Tourism for Gender Equality

Written by  Talia Salem
Boomu Women´s Group Bandas Boomu Women´s Group Bandas

Tourism’s role in society and local communities has certainly evolved over the years. The emergence of eco, community and volunteer tourism has contributed to tourism leaving a positive impact on a destination. Another area that tourism is having an impact on is gender equality and women’s empowerment. The United Nations World Tourism Organization has set out to foster a dialogue on this very important issue in the tourism sector.

At the recent World Travel Mart in London, the UNWTO hosted an event on Gender and Sustainable Tourism Development: Exploring the Links with ministers of tourism, entrepreneurs and NGOs. The event was geared toward discussing the opportunities and barriers that face women in the tourism industry.  Participants agreed on the need for well-strategized, persistent and concerted efforts and emphasized the importance of raising awareness on gender issues in the tourism sector.

Attendees gleaned insights on gender equality and the struggle for empowerment from such panelists as Liz Cramer Campos, the Minister of Tourism of Paraguay, and Angela Handjipateras, Founder and Co-Director of a community-based lodge in Mozambique and member of the Central America Women´s Network (CAWN). The event resulted in a call for more research that builds upon the UNWTO/UN Women Global Report and to make sure that the necessary gender data is frequently collected so that we as an industry can track the actual progress in our sector. To learn more about the event and download a full report, click here.

This is an issue we take very seriously at The Undiscovered Travel Collection. Many of the members of The Collection employ and empower women. Part of our tourism network Pearls of Uganda, the Boomu Women’s Group Bandas is located between Budongo Forest Reserve and Murchison Falls National Park and has about 40 members. The group was formed to combat poverty and malnutrition, and evolved into a wonderful community tourism project with accommodations, a restaurant, intimate guided tours and a well-tended garden.

Part of the Dominican Treasures tourism network, the off-grid Sonido Del Yaque Ecolodge is locally owned and operated by the New Hope Women’s Club just outside of Jarabacoa in the Dominican Republic. This group of women believes in using the lodge as a way to improve the lives of their families and the community, and strives to promote renewable resource strategies locally and globally.

We invite you to discover The Collection and do your part to empower these women.

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