Summary of UNED-UK's Project Report
In September 1998, UNED-UK initiated a project in preparation for the
Commission on Sustainable Development's 7th Session in April 1999. The
Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) will then discuss the area of tourism, review
the progress which has been made with regard to developing sustainable tourism and make
recommendations on how to improve sustainable development in and through tourism.
The project "Gender & Tourism: Women's Employment and
Participation in Tourism" aims at bringing gender aspects of tourism to the
attention of policy makers, especially the issues of womens employment in the
tourism industry and womens local participation in tourism planning and management.
The project report presents information about the situation of women as members of the
workforce in tourism industry worldwide and through flagging up good practice of women's
participation on the local level, presented in 12 case studies from around the world. In
addition, the report offers discussions on gender stereotypical images, working mothers,
micro-credit, etc. as well as brief spotlights on individual countries.
The area of tourism is particularly suitable to stress the integrated
approach to environmental, social and economic aspects of the concept of sustainable
development. The tourism industry represents a huge economic factor and its environmental
and social impacts are obvious and have been well documented. In addition, integrating
gender perspectives into the discussion of tourism is particularly important as the
tourism industry is one major employer of women, offers various opportunities for
independent income generating activities, and at the same time affects womens lives
in destination communities.
This summary of UNED-UK's Project Report "Gender & Tourism:
Women's Employment and Participation in Tourism" is seeking to give an overview of
it's contents, draw conclusions and develop recommendations for stakeholders. The
summary is focussing on major issues, which the chapters of the report are touching upon.
The observations reported throughout the report were used to formulate recommendations for
all stakeholders, making suggestions, which will help to maximise the benefits of tourism
development for local communities and for women, in particular.
The summary, conclusions and the recommendations have been drawn
reviewing the information gathered in the report. The collection of data, cases and issues
addressed is by no means representative. In addition, the relation of quantitative
information based on large numbers of observations and qualitative information based of
in-depth studies of singular cases presents an unsolved methodological problem. Therefore,
conclusions and recommendations are being presented in a discursive manner and should be
viewed as starting points for further discussion among stakeholders.
The full report will be launched at a Side Event at the CSD, on
Monday, 19 April 1999, 1.15 -2.45 pm, Conference Room A. This will be
a panel discussion of representatives from Governments, industry and academia as well as
case study authors and the project team, chaired by Margaret Brusasco-MacKenzie.
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Tourism has demonstrated its potential for creating jobs and
encouraging income-generating activities to benefit local communities in destination
areas. The tourism sector definitely provides various entry points for women's employment
and opportunities for creating self-employment in small and medium sized income generating
activities, thus creating paths towards the elimination of poverty of women and local
communities in developing countries. However, there are a number of conditions under which
this potential can be used more effectively. This requires collaboration of all
stakeholders - governments and intergovernmental bodies, local government, industry, trade
unions, local communities and their different member groups, NGOs, community based tourism
initiatives, etc. Increasing the use of tourism's potential whilst safeguarding the
natural environment and cultural heritage and increasing social and economic justice
should be the goal of further tourism development. This report aims at contributing to
The present summary is divided into six sections, these being:
Income generation and poverty elimination through tourism development
Participation in tourism planning and management
Women's rights, stereotypical images of women, sexual objectification
Sharing experiences and networking
Recommendations for stakeholders
1. Income Generation and Poverty Elimination through Tourism
Women's Employment in Tourism: In the last few decades, the tourism
industry has undergone a period of explosive growth, and as a labour intensive industry,
there has consequently been a rapid rate of job creation and development. Using the latest
available data from the restaurant and hotel sector, provided by ILO and UNDP, we have
examined the industry on a global level in terms of the numbers of women in employment
over the past ten years, their average weekly wage rate and hours of work, as compared to
We have used the "restaurant, catering and hotel industry" to
provide a proxy for the "tourism industry"; these sectors are the largest
employers in the tourism industry overall. Gender disaggregated data for the tourism
sector was not available for all countries. While data on numbers of women and men working
in tourism related professions (73 countries) are more comprehensive than for the average
wage (31 countries) and working hours (39 countries); the availability of this information
is still highly limited. Data is not available for many of the Middle Eastern countries,
for China and, regarding working hours and wages, for the United States of America.
