Our Directors Tricia Barnett and Stroma Cole have just spent two weeks working in Tanzania as part of an Equality in Tourism initiated pilot project, to create economic growth and promote gender equality in the Kilimanjaro region. Three workshops were held to highlight the potential of tourism linkages and gender equality to improve the socio-economic conditions of communities in the area. Focusing on women’s empowerment through creating linkages between farmers and the hospitality industry, participants included all relevant partners and stakeholders both within and outside the tourism industry. The workshops were so popular that participation exceeded expected numbers, and some attendees had to stand through the sessions – as far as organisational problems go, it was a nice one to have
All workshops included interactive sessions requiring the full participation of attendees, which resulted in some fantastic exchanges and a great deal of accelerated learning. The presentation given by Equality in Tourism provided the framework for this group work, highlighting tourism and gender equality theories and practical examples – and encouraging participants to apply these concepts to their own lives. Immediate feedback showed that hoteliers especially enjoyed their session. It gave them practical and applicable suggestions on how to nurture gender equality at work and strengthen local links with farmers and producers, as well as the economic benefits of doing both these things.
At Equality in Tourism we understand the importance of securing buy-in and support from the full spectrum of tourism stakeholders if the industry is to be sustainable. That’s why we encourage the participation of both public and private individuals and organisations in our workshops. The Tanzania project was no different, and at the workshop for hoteliers Equality in Tourism also brought together representatives of the Ministry of Tourism, the tour operators‘ association, Responsible Tourism Tanzania and the Tourism Board. The sessions highlighted the need for transparent policy making and close cooperation between public and private stakeholders. Bringing everyone into the same room was a crucial display of this and we hope it bodes well for future partnerships.