Gender and Tourism

World Tourism Day: Investing in Gender Equality for a Greener Tomorrow

Why Gender Equality is critical to a sustainable Tourism Industry, and how your organisation can invest in it.

As we celebrate World Tourism Day with the theme of ‘tourism and green investments,’ it’s crucial to explore a significant yet often overlooked aspect of sustainability: gender equality. Equality in Tourism’s mission to transform the lives of women in tourism is not just a matter of social justice; it’s a cornerstone of creating a greener and more sustainable future for the tourism industry.

The Case for Gender Equality in Tourism

Social and Economic Impact:

Gender equality in the workplace is not only about fairness; it’s about realising the full potential of a diverse and inclusive workforce. Research demonstrates that companies promoting gender diversity at all levels of their workforce tend to outperform their competitors. Women in leadership roles contribute to enhanced decision-making processes, bringing fresh perspectives that drive innovation and growth. 

Beyond financial success, studies have also shown organisations with women in leadership roles tend to exhibit an increased commitment to sustainability and corporate responsibility. This is reflected in their improved CSR practices, stronger community engagement, and dedication to environmental responsibility. Women in leadership positions are often catalysts for a more ethical, inclusive, and sustainable tourism industry, aligning with the evolving demands of responsible and environmentally conscious travellers. 

"Companies with greater board gender diversity are 60 percent more likely to reduce the intensity of energy consumption, 39 percent more likely to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and 46 percent more likely to reduce water use"

Community Well-Being:

Beyond the workplace, tourism organisations can invest in the communities they operate in. By empowering women in these communities through education, employment, and entrepreneurship, tourism companies can help create thriving, sustainable destinations.

When women in destination communities are given the tools and resources to improve their own lives, the impact resonates across multiple dimensions. These empowered women become drivers of economic growth, capable of contributing to their communities’ overall prosperity. As women gain access to education and job opportunities, they become role models for the younger generation, inspiring future leaders and change-makers.

A large group of women in Quezon city all posing for the camera

Investing in women’s economic empowerment not only enhances community well-being but also contributes to destination resilience. Empowered women are better equipped to adapt to changing circumstances, ensuring that destinations remain attractive and welcoming to travellers. 

Sustainable and resilient destinations are not only more appealing but also better equipped to withstand external shocks, such as economic downturns or environmental challenges.

By fostering gender equality within the tourism sector, businesses not only bolster the well-being of women engaged in the industry but also reap the rewards of a more balanced, innovative, and sustainable workforce. This progressive approach not only drives economic prosperity within the industry but also radiates positive impacts throughout communities and societies at large.

10 Ways to Invest in Gender Equality

Here are some practical steps that tourism and hospitality organisations can take to invest in gender equality:

1. Conduct Training and Awareness

Conduct regular training sessions on sexual harassment prevention and unconscious bias awareness. Make sure all employees are aware of your corporate gender equality policy and action plan, fostering a culture of respect and inclusivity.

2. Implement a Data-Driven Approach

Invest in data collection and analysis to measure the impact of your gender equality initiatives. By tracking key performance indicators, organisations can assess the effectiveness of their efforts and make data-driven improvements.

3. Encourage Leadership Development

Foster women’s leadership within your organisation through mentorship programs, leadership training, and opportunities for advancement. A diverse leadership team fosters innovation and better reflects the diversity of your customer base.

4. Offer Flexible Work Arrangements

Provide flexible working arrangements, such as remote work options and flexible hours, to accommodate the diverse needs of your employees. This flexibility enables women and men to better balance their work and personal lives.

5. Support Leave and Re-entry Opportunities

Offer extended parental leave and ensure smooth re-entry opportunities for women and men into positions of equal pay and status. This supports employees in maintaining their career trajectories while meeting family responsibilities.

6. Address Child and Dependent Care

Support access to child and dependent care services, resources, and information. By addressing caregiving needs, organisations remove barriers that often hinder women’s career advancement.

7. Extend Gender Equality to the Supply Chain

Collaborate with suppliers who share your commitment to gender equality and ensure fair treatment of female workers throughout your value chain.

8. Forge Community Partnerships

Collaborate with local organisations and NGOs to support women’s education, health, and economic empowerment in destination communities. By doing so, tourism companies can create a positive social impact while also enhancing the attractiveness of the destination and creating a more sustainable and resilient destination.

9. Engage in Advocacy and Networking

Join industry associations and initiatives that advocate for gender equality in tourism. Networking and knowledge sharing can help organisations learn from each other’s experiences and best practices.

10. Promote Public Awareness

Use your platform and marketing efforts to raise public awareness about the importance of gender equality in tourism. Engage in campaigns and events that promote gender equality as a core value.


As we celebrate World Tourism Day under the banner of “tourism and green investments,” let’s remember that true sustainability cannot be achieved without gender equality. By investing in gender equality within the workplace and the communities they operate within, tourism businesses and organisations can create a more inclusive, ethical, and sustainable industry.

By embracing the principles of gender equality, we not only promote social responsibility and innovation but also contribute to the broader goals of sustainability and well-being for all. Happy World Tourism Day, from all of us at Equality in Tourism!

If you would like to learn more about how your organisation can invest in Gender Equality, why not get in touch with us or check out our online learning resources.

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