Intergroup contact between front-line cruise staff and LGBT passengers

Nigel Jarvis, Clare Weeden, Adele Ladkin, Tom Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores front-line cruise employees’ interaction with LGBT passengers. Covert data were gathered with 70 staff, many of whom were from developing countries where attitudes to LGBT people can be lessaccepting. Encounters are illuminated using Allport’s (1954) intergroup contact theory. Interactions between staff and gay passengers were largely positive, helping normalise homosexuality and diminish negative attitudes. Staff interactions were moderated by factors such as prior knowledge of gay people, their previous service experience on gay charters, gender, the influence of working for gratuities and the sense of fun onboard. The gay cruise provides the context that gives rise to moderating conditions, which then facilitate the mediating processes
such as reduced intergroup anxiety and increased cultural learning of gay lifestyles. Suggestions for future research between cruise companies and their employees explore how other variables may positively influence staff service-gay customer interactions. Managerial implications are offered for the cruise sector.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100960
Number of pages13
JournalTourism Management Perspectives
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2022


  • Intergroup contact
  • Moderator
  • Mediators
  • LGBT cruise
  • Service encounters
  • Service employees


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