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New Travel & Tourism Social Impact Report Reveals Increase in Female Employment since 2010

New research from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and Sustainable Tourism Global Center (STGC), initiated by the Ministry of Tourism of Saudi Arabia, revealed that the global travel and tourism sector is delivering soaring employment opportunities to women and young people around the world.

The report shows that the travel and tourism sector directly employed a rapidly rising number of women between 2010 and 2019, increasing from 38.6 million to 47.8 million, an increase of 24 percent.

 It also found hospitality to be the leading employer of women within the sector, accounting for more than half of female employment.

 Young workers are shown as an important component of the sector’s workforce, representing 15 percent 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 percent in 2010 to 12.5 percent in 2021, highlighting the importance of travel and tourism to youth employment.

 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.

 Women in Travel & Tourism (Highlights)

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

 According to the report, hospitality is the leading employer within the travel and tourism sector for women, accounting for more than half (52 percent) of all female employment in 2019.

 Around the world, women make up a larger share of travel and tourism employment than the economy-wide workforce in Asia-Pacific and the Americas. The share of women working in travel and tourism in Africa has been rising since 2010, and female employment across the economy in the Middle East has also grown significantly.

 Youth in Travel & Tourism (Highlights)

 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 travel and tourism around the world in 2019, up 28 percent since 2010.

 However, this figure was significantly impacted by COVID-19, where youth employment dropped 27 percent.

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

 High wage jobs in Travel & Tourism (Highlights)

 In 2021, nearly 34 percent of jobs in the global travel and tourism sector were categorised as high wage, an increase from 29.6 percent in 2010.

 Regionally, Asia-Pacific had the largest share of high wage jobs in the sector (38.7 percent), followed by Africa (36.2 percent), and the Americas (30.6 percent).