Tourism sector employing rising number of women & young people: WTTC

24 pc increase in women employment; 28 pc for young people
2023-12-20
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/ New Delhi
World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and Sustainable Tourism Global Center’s (STGC) joint research
Tourism sector employing rising number of women & young people: WTTC

Hospitality is the leading employer of women within the sector

Women make up a larger share of tourism employment than the economy-wide workforce in Asia-Pacific and the Americas. The tourism industry has also witnessed soaring employment figures for young people, with more than half of the global youth employment in the Asia-Pacific region, says a new report by WTTC and STGC.
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World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and Sustainable Tourism Global Center’s (STGC) joint research, initiated by the Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, has outlined that the global travel and tourism sector is delivering soaring employment opportunities to women and young people around the world. 

According to a press statement by WTTC, the travel sector directly employed a rapidly rising number of women between 2010 and 2019, which increased from 38.6 million to 47.8 million, an increase of 24 pc. 

The report reveals that the sector employed a marginally higher share of women compared to other sectors globally in 2021, accounting for 39.3 pc compared to a 39.2 pc average. 

Hospitality is the leading employer of women within the sector, accounting for more than half or 52 pc of female employment. The share of women working in the travel sector in Africa has been rising since 2010, and female employment across the economy in the Middle East has also grown significantly. 

Ahmed Aqeel al Khatib

Ahmed Aqeel al Khatib

WTTC says that young workers are shown as an important component of the sector’s workforce, representing 15 pc of all jobs in the sector in both 2010 and 2021. By contrast, the share of young workers in overall global employment fell from 16.5 pc in 2010 to 12.5 pc in 2021, highlighting the importance of the tourism sector to youth employment.

“Providing insights and data on the sector’s status quo, the report allows countries and regions to set clear goals to empower women and engage youth. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia continues to play a major role in investing in the talent required to meet the needs of this thriving sector. This is strategically aligned with Saudi Vision 2030 goals in relation to youth empowerment and women. As an illustration, we have increased female labour force participation by 64 pc since 2021,” says Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO

Julia Simpson

“As part of our Environmental & Social Research, we are incredibly proud to have worked alongside the Sustainable Tourism Global Center and to be releasing this incredibly important report. For the first time ever, we can show that the sector has an incredibly positive impact globally, supporting more high wage jobs, a level playing field for women, and provides long-term, sustainable, economically attractive jobs to young people across the world,” says Julia Simpson, WTTC President and CEO.

Gloria Guevara

“We see this joint report as another milestone for the global travel and tourism sector. By supporting quality employment for young people and for women, we develop a more sustainable sector. This approach is in alignment with Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to create a vibrant Saudi society in which all citizens can thrive,” says Gloria Guevara, Chief Special Advisor of the Minister of Tourism of Saudi Arabia.

The report provides a regional breakdown of employment across Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific, and is the first analysis of travel and tourism’s global social footprint, broken down by age, gender and income. 

The research highlights the consistent, steady growth of young people employed directly by the sector over the last decade, with a total of 39.7 million jobs supported by the travel industry around the world in 2019, up 28 pc since 2010. However, this figure was significantly impacted by the pandemic, where youth employment dropped 27 pc. 

Notably, in all the years analysed, more than half of the global youth employment in the sector was in the Asia-Pacific region, at 9.2 million in 2021. With a youth employment growth rate of nearly 37 pc between 2010 and 2019, the region outpaced all other areas which were all closer to 20 pc.

The report adds that in 2021, nearly 34 pc of jobs in the global tourism sector were categorised as high wage, an increase from 29.6 pc in 2010. Regionally, Asia-Pacific had the largest share of high wage jobs in the sector, accounting for 38.7 pc, followed by Africa at 36.2 pc, and the Americas at 30.6 pc. 

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