The general picture suggests that the tourism industry seems to be a
particularly important sector for women (46 % of the workforce are women) as their
percentages of employment in most countries are higher than in the workforce in general
(34 - 40 % are women, ILO data). The numbers of women and their percentage of the
workforce in tourism vary greatly between countries - from 2 % up to over 80 %. Although
there were few obvious regional trends it would appear that in those countries where
tourism is a more mature industry women generally account for around 50 % of the
Of the data available for the years between 1988 and 1997, it appears
that there has been a broad increase in the participation of women for tourism
industry at a global level. The majority of this increase in female participation may be
driven by the growth in the industry for specific countries, such as Puerto Rico, Chile
and Turkey. For the industrially developed countries, there has been little change in the
actual participation of women in the tourism industry.
The proportion of women's to men's working hours, available for
39 countries, is 89 % - which means that women work 89 hours when men work 100 hours. The
proportion of women's to men's wages is 79 %. At first glance, this looks like
women are working less hours than men and at the same time receive even less pay. However,
we cannot be sure if this is due to women's typical occupations being paid less, women
being significantly more in part time and/or temporary employment, and/or women being paid
less for the same work (wage inequity). Due to lack of more detailed gender disaggregated
information it is not possible to unpick the reasons for the observed disproportional
relation of women's and men's working hours and wages. In addition, readers should keep in
mind that the increase of women's involvement in the labour market has not been associated
with substantial change in the amount of hours women are expected to spend on domestic
duties; this is leading to much longer actual working hours for women, ie up to 70-90
hours per week.
Regarding the disproportionate relation between women's and men's
working hours and their respective wages, there is a divide between the developed world,
which employs females on an average weekly wage equivalent to 80% of a male's wage, and
the less developed world, where average female wages fall by another 10% to 70% of male
wages. However, there are significant variations within these groups.
Finally, readers should be aware that the data do not include
information about the informal sector. This leaves us with a skewed picture as the
informal sector plays a very important role in terms of income generation through tourism,
particularly for women.
Women's Occupations and Positions in the Tourism Industry: Some
facts about women's positioning in terms of hierarchical levels have been extracted from
the very few sources giving information, which is not sufficiently differentiated.
However, it seems very clear that the situation in the tourism industry resembles the one
in the labour markets in general: As in many other sectors, there is a significant horizontal
and vertical gender segregation of the labour market in tourism. Horizontally,
women and men are placed in different occupations - women are being employed as
waitresses, chambermaids, cleaners, travel agencies sales persons, flight attendants,
etc., whereas men are being employed as barmen, gardeners, construction workers, drivers,
pilots, etc. Vertically, the typical "gender pyramid" is prevalent in the
tourism sector - lower levels and occupations with few career development opportunities
being dominated by women and key managerial positions being dominated by men.
In the broadly defined "service sector" in the Anker report
(ILO 1998), women and men are nearly equally involved in the workforce (44 % women),
slightly more than in the global non-agricultural workforce in the 41 countries studied by
Anker (about 40 %) and significantly more than in the overall global workforce (34 % - ILO
data from 82 countries). Examining the occupations being particularly relevant in
the tourism sector, one can see that more than 90 % of people working in catering &
lodging, as waitresses, bartenders, maids, babysitters, cleaners, housekeeping helpers,
launderers, dry-cleaners, and the like, are women.
Vertical segregation of the labour market in the service and the
administrative / managerial sectors reflects the situation in the labour markets in
general. Women around the world have achieved higher levels of education than ever before
and today represent more than 40 % of the global workforce. Yet their share of management
positions remains unacceptably low, with just a tiny proportion succeeding in breaking
through the "glass ceiling". There are numerous inter-linked factors, which help
to maintain gender segregation of the labour market. Among them are gender stereotyping,
traditional gender roles and gender identity - women are seen as being suitable for
certain occupations and they seem themselves as suitable. In addition, traditional gender
roles assign to women the main responsibilities for raising children, caring for the
elderly, and doing household work. Thus, women are often forced to choose casual labour,
part-time and seasonal employment.
Women are much more likely to be employed on a part time basis
than men are. Although this allows them to accommodate the various responsibilities plus
their work outside the home, it does have significant drawbacks: in many cases lower pay
per working hour, fewer advancement opportunities, less formal training, less protection
from unemployment, etc.
Acknowledging that the problem of gender segregation of labour markets
is a general one should not mean that it isn't addressed when discussing tourism. Bringing
the necessary changes about requires efforts in all sectors. However, the tourism industry
seems to be a particularly good "candidate" for engaging in efforts
towards the advancement of women. Due to its size, its rapid growth and its extremely
diverse and dynamic nature, the tourism industry has an enormous flexibility. This can
enable the industry to develop key initiatives for the advancement of women so that other
industries can benefit from initiatives and strategies in the tourism sector as models for
their own development. The high percentage of women in the tourism workforce in many
countries provides a necessary fundament for the further advancement of women: The
"critical mass" is already there.
