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That means that only 1 in 5 Americans will be on track to meet there goals in July of I have done a little reading and research and I have come up with the following three steps to help you achieve your goals. Write them down — The single most important thing that sets successful people apart from the not so successful, is a clear set of written goals.
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When it comes to setting goals, the easy part is setting them, the difficult part is doing the things necessary to accomplish them. Each year we say that we want something different, but we never actually do anything different to accomplish them.
This article examines the impact of employment on Belizean women by comparing and contrasting their experiences working in mass and alternative tourism establishments. Neverthe- less, some women have seized these opportunities to exploit the lim- ited available markets and to gained autonomy by becoming business owners.
The aim of this article is to examine the impacts of employ- ment in different forms of tourism. Does the alternative option offer opportunities beyond those conventionally found in mass tourism employment? Does employment create opportunities for women to gain increased status or are they exploited?
Is there a difference depending on the sector in which they are employed or is the differ- ence based on the type of work they perform? It includes cruiseships, large all-inclusive resorts, and con- ventions. After 40 years of rapid, unprecedented growth, the success of mass tourism as a development tool has been questioned as foreign ex- change drains out of host countries Britton ; Pleumarom Other criticisms include changes in the values and beliefs of the local population, a decrease in the availability of goods, negative impacts on natural resources, and development of neocolonial rela- tionships between developed and less developed countries de Kadt ; Gmelch ; Sinclair, Alizadeh and Onunga ; Smith Because an often-cited benefit is the creation of job opportunities, employment in mass tourism has received much attention de Kadt ; Levy and Lerch ; McLaren ; Pattullo ; Robson ; Smith Researchers are often critical of the seasonality of such work Faulkenberry et al ; Gmelch , which also tends to offer low-paying, low-skilled opportunities with little chance for advancement Chant ; Pattullo Such gender-based segregation is not unique to this industry in Belize.
Tour- ism is not the only industry, and Belize is not the only country, where gender-based segregation occurs. For instance, Enloe discusses how patriarchal ideals lead to the subordination of women in law firms, the military, and large corporations throughout the world Such gender-based discrimination in the workplace leads to numerous problems. For example, sexual harassment and prostitution are often- cited criticisms of the industry Cohen ; Graeburn ; Kempa- doo ; Lee Not surprisingly, in light of these problems, em- ployee dissatisfaction is often said to be high in mass tourism Faulkenberry et al ; Levy and Lerch Alternative Tourism Concerns regarding problems with mass tourism have led many researchers and government officials to call for other forms aimed at alleviating or minimizing the concerns Apostolopoulos and Sonmez Alternative tourism refers to small-scale enterprises developed in reaction to the negative impacts of and off-putting tourist experi- ences at mass destinations.
Alternative businesses are often individually or family owned and tend to allow for more contact between locals and guests. Examples include ecotourism, cultural or heritage, adventure, and nature tourism. In this article, alternative tourism refers to small businesses that have a niche market.
Alternative tourism is often promoted as a development option that addresses some criticisms of the mass sector by focusing on social and economic concerns. For example, since it is small-scale, it requires less capital to construct facilities than mass tourism, meaning that people who typically could not afford to start their own businesses have in- creased opportunities to do so Sherman and Dixon Often, women use their existing skills to open small-scale businesses like guest- houses and restaurants Dahles However, alternative tourism is not without drawbacks.
Because of the close contact between guests and hosts, it can lead to more severe changes in local culture. It often takes place in more ecologically sen- sitive locations, where there is potential for greater damage. Addition- ally, while facilities are limited, the market is also limited Gmelch Although tourism employment has led to increased benefits for women, it has resulted in negative changes as well. For instance, they generally have a longer workday since they typically retain house- hold duties in addition to paid labor outside the home.
There may also be uneven control over household finances, and women may face dif- ficulty gaining power at the community and higher levels Sinclair While much research focuses on the negative impacts of mass tourism Gmelch , this article examines both positive and negative impacts of tourism employment. Belize is a small country, roughly twice the size of Jamaica, located in Central America. It is just south of the Yucatan Peninsula and is bor- dered to the west and south by Guatemala.
It is the only English-speaking country in Central America. Although Belize initially gained recognition as an ecotourism destination McMinn and Cater , the rapid growth of the industry has become cause for concern. This area was chosen as one of the research sites because of its popularity as an alternative tourism destination.
