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News Article

UNWTO release preliminary findings for Women in Tourism report

Report announcement to mark International Women’s Day 2019

The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) announced a report focussing on ‘Women taking the lead in tourism’ to coincide with International Women’s day on 8th March. The report has been produced in collaboration with UN Women, World Bank Group, the German Cooperation Agency (GIZ) and Amadeus. The announcement is of the preliminary findings of the Global Report on Women in Tourism: Second edition, which is due to be released in full in autumn 2019.

The report is to showcase women and how they are challenging gender stereotypes globally. Examples in the report are numerous, from North Africa to the UK and the whole world. The report’s emphasis is on the growing trend of women having powerful roles in the Travel and Tourism sector, which are often seen as ‘Men’s roles’, such as CEO’S and Airline pilots.

The UNWTO’s research says technology has been a driving factor influencing the participation of women in tourism sector. Technology is encouraging easier access to the tourism market, providing an opportunity for training and entrepreneurship, which is available equally, regardless of gender.

UNWTO is hoping the research and findings will rouse policy-makers to the importance of gender equality in tourism. UNWTO want to ensure women can get their fair share of tourism’s benefits. 

Speaking on these findings UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili, said that “tourism is leading the charge for female empowerment all over the world”. He added: “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 initial results indicate that across the private and public sectors women are harnessing the potential of tourism to become financially independent, challenge stereotypes and start their own businesses:

The Global report has three main research focus areas:

  •          The majority of the tourism workforce worldwide is female
  •          Tourism offers greater opportunities for women’s entrepreneurship than the wider economy
  •          Tourism policies are increasingly addressing gender-equality


The press release for the report can be found here; when it is published it will be available here along with the rest of the UNWTO’s publications.

Leisure Tourism subscribers can access the 2018 CABI book by Dr Stroma Cole on gender equality and tourism. This book aims to identify the main obstacles to women's advancement in the tourism industry, and to discover and share successful strategies to overcome them. The book is also available to purchase in print.

To find other relevant information on the Leisure Tourism, try searching using the index term ‘tourism’ combined with e.g. ‘gender relations’, ‘gender equality’, or ‘women AND empowerment’. A small selection of records is listed below,

Article details

  • Author(s)
  • Jesslyn Thay
  • Date
  • 14 March 2019
  • Subject(s)
  • Hospitality Sector
  • Tourism