Creating self-employment for women in tourism and maximising
benefits for local communities: Most of the 12 case studies presented in the report
can be described as community-based tourism initiatives - co-operatives, small and medium
sized businesses, mixtures of NGOs and businesses, etc. Some of them went through a
history of starting off as an informal sector initiative and then becoming a registered
business involving more people.
Community based tourism initiatives, particular of local women's groups
and co-operatives, can be an accessible and suitable entry point for women into the
paid workforce. They seem to generate more long-term motivation than initiatives from
outside. There are numerous examples where women and women's groups have started income
generating activities on their own. These activities help to create financial independence
for local women and challenge them to develop the necessary skills and improve their
education. Research has shown that financial independence and good education lead to
improved self-esteem of women and more equitable relationships in families and
Marketing seems to be a key constraint for the expansion of
community based tourism. Independent initiatives need more information about markets and
potential customers. Tourists need to be provided with more information about the benefits
of buying locally and using local services. Creating opportunities for income generating
activities as well as effective marketing depend upon access to information about tourism
related planning and decision-making in a community area. Access to information is
provided at best by involving all stakeholders in planning and decision-making. In
addition, gender specific information about tourists' needs and interests helps to serve
Many of the community based tourism initiatives reported depend upon
the conservation of natural resources, protected areas and national parks around which
they arose. Therefore, pro-active protection of natural resources in tourism
destinations is needed to sustain the basis of the livelihoods of community members being
involved in tourism activities. The same applies to the conservation of local cultures and
cultural heritage sites, which forms the basis of many tourism activities.
Another common aspect is the seasonal nature of tourism
industry. Some argue that this creates a particularly good condition for women enabling
them to accommodate their various responsibilities. However, this should not be seen as a
general rule. In many cases, women and mothers cannot rely on a regular income forming the
basis of the household income but have themselves to generate income all year.
Education and Training: In many new destinations of the South,
the local population faces a disadvantage for gaining entry into the formal sector because
of low levels of education. The case studies indicate that there is a significant
demand for education and training in the communities in and around popular
destinations. Training, especially training for self-employment, has been an important
element for success. Most training activities are easy to replicate and could thus become
an important part of an action strategy for the future. There is little evidence of
training to enable or improve participation in the formal sector. Other key constraints
mentioned are financial management, illiteracy and foreign languages.
Gender Stereotypes and Traditional Gender Roles: These are among
the most prominent reasons why women and men tend to pursue different occupations and
horizontal and vertical segregation of labour markets prevails. Gender stereotypes
are prevalent in most cultures and rather resemble each other than being culturally
specific. Gender stereotypes influence the way we perceive each other and how we see
ourselves. Women are perceived as being particularly suited to fill certain positions in
tourism, they tend to see themselves as suited and tend to be interested in stereotypical
occupations. Thus, women are in fact particularly suited to take on certain jobs, for
example involving caring and household-related work and service positions. On the one
hand, this serves to perpetuate gender stereotyping and positioning of women accordingly.
This is not generally desirable, particularly because most gender stereotypical
occupations are lower paid and do not include key managerial positions. On the other hand,
the situation allows women to enter the tourism workforce based on their traditional roles
and their own confidence to fulfil them. Addressing the issue of gender stereotypes and
gender roles is not tourism-specific; rather it seems that the tourism sector is yet
another example where traditional stereotypes and roles come into play. However,
tourism could play a key role in challenging gender stereotypes.
2. Participation in Tourism Planning and Management
Participation at the local level: Tourism, especially international
tourism that involves high capital investments, has tended to be controlled by powerful
vested interests and has been characterised by a lack of concern for the local communities
residing in the destination areas. In many areas the local communities or sections of
local communities have taken the initiative to maximise gains for themselves. In most
cases this has been a spontaneous development. However, there have been attempts to
introduce systematic processes or strategies to enhance participation by all
sections of the host communities, with several of these having a gender focus. There have
also been attempts to build up partnerships, partnerships between the formal
tourist industry and local communities and partnerships between concerned government
departments, NGOs and local communities. It is just a beginning. The experience gained,
however, can provide the building blocks for scaling up and evolving effective strategies
at various levels, local, national, regional and international.
