This study examines how far female tour guides in Egypt experience sexual harassment and how they cope with it.
A qualitative research method is employed, and semi-structured interviews were conducted with 32 full-time female tour guides working for several travel agencies in Egypt. Thematic analysis was used to extract the main ideas from the transcripts.
The findings show that female tour guides in Egypt would encounter annoying gender harassment mostly from tourists they serve, and they might suffer from irresponsible behavior – gender harassment, unwanted sexual harassment, and sexual coercion – from their local managers. When facing sexual harassment, female tour guides usually tend to adopt one of the following three coping strategies: (a) indifference to sexual harassment they encounter, (b) heroism by taking legal action when exposed to sexual harassment or (c) fatalism by taking inconsequential action such as complaining the harasser to his direct manager or filling in an official complaint inside their workplace. The selection of the coping strategy is usually based on the female victim’s personality and the organizational and social context she adapts to.
This paper contributes by filling a gap in tourism, human resources management and gender studies in which empirical studies on the sexual harassment that female tour guides encounter, particularly in non-Western contexts, have been limited so far.
Mousa, M., Abdelgaffar, H., Salem, I.E., Chaouali, W. and Elbaz, A.M. (2023), “From harasser tourists to above the law managers: female tour guides strategies for coping with sexual harassment”, Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/APJBA-10-2022-0429