Recommended Reading

To facilitate your learning journey, we have compiled a curated reading list tailored for both academics and industry professionals. This comprehensive collection of sources is designed to foster a deeper understanding of gender equality in the context of tourism.

Routledge Handbook on Gender in Tourism: Views on Teaching, Research and Praxis

February 2024

Magdalena Petronella (Nellie) Swart, Wenjie Cai, Elaine Chiao Ling Yang, Albert Nsom Kimbu

This comprehensive handbook delves into the multifaceted dimensions of the role of gender in tourism, spanning education, research, and practice. With 40 international contributions from leading thinkers in the field, it brings together diverse themes such as entrepreneurship, mobility, sustainability, and sexuality. 

Snapshot of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in National Tourism Strategies

March 2023


UNWTO commissioned a study to explore how gender issues and women’s empowerment are integrated into national tourism policies and strategies. This snapshot publication provides an overview of the study of 70 publicly-available strategies and offers recommendations to policymakers for achieving ‘gender-transformative’ tourism policies.

Gender Justice in Global Tourism: Exploring Tourism Transformation Through the Lens of Feminist Alternative Economics

August 2022

Angela B. Kalisch and Stroma Cole

Exploring tourism transformation through the lens of feminist alternative economics.

Gender-inclusive Strategy for Tourism Businesses

Feb 2022


The “Gender Inclusive Strategy for Tourism Businesses” contains tools to support private sector tourism enterprises of all types and sizes achieve effective and consistent strategies and programmes for gender equality across their operations.

Contrast Report 14: Responsible Tourism- Gender inequalities in the tourism labour market

April 2021      Alba Sud Editorial

Núria Abellan Calvet, Carla Izcara Conde, Alejandra López Ballart, Marta Salvador Almela

The report comprehensively reviews the current landscape of research concerning the gendered dynamics of different aspects of the tourism labour market, such as glass ceilings, the imposition of aesthetic standards for women and sexual harassment.  It uses case studies which exemplify these issues in global contexts.

Tourism, Human Rights, and Gender Equality.

December 2020

Kania Mezariani Guzaimi, Wahyu Wagiman, Vita Rachim Yudhani. Chapter by Dr. Stroma Cole

Dr. Stroma Cole was recently commissioned to co-author a chapter on Tourism by The Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy, a human rights organisation, in Indonesia. Read the shortened English version of the paper on our news page or download the full publication here.

Tourism and Gender-Based Violence: Challenging Inequalities

August 2020

Paola Vizcaino, Heather Jeffrey, Claudia Eger. Forward written by Dr. Stroma Cole

Gender based violence (GBV) in travel and tourism is embedded within wider social structures of gender inequalities and discrimination. This book focuses on the multiple and interconnected manifestations of violence that women and girls encounter in tourism consumption and production, such as physical, sexual, emotional or socio-economic abuse. Read the foreword written by Dr Stroma Cole or find the full publication here.

Application of a gender perspective in tourism research: a theoretical and practical approach

July 2020    Journal of Tourism Analysis: Revista de Análisis Turístico

Cristina Figueroa-Domecq, Mónica Segovia-Perez

The paper aims to present a conceptual model that identifies and relates the different approaches and thematic areas in the research area of tourism and gender.

Global Report on Women in Tourism: Second Edition

Dec 2019         UNWTO

UNWTO has joined forces with UN Women, the German Development Agency GIZ, World Bank and Amadeus to produce the “Global Report on Women in Tourism, second edition”. The report compiles the latest statistical data and in-depth examples of good practice to illustrate the contribution tourism is making towards the UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 – Achieving Gender Equality and Empowering all Women and Girls. 

No Sustainability for Tourism Without Gender Equality

March 2019

Daniela Morena Alarcon and Stroma Cole

Journal of Sustainable Tourism. Volune 27, 2019.  pp903-919

This paper explores the interconnections between the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and tourism from a gender perspective. It is the first paper to take a critical analysis of how SDG 5 relates to tourism, and how tourism and gender equality interconnects with the other SDGs.

Beyond Compliance in the Hotel Sector


Minderoo Foundation’s Walk Free Initiative, WikiRate, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Australian National University

This publication reviews the statements made by the UK hotel sector regarding the Modern Slavery Act. It aims to document the impact of new legislative acts and how companies have responded to them. By doing so, this study aims to provide a tool to improve the effectiveness of legislation and advance business practices.