Apart from developing good governance, income generation is the
important motive for participation by women in the tourism industry. In most destination
areas in the South, the gains for the local community seem to come from the informal
sector or the formal sector owned or organised by the communities (women's co-operatives
etc.). Coming out very strongly in the case studies is the conclusion that the community
must be involved in all stages of tourism development - be it the engagement of tourism
industry coming in from outside, community based tourism initiatives, or a combination of
those. Integration of tourism development into Local Agenda 21 (LA21) processes
seems to be in an infant stage.
Capacity building for participation is needed in many cases. It
is important to acknowledge that different groups have different requirements in terms of
capacity building and empowerment; in particular women and men.
Strategies of building partnerships: There are several examples
of building partnerships contained in the report and also found elsewhere. Promotion of
community participation in the tourism industry forms an important part of the evolving
trend. External interventions, especially projects designed and funded by multilateral
and bilateral agencies played a significant role in the development of this trend. The
case studies in the report and the literature elsewhere show evidence of early stages of a
similar trend in the tourism industry in several countries. Several cases help in
understanding the role of conservation departments as stakeholders in participatory
Tourism boards and government departments dealing with tourism
do not seem to be playing a very active role in promoting the participation of local
communities as stakeholders or in facilitating partnerships between the local communities
and the tourist industry. Some case studies demonstrate that this need not be the case. Local
NGOs tend to play the role of facilitator rather than a stakeholder. Some cases show
how NGOs can play the role of social entrepreneurs in the industry. In many areas tourism
seems to have the potential for reducing the dependencies of NGOs on external funding.
Finally, tourist participation in conservation projects has proved to be a success.
This could be extended to cover areas such as infrastructure development, health and
education. This approach could also be used to develop new concepts of tourism itself.
Local Agenda 21 and Local Tourism Development: None of the case
studies collected in the report reported seem to have operated in communities with ongoing
Local Agenda 21 (LA21) processes. In some cases, the lack of an appropriate participatory
mechanism for community participation is pointed out. Many of the experiences with
creating meaningful participation and the requirement of developing links with the overall
planning and decision-making processes in local communities allow for the conclusion that
tourism development should be an integrated component of LA21. LA21 processes
require measures to ensure meaningful participation of all, develop a shared vision and
involve all stakeholders in decision-making. LA 21 processes allow taking into account the
heterogeneous nature of local communities, which are made up of different groups with
diverse interests, needs, capacities, and concerns (women and men, young and old,
different ethnic groups and indigenous peoples). As LA21 is an ongoing process, it also
involves stakeholders in monitoring and evaluation as plans are put into practice that can
ensure continuous commitment by all stakeholder groups.
3. Women's Rights, Stereotypical Images, Sexual
Women's Rights: The United Nations Convention on the Elimination of
all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW, 1979) and the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights (1948) must form the basis of addressing human rights and women's rights
issues in tourism. Women can suffer specific discrimination within the tourism
sector. As observations in this report show, women are consistently denied positions of
leadership and responsibility within the industry, they are concentrated in low skilled
and low paid occupations, they are being objectified as part of the tourism
"package" and they can have their traditional roles perpetuated within an
industry that feeds on uncomplicated images. In less direct ways, too, women will be among
those most adversely affected by tourism development - eg by scarcity of freshwater.
Tourism can violate women's rights, but it can also be used to challenge traditional roles
and to empower women, in economic, social, cultural and political terms. The case
studies show that women can find a voice and independence through getting involved in
tourism activities - by becoming part of decision-making processes and carving out new
roles in their families, homes and within local power structures.
Sexual Objectification of Women in Tourism: With sex tourism
being the most negative and prominent example, there is a significant amount of sexual
objectification of women working in the tourism industry. Studies have shown that women
are expected to dress in an "attractive" manner, to look beautiful (ie slim,
young, pretty) and to "play along" with sexual harassment by customers.
Advertising and Marketing: Stereotypical images of women are in
many cases part of the tourism product. Friendly smiling women, fitting certain standards
of attractiveness, who seem to be waiting to submissively serve the customer's every wish
are being portrayed. Women working at destinations as well as indigenous women are being
shown in a stereotypical way in tourism brochures and other material.
