PATA targets gender inequality

Noor Ahmad Hamid

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) organised PATA International Conference on Women in Travel from March 20-22, 2024, hosted by the Department of Tourism, Philippines.

The three-day conference, featuring industry leaders underscored the crucial role of women and the current state of gender diversity in the tourism industry. It uncovered initiatives and strategies towards progress and equality such as breaking barriers for women’s empowerment in the industry, promoting sustainability with women as agents of change, and fostering women’s leadership development. The event not only celebrated women’s achievements and contributions to travel and tourism but also provided an opportunity to critically examine gender disparities in the industry, shedding light on various issues such as the lack of women in managerial positions.

“PATA recognises that addressing gender equality in the travel and tourism sector is absolutely important to the responsible and sustainable development of the travel and tourism industry,” said PATA CEO Noor Ahmad Hamid.

“Despite comprising almost 50 per cent of the tourism workforce in the Asia Pacific region, women have not received the appreciation and support necessary for their own economic and social prosperity.”

Nestled in the heart of the Central Visayas region of the Philippines, Bohol was chosen as the site for the conference. The province actively supports local women in entrepreneurship, providing opportunities for skill development and economic independence. Women-led cooperatives and businesses thrive in sectors like handicrafts and agritourism, showcasing the strength and resilience of Bohol’s female community. Additionally, educational programs and advocacy efforts contribute to fostering gender equality.

“I am delighted to welcome the PATA International Conference on Women in Travel to the Philippines. This event aligns seamlessly with our commitment to promoting diversity and empowering women in the travel and tourism sector. The DOT believes in the transformative power of tourism, not just for the destination but for the empowerment of our women,” remarked Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco as she received the news of the Philippine’s hosting of the event.