Most of the guesthouses and resorts in Cayo offer the same tours and use the same guides, but the price tourists pay varies greatly depending on whether they book the trip through a more upscale resort or book directly through the guides.
Most of these small-scale, family-operated businesses, with limited resources and ame- nities, cater to backpackers and other budget-conscious tourists. Out- side of San Ignacio are larger jungle lodges, primarily owned by North American or European immigrants.
Some of these owners have recently moved to Cayo to take advantage of the growing industry, while others have lived in Belize for 20—30 years and have slowly built up very successful businesses. Most of the foreign-owned businesses have plush accommodations including restaurants, bars, and gift shops, and they cater to higher-end tourists. She explained that Belizean tourism business owners estab- lished the Small Hotel Association to distinguish themselves from the Belize Eco-Tourism Association, whose members were all except for one immigrants, because they felt that the ecotourism organization and the businesses owned by its members were not beneficial to Beliz- eans.
In order to more carefully examine the differences in employ- ment opportunities between these alternatives, they were divided into two categories, Belizean-owned and foreign-owned, with the latter referring to owners not born in Belize. While San Ignacio and Santa Elena together constitute a fairly large urban area by Belizean stan- dards, some of the employees from the alternative tourism sector, par- ticularly those employed in the foreign-owned businesses, live in the smaller villages surrounding these towns.
When this study was conducted in —, Belize was not viewed as a mass destination, and only three large, foreign-owned hotels all located in Belize City could be considered part of the mass sector. Belize City, with a pop- ulation of approximately 87,, is the largest city Central Statistics Office , and most of the employees of these businesses lived there.
Study Methods The primary anthropological research methods for this project were participant observation and a semistructured survey. Participant obser- vation was conducted at a variety of tourism and non-tourism busi- nesses, with time spent observing, questioning, and helping many women as they worked. Further, at homes and other social events, interactions with family members and friends were observed. A combination of open-ended and closed- ended questions was asked.
Several different approaches were used to identify population sam- ples for each sector. An attempt was made to randomly select partici- pants in Cayo for the alternative and non-tourism sectors using a random sample drawn from maps the author and several research assis- tants created of San Ignacio. That survey included a household composition chart including number of occupants, current position of employment, age, and sex.
These data identified 69 women working in non-tourism occupa- tions, and 26 of them were randomly chosen to respond to the employ- ment history survey as a control group. However, because only eight in the initial random sample worked in tourism businesses, it was neces- sary to find additional women using opportunistic sampling and visit- ing as many tourism businesses as possible interview women in a variety of occupations.
Of these, 38 worked in Belizean-owned businesses, the remaining 24 in foreign- owned. Unlike the alternative destinations, access to employees at the mass hotels was limited. In each instance, a manager was approached who agreed to allow employees to be interviewed. Despite repeated requests to spend time at the hotels and talk to women when they had free time, managers primarily set up appointments with particular employees, often other managers.
Whenever possible, additional employees were approached in an attempt to achieve a more representative sample. Some 21 women were interviewed who worked in the mass tourism sector. Data for the mass tourism sector were heavily influenced by re- sponses from managers in a setting where becoming one was not the norm.
To account for this problem, in some of the data analysis, women have been separated into two groups: business owners and managers as one group and employees as another. Thus, all partici- pants were divided into employment sectors based on whether they worked in Belizean-owned alternative, foreign-owned alternative, mass, or non-tourism businesses.
While many businesses not directly tied to tourism receive indirect benefits from it, only those with a direct link were included in this analysis. While once limited to only housewives and mothers, female roles have recently expanded to a wide range of employment opportunities, at least partially as a result of the rapidly growing tourism industry.
Data were gathered to gain an understanding of the experiences of women working in different employment sectors. Some of the variables indicate that traditional views regarding gender were used to limit their opportunities, while others show that some were able to challenge norms through their occupations.
Since hotel work is often perceived to be an extension of domestic labor, it is generally acceptable in areas where a woman work- ing outside the home is not the norm.
The results of this study indicate that Belize is no exception to this rule. In the mass sector 21 women were interviewed. Seven were man- agers, while the remaining 14 were employees Table 2.
Very few were managers in the remaining sectors, and according to managers and business owners in both the mass and foreign-owned sectors, most of the top managerial staff were brought in from North America or Europe because they felt that Belizeans did not have the experience and skills needed to serve in upper-level management.