4. Sharing Experiences and Networking
Sharing Good Practices: There are various collections of case
studies and examples of good practice in the tourism sector available, small and larger
collections focussing on different issues and aspects, being put together from different
perspectives and using different methodological approaches. Some are not very well known;
others are not easily available. Promoting good practices more effectively and sharing
lessons learnt from experiences is a definite need in order to support sustainable tourism
Networking: The need for networking, exchange and mutual support
of community based tourism initiatives has been expressed in various case studies. Several
authors refer specifically to the need of networking among women being active in
tourism initiatives. As women are not only confronted with the challenges of setting up
income generating activities but often also with the challenges of altering their
traditional roles in their communities by generating independent income, becoming a
"leader" or a "business woman", there is an understandable need for
mutual support and exchange of strategies how to meet these challenges.
5. Research Gaps
Linkages and leakages: Linkages between the tourist industry and
other sectors of the economy and the creation of indirect employment is another
under-researched area. There is little information on these in most case studies contained
in the report. This would allow for more targeted approaches to creating income-earning
opportunities to those who are not directly involved in tourism through backward and
forward linkages. Maximising benefits for local communities must address the problem of
financial leakages. There is a need to assess leakages and to promote good practice
strategies to minimise them.
Differences between South and North, Formal and Informal Sector: A
distinction between formal and informal sector and between various categories within these
sectors should be made while making comparisons between North and South. The differences
will probably begin to narrow down if this is done. The scenario probably begins to change
as we begin to move down the ladder within the formal sector. An understanding of these
aspects would help in formulating strategies. There is little understanding of these
issues in the current research.
There is a need for a greater understanding of the larger contexts and
processes, which form the basis of individual community and project development. This
should be part of understanding and formulating participatory strategies and form the
basis of developing strategies at the macro level.
Indicators of Sustainable Tourism: Based on a common definition
of the term "sustainable tourism", indicators of sustainable tourism development
and maintenance need to be developed. This should be done in a multi-stakeholder process.
The UN Division for Sustainable Development should act as a facilitator in this process.
All of the above should be carried out incorporating a
gender-perspective: Information about women's and men's situation involved in the
formal vs. the informal sector, about creating gender responsive linkages between the
tourism industry and other sectors, and about practical gender sensitive indicators is
needed to improve tourism planning and management.
Gender Disaggregated Information: As in many other areas, we
lack precise data on women's and men's employment in the tourism industry - their
occupations, positioning in the hierarchies, contracts, wages, working hours, training,
etc. Few countries provide information about these variables (ILO 1998); in some cases,
they are available through the tourism industry.
Identifying the most gender-responsive aspects of tourism
development: Participatory processes and setting up community based tourism
initiatives benefit greatly from having information available about which areas of
planning and management most urgently need women's participation. Existing research into
this area should be reviewed and new studies (esp. participatory research and action
research) should be conducted to identify the most gender-responsive aspects of community
planning and management. With regard to the environment, existing research indicates that
freshwater, land use, transport, food and fuel supply are most gender-responsive. At the
same time, these are particularly gender-responsive economic issues as tourism development
can affect the availability of local food, water, fuel etc. at reasonable prices. Other
rather gender specific issues include reduced safety and security in public spaces.
Overall, the report identifies a number of important findings
which extend beyond the small tourism businesses and grass roots initiatives which are
portrayed in the case studies:
First, participation in tourism enterprises not only contributes
to decreasing individual and household poverty but can also alter the gendered structure
of work and decision-making within the wider community. Thus, women who previously felt
themselves to be devoid of status and power, gain increased standing and esteem within
Second, women have entrepreneurial and management abilities that
are, in general, under-utilised. Their abilities should also be applied within larger
firms and organisations.
Third, support from NGOs, the private sector, governments and
inter-governmental organisations can help women to realise their full potential,
benefiting not only the women themselves but also the wider community.
Fourth, support can take the form of specific measures such as
the provision of training or credit.
Fifth, it is also necessary to consider the microeconomic
implications of wider macroeconomic measures and to consider the introduction of
compensatory policies where such measures threaten the viability of the tourism projects
which have been undertaken.
Hence, gender and tourism issues should no longer be divorced from
mainstream policy-making. The success of womens initiatives in tourism should,
instead, be viewed as one of the key, but previously invisible, constituents of success at
the macroeconomic level.
Recommendations for Stakeholders
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Recommendations for Multi-Stakeholder
Governments, employers, trade unions and researchers should make
addressing the problem of gender segregation on the labour market a priority.
Feasible strategies towards this end are: facilitating policies, such as providing
child-care and other services; affirmative action and equal opportunity programmes;
increased education and training for women in non-traditional areas.
