In recent years, the travel and tourism industry has witnessed a remarkable surge in the employment of women and young professionals. According to the latest research by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the Sustainable Global Center (STGC), between 2010 and 2019, the workforce in this sector grew from 38.6 million to 47.8 million, marking a substantial 24 percent increase.
The report highlights that the hospitality sector stands out as the primary employer of women within the travel and tourism industry, constituting over half of female employment. Meanwhile, young workers contributed to 15 percent of all jobs in the industry in both 2010 and 2021. In contrast, the overall global employment of young workers across all industries decreased from 16.5 percent in 2010 to 12.5 percent in 2021.
WTTC President and CEO, Julia Simpson, expressed the significance of these findings, stating, “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.”
The report not only underscores the substantial progress made by women in the travel industry but also provides a regional breakdown of employment across Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific. It serves as the inaugural analysis of the global social footprint of the travel and tourism industry, examining factors such as age, gender, and income.
Key points from the report include that travel and tourism employed a slightly higher percentage of women compared to other sectors globally in 2021, with 39.3 percent compared to a 39.2 percent average. Hospitality emerged as the leading employer for women within the travel and tourism industry, constituting 52 percent of all female employment in 2019.
Furthermore, the report reveals that women constitute a larger share of travel and tourism employment than the overall workforce in Asia-Pacific and the Americas. Notably, the share of women working in travel and tourism in Africa has been on the rise since 2010, and female employment in the Middle East has also experienced significant growth.
On the youth front, the report indicates a steady growth in the employment of young people directly by the travel and tourism industry, reaching a total of 39.7 million jobs worldwide in 2019, reflecting a 28 percent increase since 2010. The Asia-Pacific region dominated global youth employment in the industry, accounting for more than half of the total in 2021, with a growth rate of nearly 37 percent between 2010 and 2019, outpacing other regions.