Managing Cultural Diversity in Peripheral Tourism Destinations: Northern Ireland Experiences

Frances Devine, Tom Baum, Adrian Devine, Niamh Hearns

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Cultural diversity is an increasingly important factor in working life as hospitality and tourism organisations, worldwide, become more diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, national origin and other personal characteristics of their members. Notably, the flow of migrants to peripheral regions of Europe has extended to Northern Ireland. Jarman (2004) estimates some 14,000 non-United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland nationals working in 2001. The retention and skills shortages of the hospitality industry in Northern Ireland are significant factors in facilitating this increase. In the context of this paper, international workers could be an invaluable new source of labour for the hospitality industry, provided that they are properly looked after and managed. Employers face many challenges in accommodating this workforce as these employees in turn have distinct work and life expectations. This exploratory paper draws on information received from hospitality employers in Northern Ireland through a serious of in-depth interviews. In particular, the research centres on the question ‘what opportunities and challenges does a culturally diverse workforce create for hoteliers in Northern Ireland? The paper highlights the over arching importance of a positive proactive management system is a workplace that celebrates its employee’s cultures, that values and explores differences and that actively seeks to learn from other cultures, demonstrates tolerance, respects differences, identifies similarities and strives for inclusiveness. This exploratory study is of value to hospitality practitioners, providing recommendations on how to remove barriers to the successful integration of international staff into the workplace and society whilst benefiting all staff, their organisations and the Irish tourism product.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
PublisherBritish Academy of Management
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2006
EventBritish Academy of Management (BAM) Conference - Belfast
Duration: 1 Jan 2006 → …


ConferenceBritish Academy of Management (BAM) Conference
Period1/01/06 → …


  • Cultural diversity
  • Hospitality management
  • International workers
  • multiculturalism
  • peripheral regions
  • migration
  • Northern Ireland.


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