Women in Travel & Tourism

Promoting Women’s Engagement in Travel & Tourism: Key to a Thriving Sector

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The Women Deliver Global Conference served as a platform for the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) to reiterate the significance of women’s engagement in the Travel & Tourism sector.

The council emphasized the importance of women’s involvement to catapult the sector’s growth and achieve a thriving and resilient industry. The event, held in Kigali, Rwanda, aimed to address the challenges faced by women in the Travel & Tourism sector and explore strategies to overcome them, promoting equal opportunities and inspiring change.

During the conference, Julia Simpson, the President & CEO of WTTC, delivered a compelling speech emphasizing the importance of promoting women’s involvement in the sector. She highlighted the need to overcome challenges faced by women in the business world and emphasized the role of mentorship in empowering young women and girls. Simpson stated, “It is proven that companies that have 50% women in their leadership make more money. This makes even more sense in travel and tourism where women make the buying decisions on where to go on holiday.”

The panel discussions held at the event shed light on various challenges faced by women in different aspects of the Travel & Tourism business. These challenges included barriers to entry, operational obstacles, and ecosystem limitations. The discussions aimed to raise awareness about these hurdles and encourage the development of strategies to overcome them.

Underscoring the vital role of mentorship in empowering women, the conference highlighted the importance of networking, opportunities, and resources provided by mentorship programs. These programs are instrumental in unlocking the potential of young women and facilitating economic transformation within the sector.

Rwanda, known for its impressive track record in gender equality, played host to the Women Deliver Global Conference. With a majority of women MPs in Parliament, Rwanda’s President Kagame addressed the conference, expressing genuine passion and commitment to gender equality. The event not only highlighted the barriers and inequalities faced by women but also aimed to unlock immense potential and drive sustainable growth within the sector.

According to the WTTC, women constitute approximately 54% of the workforce in the Travel & Tourism sector. While the industry provides accessible opportunities for women, it also faces disparities such as lower pay and job security. Unfortunately, these disparities were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is estimated that a majority of the 62 million jobs lost in the travel and tourism sector during the pandemic were women’s jobs.

In light of these challenges, WTTC is urging both the public and private sectors to actively promote women’s participation in the Travel & Tourism sector. The council suggests that governments adopt policies supporting women in senior management, including implementing mandatory quotas for publicly listed companies and state-owned enterprises. Similarly, the private sector is encouraged to provide targeted professional development programs for women and create networking and mentoring opportunities.

The Women Deliver Global Conference has served as a catalyst for change, bringing together sector leaders, policymakers, and advocates to collectively work towards a more diverse and prosperous future. By addressing the barriers and inequalities faced by women in Travel & Tourism, the sector can unlock its immense potential and drive sustainable growth. WTTC remains committed to championing women’s rights and empowering them to thrive in the industry, ensuring a brighter future for everyone involved.

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