Emotional labor in creating Christmas experiences - the perspective of new tourism workers

José-Carlos García-Rosell, Heli Kaarina Ilola, Veera Paakkonen, Veera Veijola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Despite an emerging stream of literature dealing with emotional labor in tourism and hospitality, the role of emotions in the daily work of Christmas tourism employees has seldom been studied. In particular, this study aims to gain insights into the experiences of new Christmas tourism workers who must play a fictional role and wear fantasy character costumes in their work. This study reports on qualitative research conducted among trainees working in a Christmas theme park in Rovaniemi, Lapland. The findings offer interesting insights into the emotional aspects that should be considered in the training giving to Christmas tourism workers, especially to those working as Santa Claus and elves among others. Results indicate that employees who succeed in using surface and deep acting as emotional labor strategies are less prompted to become emotional exhausted. The study also reveals the role of management in creating a working atmosphere that supports employees’ emotional labor. While the study was conducted in a Finnish Christmas theme park and its results cannot be generalized, it sheds some light on the emotional nature of tourism work which requires adopting a fictional character role.
Translated title of the contributionEmotional labor in creating Christmas experiences - the perspective of new tourism workers
Original languageFinnish
Pages (from-to)28-43
JournalMatkailututkimus
Volume12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • emotional labor
  • experience economy
  • Christmas tourism
  • tourism work
  • theme parks
  • hospitality
  • service work
  • human resources

Field of science

  • Tourism research
  • Business and management

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