(2), 267-282.
Harris, C., McIntosh, A. and Lewis, K., 2007. The commercial home enterprise: Labour with
love. Tourism Zagreb, 55 (4), 391-402.
Jennings, G. R. 2005. Interviewing: A focus on qualitative techniques. In: Ritchie, B., Burns,
P. & Palmer, C. (eds.) Tourism research methods: Integrating theory with practice.
Oxfordshire: CABI publishing.
Jones, E. and Haven-Tang, C. 2005. Tourism SMEs, service quality and destination
competitiveness. Wallingford, CABI.
Koh, K. and Hatten, T. 2002. The tourism entrepreneur: The overlooked player in tourism
development studies. International journal of hospitality and tourism administration, 3 (1),
References (3)
Kwaramba, H., Lovett, J., Louw, L. and Chipumuro, J., 2012. Emotional confidence levels
and success of tourism development for poverty reduction: The South African Kwam
eMakana home-stay project. Tourism Management, 33, 885-894.
Lordkipanidze, M., Brezet, H., and Backman, M. 2005. The entrepreneurship factor in
sustainable tourism development. Journal of cleaner production, 13, 787-798.
Manwa, H., 2008. Enhancing participation of women in tourism. In: G. Moscardo, eds.
2008. Building Community Capacity for Tourism Development. Oxfordshire: CAB
International, pp. 116-122.
McElwee, G. and Al-Riyami, R. 2003.Women entrepreneurs in Oman: some barriers to
success. Career Development International, 8 (7), 339 – 346.
Mernissi, F. 1985. Beyond the veil: Male-Female dynamics in modern Muslim society.
London: Al Saqi Books.
Moghadam, V. 2003. Modernizing women: Gender and social change in the Middle East,
Colorado, Lynne Rienner Publishers.
Nazir, S. 2005. Challenging inequality: Obstacles and opportunities towards women's rights
in the Middle East and North Africa. In: S. Nazir and L. Tomppert (eds.) 2005. Women's
rights in the Middle East and North Africa: Citizenship and justice. Oxford: Freedom House,
Omair, K. 2008. Women in management in the Arab context. Education, Business and
Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, 1, 107-123.
Peeters, L. and Ateljevic, I., 2009. Women empowerment entrepreneurship nexus in
tourism: Processes of social innovation. In: J. Ateljevic and S. Page, eds. 2009. Tourism
and Entrepreneurship: International Perspectives. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, pp. 7589.
References (4)
Ribeiro, N. and Foemmel, E. 2012. Participant observation. In: Dwyer, L., Gill, A. &
Seetaram, N. (eds.) Handbook of research methods in tourism: Quantitative and qualitative
approaches. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.
Riley, R. and Love, L. (2000) The state of qualitative tourism research. Annals of Tourism
Research. 27, 164-187.
Roomi, M. A. and Harrison, P. 2008. Impact of women-only entrepreneurship training in
Islamic society. In: I. Aaaltio, P. Kyro and E. Sundin (eds.) 2008. Women entrepreneurship
and social capital: A dialogue and construction. Koge, Denmark: Copenhagen Business
School Press, pp. 225-254.
Saxena, G. and Ilbery, B. 2008. Integrated rural tourism a border case study. Annals of
Tourism Research, 35, 233-254.
Scheyvens, R. 1999. Ecotourism and the empowerment of local communities. Tourism
Management, 20 (2), 245-249.
Scheyvens, R., 2000. Promoting women’s empowerment through involvement in
ecotourism: Experiences from the third world. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 8(3), pp.
Scheyvens, R. 2002. Tourism for development: Empowering communities. Essex: Pearson
Education Ltd.
Shaw, G. and Williams, A. 2010. Tourism SMEs: Changing research agendas and missed
opportunities. In: Pearce, D. and Butler, R. eds. 2010. Tourism research: A 20-20 vision.
Oxford: Goodfellow publishers, pp. 80-93.
Swain, M. B., 1993. Women producers of ethnic arts. Annals of Tourism Research, 20, pp.
References (5)
Thomas, R. 2004. International perspectives on small firms in tourism: A synthesis. In:
Thomas, R. eds. 2004. Small firms in tourism. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Thomas, R., Shaw, G. and Page, S. 2011. Understanding small firms in tourism: A
perspective on research trends and challenges. Tourism Management, 32, 963-976.
Tucker, H., 2007. Undoing shame: Tourism and women's work in Turkey. Journal of
Tourism and Cultural Change, 5 (2), 87-105.
Van der Cammen, S., 1997. Involving Maasai women. In: L. France, eds. The Earthscan
Reader in Sustainable Tourism. London: Earthscan, pp. 162-163.
World Tourism Organization and UN Women. 2011. Global report on women in tourism
2010. Madrid: World Tourism Organization and UN Women.
Wanhill, S. 2000. Small and medium tourism enterprises. Annals of Tourism Research, 27
1, 132-147.
Welter, F. 2011. Contextualizing entrepreneurship—conceptual challenges and ways
forward. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 35, 165-184.
Wilkinson, P. and Pratiwi, W. 1995. Gender and tourism in an Indonesian village. Annals of
Tourism Research, 22 (2), 283-299.
Thank you
[email protected]
Telephone: +44 0 7503492797
+968 97884470

similar documents