Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Lauren Nicole Duffy

Committee Member

Dr. William Terry

Committee Member

Dr. Lori Dickes

Committee Member

Dr. Sheila Backman


Tourism may be a source of growing gender inequity in some tourist setting due to their cultural and historical contexts even though it is a potential instrument for improving the welfare of women through employment and entrepreneurial activities. Many studies have focused on the role of tourism in improving the lives of women in Tanzania, but few have focused on women employed in male dominated positions like adventure tour guiding. While being a female tour guide is regarded as a big achievement in Tanzania with many women wanting to be tour guides, there are very few female tour guides in the country - less than 1% of all guides. Through a constructivist-interpretivist and Afrocentric research lenses, this dissertation examined the gendered experiences of female adventure guides in Tanzania, including those who guide wildlife safaris, ocean and beach safaris, or treks at Mount Kilimanjaro, to better understand how to address the challenges they encounter at work. This dissertation contains three studies. The first study focused on identifying the beliefs and worldviews that shape the experiences of women working as adventure tour guides in Tanzania. Major themes found include the ways in which adventure tour guiding intersect with the concept of womanhood; the belief that female tour guiding is against African culture; the belief that tour guiding is difficult for African women; domesticity; male supremacy; submissiveness and sexuality (the belief that female tour guides are wahuni or have inappropriate sexual behavior). The second study also examined challenges, but focused on those that were considered as violent acts against women. Findings from this study identified forms of gendered-based violence such as sexual violence, humiliation, bullying, harassment, and psychological violence to be 3 problematic for female tour guides in Tanzania. The third study built on these two studies by exploring potential ways to address these challenges for female adventure tour guides. The themes that emerged included better waste management strategies; mentorship; training; advocacy; female uniforms; support from foreign tourists; support from men; policies; and strategic tourism marketing as proposed solutions to addressing the challenges faced by female adventure tour guides in Tanzania. The findings across all three studies have the potential to shape policy and practice for female tour guides in Tanzania and contributes theoretically to our understanding of their experience in the workplace.

Author ORCID Identifier


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