Beyond the glass ceiling: Gendering tourism management

March 2019         Annals  p79-91

Inês Carvalho, Carlos Costa, Nina Lykke, Anália Torres

This article considers how Acker’s (1990, 2012) framework of gendering processes can be a tool for the analysis of women managers’ careers in tourism organisations. Twenty-four women top-level managers in hotels and travel businesses were interviewed. 

Tourism and gendered hosts and guests

2018       Tourism Review

Heather L. Jeffrey

This conceptual paper aims to contribute to the extant tourism and gender literature by highlighting a tendency towards the conceptualisation of gendered research participants as host or guest depending upon their nationality.

Gender Equality and Tourism: Beyond Empowerment


Cole, S. (Ed.)

To hear Stroma Cole talk about the recently published book “Gender Equality and Tourism: Beyond Empowerment”, which she edited, and recount some of the personal stories featured within it, watch this clip on YouTube.

To give you a flavour of the contents of this book, download the first Chapter

Sun, Sand and Ceilings: Women in Tourism and Hospitality Boardrooms


Equality in Tourism

In 2013, Equality in Tourism published its first report on women in the boardrooms of the tourism industry. Five years on, this report revisits the data to assess the progress. The following report presents research and analysis, together with recommendations for the implementation of change. 

Poverty Alleviation and Women Empowerment through Tourism Development – an Explorative Study of Model Ventures

2018         Atna Journal of Tourism Studies

Priyakrushna Mohanty, Anu Chandran

Although research on tourism, poverty alleviation and women empowerment are being
carried out extensively, integrative studies linking all three aspects are scant. This
paper is an attempt to bridge the existing gap in the literature by connecting the concepts of tourism-driven poverty alleviation and gender empowerment through tourism and feminisation of poverty.

Water worries: An intersectional feminist political ecology of tourism and water in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia

Nov 2017         Annals p14-24

Dr. Stroma Cole

Framed in feminist political ecology, this paper presents an intersectional analysis of the gender-water-tourism nexus. Based in an emergent tourism destination, Labuan Bajo, Indonesia, it goes beyond an analysis of how women bear the brunt of burdens related to water scarcity, and examines which women and why and how it affects their daily lives.

Achieving Gender Equality in Tourism and Empowering All Women and Girl


Daniela Moreno Alarcón, Equality in Tourism

Transforming Tourism 2030 Agenda is a tool that rethinks sustainable development at social, economic and environmental levels. Goal 5 is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. This document details tangible ways forward and the challenges that may be faced. 

ILO guidelines on decent work and socially responsible tourism


International Labour Office

These guidelines establish general principles and a policy framework intended to direct efforts towards attaining decent work, socially responsible tourism, and complete and productive employment for the tourism industry. This approach promotes sustainability and assists in fulfilling the SDGs.

European Institute for Gender Equality: Gender in Tourism

Jan 2017      EIGE

This publication was prepared under the gender mainstreaming programme of the European Institute for Gender Equality. It constitutes the integral part of EIGE’s Gender Mainstreaming Platform.

Hands Off, Pants On: Sexual Harassment in Chicago’s Hospitality Industry

July 2016         UNITE HERE Local 1

USA statistics indicate that the hospitality industry has the highest incidence of sexual harassment. UNITE HERE Local 1 conducted a survey of 487 women to gain a broader understanding of the extent to which women in Chicago’s hospitality industry experience sexual harassment from guests. The union also wanted to learn from women themselves what might make them feel safer on the job. 

Women in tourism: Shifting gender ideology in the DR

Jan 2017      

Lauren N. Duffy , Carol S. Kline,  Rasul A. Mowatt,  H. Charles Chancellor 

The purpose of this study is to explore the ways in which the employment of women in the tourism industry has challenged or reinforced the traditional machismo–marianismo gender ideology in the Dominican Republic. 

Sun, Sand and Ceilings: Women in the Boardroom in the Tourism Industry


Equality in Tourism

Our findings suggest that the tourism industry is failing to promote women to the highest levels of decision making despite having a larger pool of female talent from which to draw. In this report we set out our findings over four key sectors of the tourism industry, both in the UK and internationally.