Local governments, employers, trade unions and community groups should
jointly create community based institutions and services to help women and men to cope
with the double burden of family and household work as well as work outside the home
to generate income, such as child care facilities which in turn can create jobs. Industry
can look into opening child-care facilities in tourist resorts to children of employees.
Supporting women to become self-employed through tourism-related
activities should be linked with micro-credit programmes. Loans to women's
initiatives should be included as a means of creating opportunities for the industry to
buy & source locally, thus maximising the benefits for local communities.
Collaborations of industry, local NGOs and local government should
develop simple strategies to improve access to markets through providing
information about customers and successful strategies of marketing products. As tourists
become more interested in community based initiatives, the industry can help to create
initiatives so that a complementarily shared market is developed.
The tourism industry, local government, NGOs and the independent
tourism initiatives should collaborate closely to create awareness raising programmes in
order to make tourists aware of the benefits of buying local products, such as
handicrafts, food, clothes etc., and using local services, such as local guides.
National and local governments, tourism boards and tourism industry
should support community based tourism initiatives through funding, providing (help
to build) necessary infrastructure and collaborating to create sustainable and
complementarily shared markets.
National and local governments, the industry and trade unions have a
key role to play in disseminating information to local communities about
tourism-related development plans to enable community members to create successful income
Improving access to education and improving the standard of education
in destination area should be an important long-term strategy. This is an area where
partnerships between the industry, NGOs and government departments can play an important
role. Education and training should focus on marketing, financial management,
literacy and foreign languages and be a high priority when supporting income generating
activities of women and women's co-operatives. Training should also provided to promote
activities that are indirectly linked to tourism, such as printing, dying and folk-arts.
Special training for women might be needed in many cases.
Development of the handicraft industry should form an important
part of strategic planning for community participation in tourism, especially the
participation of women.
National and local governments, tourism boards, tourism industry and
trade unions need to support and strengthen community participation. This should
include the scope for opening up new destination areas with the specific aim for promoting
tourism where local communities provide most services. Participation of all local
stakeholders should include putting in place monitoring and evaluation procedures to
create accountability, incl. regarding gender sensitivity.
Systematic processes to promote community participation in
tourism should become an important part of all externally aided tourism projects, national
tourist policies and strategies and, where relevant, in conservation, forestry and coastal
zone management projects.
Different member groups of local communities, eg women, may need
specific measures of capacity building for participation. Local Governments,
industry, trade unions and NGOs should take such measures, eg working with women's groups
- separately, in the beginning - to enable them to articulate and follow-up their
In many cases tourism development could act as a catalyst to initiate
a Local Agenda 21 process in a community. Stakeholders should be aware of the
importance of LA21 and aim at developing such a process when engaging in tourism
development planning and decision-making.
Intergovernmental bodies, national governments and NGOs have an
important role to play to further promote LA21 processes in terms of raising
awareness, providing financial support and expert advice.
Intergovernmental bodies, governments, tourism industry, trade unions
and NGOs should take various measures towards gender sensitisation and raising
awareness of gender stereotypes and traditional gender roles, particularly regarding the
way they affect women's occupations, hierarchical positions, working hours and wages.
Awareness raising campaigns initiated by governments, tourism
boards, industry, and NGOs should aim at creating a better understanding of different
cultures among consumers; school curricula should address issues of cross-cultural
respect, ideally as part of an education for world citizenship.
Women should be encouraged to get involved in independent
community based tourism initiatives, through promoting the opportunities, offering advice,
contacts and networks, training and education, access to information and access to credit
- by national and local governments, trade unions, NGOs and industry collaborating with
women's local initiatives. Training and education programmes should aim at encouraging
women to move into non-traditional occupations which require more skills and are better
paid and at encouraging women to aim at rising into key managerial positions.
Intergovernmental bodies, national governments and NGOs should support networking
projects to improve awareness and ability of stakeholders to participate effectively,
including using electronic media. However, the problems of reaching hardly reachable
communities and groups need to be tackled in collaboration with local government and local
UNEP should facilitate a multi-stakeholder working group to assess
financial leakages in tourism and promote good practice strategies to maximise linkages
into local economies.
UNEP should facilitate a multi-stakeholder working group to review
existing instruments of consumer education, promote an effective mix of instruments
by publishing the collection and review and disseminate this widely.
