Women continue to drive travel and tourism
Statistics and data
13.03.2024 Africa   45
Women continue to drive travel and tourism

Despite the challenges women in tourism continue to face, the World Travel and Tourism Council has released data that highlights the key role women play in the global travel and tourism sector. South Africa's National Department of Tourism (NDT) also told Travel News about the progress being made in women's representation in the local tourism industry.

Women in tourism made up a significant portion of the sector's workforce in 2019, according to WTTC , accounting for almost 40% of total employment.

This marked a significant increase compared to 2010, highlighting a 24% increase in direct female employment in the sector, increasing from 38.6 million to 47. 8 million.

Key findings show that the hospitality industry stands out as the leading employer of women in the travel and tourism sector, with more than half (52%) of all female employment in 2019 coming from this segment.

Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC, highlighted the positive impact of women in the sector today: “Women in travel and tourism play a vital role. We are proud that our sector is one of the largest employers of women in the world.

“As our sector continues to grow, women have a key role to play; we have the opportunity to make travel and tourism more sustainable and inclusive. Placing women at the center of travel and tourism will be critical to ensuring a sustainable future for the sector.”

Data from the global organization also shows that women in travel and tourism are outperforming the average workforce participation rate in other sectors around the world. In regions such as America, women make up a larger share of employment in this sector compared to the overall economy's workforce.

“These data highlight the significant contribution of women to the travel and tourism sector, depicting it as a catalyst for gender inclusivity and empowerment on a global scale. WTTC remains committed to providing high-paying jobs, gender equality and entrepreneurship through small and medium-sized businesses, as well as creating more high-level opportunities for women in large corporations,” WTTC said in a press release.

Local Benefits

NDT launched its Women in Tourism (WiT) program in 2013 as a platform to promote initiatives that support the development and empowerment of women in the tourism sector.

The Platform recognized the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs, who often find themselves at the bottom of the tourism economic value chain, and identified measures that will help implement the WiT program. Its main areas of focus included personal development, supporting women to develop a competitive advantage in their businesses and capacity building initiatives.

“Through its WiT programmes, the Department seeks to engage women in the tourism sector, addressing skills gaps through development programs,” said NDT spokeswoman Tasneem Karrim.

Source: travelnews.co.za

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