Female participation in the travel and tourism sector has increased by 24% since 2010, as according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and the Sustainable Tourism Global Center (STGC), nearly 48 million women work in the industry.
According to research, powered by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Tourism, the hospitality sector is the largest employer of women in the industry, accounting for more than half of all female employment.
The report reveals that the sector employed a slightly higher proportion of women compared to other sectors globally in 2021: 39.3% compared to an average of 39.2%.
Globally, women account for a larger share of tourism employment than the economy-wide workforce in Asia-Pacific and the Americas. The proportion of women working in the travel and tourism sector in Africa has increased since 2010, and female employment across the Middle East economy as a whole has also grown significantly.
Ahmed Al Khateeb, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Tourism, said, “The report enables countries and regions to set clear goals to empower women and engage youth.”
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia continues to play an important role in investing in talent to meet the needs of this thriving sector, strategically aligned with the Saudi Vision 2030 goals of empowering youth and women. As an illustration, we have increased female participation in the workforce by 64% since 2021″, he added.
Meanwhile, Julia Simpson, president of WTTC, said that “as part of our environmental and social research, we are proud to have worked together with the Global Center for Sustainable Tourism and to publish this extremely important report.”
“For the first time in history, we can demonstrate that the sector has an incredibly positive impact globally, supporting more high-wage jobs, a level playing field for women, and providing long-term, sustainable and economically attractive jobs for young people around the world,” she said.
Gloria Guevara, Chief Advisor to the Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, said, “We see this report as another milestone for the global travel and tourism sector. By supporting quality employment for youth and women, we develop a more sustainable sector. This approach is aligned with Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to create a vibrant Saudi society in which all citizens can thrive.”
The report provides a regional breakdown of employment in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific, and is the first analysis of the global social footprint of travel and tourism, broken down by age, gender and income.