In mass tourism, however, because the staff is so large, there is more of a need for a hier- archical workforce. Most managers at the lower end of the hierarchy were Belizeans who were trained by the hotels and worked their way into positions such as executive housekeeper and food and beverage manager.
Since there were fewer managers in foreign-owned alterna- tive businesses, they were able to rely primarily on foreigners for man- agement. Still, gender-segregated employment was a com- mon practice in the tourism industry. For instance, based on partici- pant observation, it was found that hotel domestic workers, waitresses, and cooks were generally female, while the majority of tour guides, taxi drivers, boat operators, and maintenance workers were male.
Numerous conversations with Belizeans both within and outside the industry indicated that stereotypical expectations regarding appro- priate behaviors acceptable for men and women were prevalent and impacted the availability of employment opportunities. Low Wages and Double Workday Mass tourism employment is often criticized for low wages Faulken- berry et al ; Gmelch ; Pattullo In order to deter- mine whether this situation was a problem for Belizean women, participants were asked how much they earned on a weekly basis.
Salaries were compared by employment sector and level Table 3. Therefore, in this sector, business owners and manag- ers earned good wages, but the employees on average earned less than employees in either mass or non-tourism.
When comparing the non- tourism sector with the alternative one, the former offered higher wages for employees. However, for business owners and managers, all forms offered higher salaries than non-tourism occupations. The results of this research illustrate the heterogeneity of experiences for women working outside their homes. Those in the same industry can be well or poorly paid depending on their position, which is a point not acknowledged in most critiques of tourism employment.
Another problem for working women in Belize is that they often have a double workday. When responsible for their labor outside the home and for the majority of household chores as well, they do not have the time or energy to renegotiate power within the household or utilize their influence in financial decisionmaking Chant Often they are forced to forego free time and sleep in order to keep up with their responsibilities.
In an attempt to determine whether women were sub- jected to a double workday, they were asked who was primarily respon- sible for domestic responsibilities within their homes. Their answers were coded and analyzed based on whether they did most of the chores, paid someone else, or had help from others within the household. Only one woman in the mass sector paid someone else to clean her home. Right now I have to take care of the kids, work, and pay bills.
Eleven percent of women in the Beliz1ean-owned alternative tourism sector all business owners paid someone else to do housework. Two were married. One was a single mother, and one lived with her mother and they combined their incomes to pay a housekeeper. Furthermore, they earned the lowest wages, meaning they were the least likely to be able to afford to pay someone else to clean their homes. In this group, almost as many women who paid for household help were business owners 4 as were employees 5.
For many in this study a double workday was the norm, even if they were married or had a common-law spouse who could have shared household chores. All participants were asked how they spent their free time, and most of their answers included lists of household chores, illustrating that they rarely had time for leisure activities alone, regardless of employ- ment sector. The problems a double workday causes should not be ignored.
These data were coded and analyzed based on the equivalent number of years of schooling it normally takes to complete that level. For instance, primary schooling in Belize normally takes eight years, so if a woman finished Standard 6 last year of primary , then she completed eight years of education. The government of Belize requires at least eight years of education per child, and children between the ages of five and 14 are supposed to attend school full-time.
Managers in the mass tourism sector had the highest average level of education The employees in the former also had a higher average level of education These data contradict the idea that mass tour- ism hires only uneducated employees. Most of these employees lived in or near Belize City, which has the highest education levels for the entire country Central Statistics Office Therefore, it seems that tourism businesses were actually offering opportunities to the more educated individuals in this community.
The discrepancy in education levels between owners It seems that education may have played an important role in helping these business owners achieve their positions but was less important for their employees. Women working in foreign-owned alternative tourism had the lowest education levels, with the one manager having attended school for six years and the remaining employees having an average of 7.
These data illustrate that in the foreign-owned sector, the critique of tourism offering primarily low-level employment opportuni- ties that require little education is the case.
These women primarily live in more rural areas, where education levels tend to be lower Central Statistics Office Therefore, businesses in this area were provid- ing job opportunities for women who otherwise had few or no oppor- tunities. While they were not encouraged to continue with their schooling, tourism employment did offer them an alternative to the norm, which was helping out at home or getting married.
