LONDON: The majority of the tourism workforce worldwide is female, a World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) report said, highlighting that 54 per cent of people employed in tourism are women compared to 39 per cent in the broader economy.
The wage-gap is smaller in the tourism sector, added the second edition of the Global Report on Women in Tourism published by UNWTO, in collaboration with UN Women, The German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), World Bank Group and Amadeus.
Women in tourism earn 14.7 per cent less than men compared to 16.8 per cent in the broader economy, the report noted.
Meanwhile, tourism offers women more opportunities for leadership roles: 23 per cent of tourism Ministers are female compared to 20.7 per cent of Ministers overall
The report also highlights how more and more women are challenging gender stereotypes in the sector.
In Morocco, for example, women have been issued tour guide licenses for the first time. An airline in the UK has doubled the number of female pilots they employ and Uganda’s Hotel Owner’s Association is now lead by its first female CEO.
Technology has also been a catalyst for empowerment, providing women with access to more training opportunities and stimulating female entrepreneurship through easier access to the tourism market.
In the public sphere, policy-makers are waking up to the importance of gender equality in tourism and putting measures in place to ensure women fairly share the benefits that tourism can bring.
Speaking on these findings UNWTO secretary-general, Zurab Pololikashvili, said: “Tourism is leading the charge for female empowerment all over the world. Across the private and public sectors women are harnessing the potential of tourism to become financially independent, challenge stereotypes and start their own businesses.
“UNWTO is firmly committed to working towards UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 – the empowerment of women and girls – and ensuring that tourism continues to be at the forefront of gender-equality efforts.”
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), a United Nations specialized agency, is the leading international organization with the decisive and central role in promoting the development of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.