UNEP should facilitate the collaboration of all stakeholders in
developing a comprehensive methodological framework for collecting and analysing good
practice and mechanisms to make them available and disseminate examples and lessons
Intergovernmental bodies as well as governments can play a vital role
in minimising the impacts of natural disasters on tourism
National, regional and international networking among women being
involved in tourism activities should be built up more effectively and widespread.
Intergovernmental bodies and NGOs should facilitate this.
UN Agencies and donors should provide financial resources to conduct
necessary research and set up multi-stakeholder advisory bodies in conjunction with
research studies. The necessary multi-stakeholder nature of research in this area should
be emphasised to ensure methodologies and outcomes will lead to recommendations being
adopted by all stakeholders.
The UN Division for Sustainable Development should act as a facilitator
in the process of developing indicators of sustainable tourism development and
maintenance, based on a common definition of "sustainable tourism".
Recommendations for National
and Local Governments and Tourism Boards
National governments should report more comparable, precise and gender
disaggregated data about women's employment in tourism to ILO and should, if
necessary, receive support to do so.
Governments, through the curricula in their educational institutions,
should encourage girls and boys to move into non-traditional occupations.
Government regulation should create effective incentives for employers
to take measures towards the advancement of women.
Policy intervention should occur at all levels. If it only
exists at the local level access to wider markets might be restricted, whilst if it only
exists at the national level it is more likely to miss out smaller scale needs. Tourism
boards have a key role to play in facilitating wider access to markets.
National governments should create legislative mandates in favour of
the devolution of power to local authorities which can be crucial for the success
of community based tourism initiatives.
National and local governments should empower local communities living
on and using natural resources as their primary managers.
National governments and intergovernmental bodies should recognise that
the demarcation of protected areas produces tourism demand and associated impacts.
This needs to be planned and budgeted for.
Policy-makers at the national and local levels should regard
conservation of natural resources, sustaining the protected area status of reserves and
national parks, which many community based tourism initiatives directly depend upon, as a
high priority. In many places, there may be need to change the management objectives of
protected areas to make them more accessible for local communities for sustainable use
for livelihood purposes.
Governments, employers and workers should take decisions about training
in close consultation with each other as the best results from enhancing the education
and skill levels of the workforce are achieved through concerted efforts.
Local governments should ensure that feasibility studies looking
at the environmental, social and economic impact of tourism development, including the
carrying capacity of tourism destinations, are carried out involving all stakeholders
prior to further planning and decision-making.
Tourism development should be an integrated part of National
Strategies for Sustainable Development. Governments should report on the progress made
at the comprehensive review of progress on implementing Agenda 21 in 2002.
Local Governments should make tourism development an integrated part of
their Local Agenda 21 processes, explicitly aiming to involve all various member
groups of the community. As part of LA21 processes, tourism development should be seen as
a major sector of development addressing all issues related to all forms of tourism and
their impact. This would ensure that important areas, such as urban planning, would not be
sidelined. It also plays a key role in ensuring the links between the local and global
Government departments that deal with tourism and conservation/
forestry/ coastal management/ transport departments and local authorities should become
more efficiently engaged as important players at the local level. The capability of
these official agencies for facilitating participatory processes needs to be built up.
Systems of feed back to enable appropriate policy decisions and strategic planning at
higher levels need to be put into place.
Governments of countries of origin should engage in educating
tourists about women's rights and how to properly respect them in an inter-cultural
National tourism boards should review advertising and marketing regarding
the use of stereotypical images of women and aim at portraying the diversity of workers
and indigenous women in a realistic manner.
Recommendations for the Tourism Industry
Progress regarding the advancement of women employees needs to
be strengthened and spread widely. Companies should share and promote good practice
through industry associations such as the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the
International Hotel and Restaurant Association (IH&RA), the International Hotel
Environment Initiative (IHEI), the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO), etc.
Employers should set up programmes and schemes encouraging women
to move into non-traditional occupations, invest in women's training, appoint them in
managerial positions, and re-appoint them after years of less involvement due to family
Employers should set targets for the percentage of women in key
management positions. Tourism associations should promote this.
Organisational Codes of Practice should include guidelines of
equal opportunities measures and measures for the advancement of women.
The tourism industry should collaborate with local income generating
initiatives on the basis of their shared concern about conserving natural resources on
which both their market shares depend upon.
Local and national tourist agencies can play an important role in promoting
community based tourism initiatives and their products.
To overcome disadvantages for gaining entry into the workforce because
of low levels of education in the short term, entry for the local population can be
improved by lowering standards for entry and then providing on the job training to
compensate for this.
