Bordering the Utopia: Work-Life Balance in Travel Agencies in Tijuana (Mexico)

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 09:00
Oral Presentation
Isis Arlene DÍAZ-CARRIÓN, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Baja California, Mexico
Ma. Cruz LOZANO-RAMÍREZ, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Mexico
Julio César MONTIEL-FLORES, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Mexico
Balance of life is regarded as vital for tourism due to its characteristics of a highly time-consuming sector. Several scholars have evidence the importance of addressing work-life balance strategies in hotels, restaurants as well as in other companies related to travel and tourism industry.

In Mexico work-life balance strategies have been largely neglected, but this can be changing during the last years. Public policies and personal demands might be playing a relevant role in demanding a balance between work and family life in the country.

Considered as a basic element in the travel and tourism sector and characterized as small businesses, travel agencies have been to adapt to the TICs challenge probably more than any other in the sector, but TICs have not being used to promoted balance.

In Latin America, travel agencies are considered a feminised business, in a region where women experience an important imbalance in daily life as a consequence of care work that remains predominantly performed by them, so the promotion of balance between job and family is crucial.

Located northern Mexico, Tijuana (Baja California. Mexico) has been considered as the main cross-border destination in the country. The city experienced a wave of violence about a decade ago, but tourism activity has been recovering during the last years and benefits are also reaching travel agencies.

In order to explore the perception of work-life balance and job satisfaction among employees in travel agencies in Tijuana we conducted a qualitative research.

Among our relevant findings are the importance of work-life balance in job satisfaction mainly among women, the presence of informal work-life balance arrangements, the importance of life-cycle as relevant for prioritizing the different strategies and, unless the increasing participation of men, the concentration on women as main care work providers.