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‘All Aboard’: Motivating Service Employees on Cruise Ships

  • Shobana Nair Sehkaran (a1) and Daniela Sevcikova (a2)


There have been numerous studies on employee motivation and satisfaction in the hospitality industry but there appears to be a lack of research regarding employment on cruise ships. Cruise ship employees are expected to provide high-quality services that could influence the quality of the tourist experience and the competitiveness of the organisation. Therefore, the level of employee motivation is a critical success factor for this industry. This research aims to contribute to this relatively under-researched area by evaluating the motivational factors for customer-facing service employees on cruise ships. In-depth semistructured interviews were conducted with 16 past and present employees from various cruise ships. The data gathered were analysed using template analysis. The study revealed employees were mainly motivated to work for the money saving opportunities, the desire to travel and meet new people, as well as learning aspirations and the attractive lifestyle the employment offered. The study has found that the unique environment of working is important on cruise ships and has been worthy of close attention due to its influences on employee motivation.


Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Shobana Nair Sehkaran, Principal Lecturer, Department of Food and Tourism Management, Hollings Faculty, Manchester Metropolitan University, Old Hall Lane, Manchester M14 6HR, United Kingdom.
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Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • ISSN: 1447-6770
  • EISSN: 1839-5260
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-hospitality-and-tourism-management
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