Health and education emerge as important issues of community
development perceived by women. This is an area where the hotel owners and tour operators
can play an important role.
An effort should be made to channel a growing tourist interest in
community development activities for designing and implementing innovative popular
The tourism industry and tourism boards should abolish marketing
strategies using women's stereotypical images as part of the product.
Employers should review their standards and criteria of employing women
and men, and their policies to protect women from sexual objectification and sexual
harassment by customers. Employers have a major role to play in applying appropriate
and equitable criteria and providing effective protection. Industry associations have
a key role to play in promoting standards.
The tourism industry should engage in educating tourists about
women's rights and how to properly respect them in an inter-cultural context.
The tourism industry should review advertising and marketing regarding
the use of stereotypical images of women and aim at portraying the diversity of workers
and indigenous women in a realistic manner.
Recommendations for NGOs
NGOs should support community based tourism initiatives to form
associations and collectively assess the markets; provide legal assistance; advice on
community based resource management programmes; gender awareness training; assistance with
administrative arrangements; scientific assistance in feasibility studies using
participatory and action research methods; improve the links between groups.
NGOs should build up their capacity as facilitators and trainers of
participatory processes, tourism planning and as social entrepreneurs within the tourist
NGOs at all levels should effectively participate in sharing with
all stakeholders experience and knowledge about successful strategies, obstacles and
how to overcome them.
The full report also provides recommendations for community based
tourism initiatives which aim at replicating the success of the models presented in the
report's case studies.
Editor: Minu Hemmati, UNED-UK Project Co-ordinator
Authors: Harrinet Berhane, Sylvia van der Cammen, Gabriel
Canul Chan, Myriam Duc, Sarojinie Ellawela, John Galit, Rosalie Gardiner, Gordon Gislason,
Nicole Glur, Lisa Goodson, Beccy Griffiths, Vasanti Gupta, Father Harry Haas, Minu
Hemmati, I.A. Agung Mas, Pilar Jufresa, Rebeca Justicia, Gail Lash, Frans de Man, Lara
Marsh, Jay Martin, Grizelda Mayo-Anda, Brian McGowan, Carmen Michael, Marilyn Mohan, Janet
Momsen, Panache Magazine, Shannon Parsons, Jenny Phillimore, Athanasia Kollia Pistola,
Neratzia Alatzia Pistola, Anatoly V. Polyakov, Helen Poulsen, Megan Powell, Martin Prowse,
Nina Rao, Abigail Reyes, Maria Roberto Uc Pacheco, Regina Scheyvens, Kishore Shah, Thea
Sinclair, Elena A. Sukhoplueva, Shirley Susan, Georgia Valaoras, Sarah Valinsky,
Advisory BoardCaroline Ashley, Overseas Development Institute, UK
Christine Beddoe, End Child Prostitution Pornography Trafficking (ECPAT International)
Andrew Blaza, Imperial College, UK
Richard Dewdney, Department for International Development (DfID), UK
Richard Dickinson, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), UK
Felix Dodds, United Nations Environment and Development UK Committee (UNED-UK)
Carolyn Evans, Qantas Australia
Phil Evans, Department for International Development (DfID), UK
Harold Goodwin, Durrell Insitute of Conservation & Ecology, UK
Vasanti Gupta, Insight India
Christina Kamp, TourismWatch, Germany
Christine Pluess, Arbeitskreis Tourismus und Entwicklung (AKTE), Switzerland
Dilys Roe, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), UK
Lucien Royer, International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU)
Kishore Shah, Insight India
Thea Sinclair, University of Nottingham, UK
Carolyn Stevens, Qantas Airlines, Australia
Reinhard Stockmann, University of the Saarland, Saarbruecken, Germany
Helen Veitch, End Child Prostitution Pornography Trafficking (ECPAT UK)
Debra Ward, Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), Canada
UNED-UK Volunteer Team: Lara Marsh, Harrinet Berhane,
Rosalie Gardiner, Beccy Griffiths, Carmen Michael, Martin Prowse, Sarah Valinsky
Department for International Development, Environment Policy Department, UK
Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany
The project could not have been undertaken without the invaluable help
of all of the above.
United Nations Environment and Development UK Committee (UNED-UK)
3 Whitehall Court, London SW1A 2EL, UK, Tel +44 171 8391784,
Fax +44 171 9305893
Email email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
web http://www.oneworld.org/uned-uk and http://www.uned-uk.org