In the non-tourism sector, owners and managers had a lower average educa- tion level These data suggest that in- creased education levels are more important in obtaining a non-tour- ism job. For most sectors, some variation in education levels depends on employment status. The data for all sectors support the criticism of tourism businesses hiring women with little education at the entry level, but at higher levels, education is more important.
Moreover, in mass tourism, education is important even for the entry-level workers. These findings indicate the necessity of examining more carefully the way the industry impacts various portions of the population. Not only does the type of tourism play a role, but the background of the employ- ees also impacts the extent to which they are able to profit. These variables are household financial decisionmaking, social interaction, business ownership, and levels of autonomy. Shifting Gender Ideologies Many authors stress the importance of who controls household finances when examining relative status of men and women Blumberg ; Chant ; Sen Moreover, research has shown that they tend to spend a larger portion of their income on their families Samarasinghe ; Young Women were asked who was primarily responsible for making finan- cial decisions for their households.
These data were compared by household composition divided into female-headed, male and female headed dual-headed , and multiple adults which included young wo- men living with their parents, adult ones whose parents lived with them, and those living with siblings or other family members.
Few women in each sector said their husbands made financial deci- sions on their own one in mass, two in Belizean-owned alternative, one in foreign-owned alternative, and two in non-tourism.
However, employment status did not have the expected correlation with house- hold financial decisionmaking for all. Most of those whose husbands made financial decisions on their own were business owners or manag- ers, except in the Belizean-owned alternative businesses where both such women were employees. None of them working in non-tour- ism businesses said they made financial decisions on their own. Many men have children with other women who they give their money to.
A woman has to be able to take care of her own children. However, once a woman became pregnant, it was not uncom- mon for the man to leave the relationship and cease support, thereby making it necessary for her to find another male partner. Based on dis- cussions with informants, it seems that the norm of being dependent on men for financial support is changing, and many women are turn- ing to tourism employment instead.
Earning an income has allowed them greater control of household economics, which may be the most important variable impacting their status Blumberg One of the problems facing Belizean women is the tendency of social isolation. While the mass tourism hotels were owned by corporations and managed pri- marily by men, in the alternative sector women owned many of the ho- tels and restaurants. Therefore, alternative tourism offered the possibility of business ownership for Belizean women unlike the mass sector.
Young argues that working outside the home directly corre- lates with status within the home. Some of the participants in this study, primarily the business owners, had achieved some of these benefits and attributed them to their employment experiences. For example, when business owners were asked what they liked most about ownership, the majority of the responses pertained to increased autonomy.
Therefore, the increased autonomy gained by entrepreneurs is a very important benefit. The previous discussion began by highlight- ing the negative impacts of employment for Belizean women and then examined the beneficial impacts alternative. It is too simplistic to categorize tour- ism employment as positive or negative. The research presented in this article illustrates these complexities by examining variables that show benefits of employment while discussing others that indicate some of the negative impacts described in previous studies.
In some cases it seems that tourism employment is exploiting traditional beliefs regard- ing women, particularly when it comes to gender-based segregation, housewifization of labor, double workday, low wages, and low educa- tion levels.
While employment in this industry often re- sults in gender-based segregation, the same separation occurs through- out Belize in many employment sectors Central Statistics Office Therefore, while tourism employment in Belize is gender-segregated, this occurs throughout the country and is a problem that needs to be addressed across employment sectors. One of the main concerns of gender-based segregation is that it legit- imizes low wages for women.
Based on the data here, there is greater variability of wages among tourism employees and sectors than is gen- erally discussed in the literature. For employees, non-tourism or mass tourism employment offered the highest wages; however, for owners and managers, alternative tourism offered the highest wages. These data illustrate that business owners have the best chance of earning high wages, and the Belizean-owned alternative sector offers the most opportunities for Belizean women to become business owners.
Rather than simply stating that tourism employment offers low-wage occupa- tions, researchers should specify which sector they are focusing on and whether the low wages occur across employment levels. If there is a variation of wages at different levels, then it is important to con- sider what can be done to ensure that locals are trained for and hired to work in the higher-waged positions. Another area of concern that seems to be more nuanced then is illus- trated in many studies is education level.
On the one hand, this industry has created opportunities for women who otherwise had little or no employment choice.
Those in rural areas, where many of the employees of foreign-owned alternative tourism businesses resided, typically had the lowest education levels and very few employment openings. Therefore, upon completing school, generally at about 13 or 14 years of age, since most of them did not continue to secondary education, their options were to live at home and help with housekeeping or get married.
With the increase of tourism opportunities in the area, they now have another option: getting a job. This problem can be mitigated by tourism employment programs geared towards training Belizeans to work in more skilled positions, including managerial positions, marketing, advertising, and accounting. Tourism businesses should be required to hire members of the local population for such positions. For many of the variables examined in this article, including gender- based segregation, low wages, and low levels of education, the source of the problem cannot be attributed to tourism employment, because women face the same issues working in non-tourism occupations.
The government of Belize needs to further examine the difficulties faced by women working in the nation as a whole and address these concerns. In terms of household economic decisionmaking, social interaction, business ownership, and levels of autonomy, employment seems to be offering opportunities for women that challenge the norm. Since there was little difference between the tourism and non-tourism businesses, it seems that employment options in general have created important opportunities for Belizean women.
The alternative sector in particular is notable for allowing women to use stereotypes regarding their work to their advantage. While it is believed that they are well suited for household tasks, many have used these ideas to open their own guest- houses and restaurants.
As has been seen in other areas Bolles ; Bras and Dahles , tourism employment in this country, especially Belizean-owned alternative tourism, seemed to help a variety of women. Young, single mothers were able to find employment, and some were even able to start their own businesses.
Many cited increased independence and self-confidence as a result of their employment experiences. Those who have their own means of economic support should not be as susceptible to the economic-sexual cycle as those who must rely on men.
Each of these benefits seemed to be magnified in instances where women owned their own businesses, which occurred in the Belizean-owned alternative and non-tourism sectors.
The discrepancies between Belizean-owned and foreign-owned alter- native tourism are important findings. Women in the foreign-owned alternative tourism sector had the lowest education levels, the fewest professional positions, the lowest wages, the least occupational stability and it was the only sector where some were employed on a seasonal basis. These businesses typically catered to more upscale tourists and charged much higher prices.
However, most of the owners hired other foreigners for managerial positions, leaving only low-level employment opportunities for Belizeans. More research should be con- ducted to determine the reasons for such discrepancies.
Since tourism is the primary development model being used by the government, it is important that Belizean-owned, small-scale tourism businesses be promoted to maximize the benefits for its citizens. The government should take steps to assist its population in developing and promoting alternative tourism businesses. If benefits for women involved in this industry are to be maximized, projects must be planned with careful consideration.
They should include programs offering formal training for women so that they will have the skills necessary to obtain management positions, stipulation that allows for easy mobi- lization of workers if they choose to form unions, support for those who want to open their own businesses, requirements that work hours and schedules be flexible, support for increased benefits such as health care and retirement programs, and regulations that outlaw gender-seg- regation in employment.
To further examine the issues presented, a larger study should be conducted with a broader and random sample of all sectors. For instance, employment at the cayes is very differ- ent from tourism in the interior regions of Belize. Many employees at the cayes move there in search of work, leaving behind their family members and other social networks. Belizeans have commented on the changing behavior of young people who move to the cayes in search of tourism employment, particularly regarding seemingly high rates of alcohol and drug abuse.
When this research was conducted, cruiseship tourism was just begin- ning but was nowhere near its current quantity. With its rise, employ- ment in the informal sector has increased such that now the mass industry in Belize has created numerous such opportunities for women to work in the informal sector, which is a new aspect of mass tourism employment that should be included in future studies.
Although this article focuses on females in Belize, males have different, and often difficult experiences in tourism employment that should also be examined. As travel gets easier and more affordable, it continues to grow. It also offers a tantalizing development model for many countries. Rather than simply criticizing the industry, schol- ars should focus on the ways in which it can be controlled, planned, managed, and promoted such that the yield of benefits is enhanced.
Acknowledgements—The author gratefully acknowledges Dolores Koenig, Sara Alexander, and Kelly Alley for their advice and comments during the research for and writing of this article.
Apostolopoulos, S. Sonmez and D. Timothy, eds. Westport: Praeger. Belize City: Belize Hotel Association. Belize City: Belize Tourism Board. Belsky, J. Rural Sociology — Neyzer, ed. Bennholdt-Thomsen, V. Wolkowitz and R. McCullagh, eds. London: Routledge. Blumberg, R.
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