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The Power of Women in Travel

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The Power of Women in Travel

Women make up a majority of travelers and the lion’s share of the tourism workforce. As the travel industry rebuilds, it is time to put the so-called second sex first.


5 min read
4 take-aways
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What's inside?

If a majority of travelers are women, why are women in the minority for travel industry leadership?

Editorial Rating



  • Visionary
  • Hot Topic
  • Inspiring


The behaviors that propel the tourism industry – the bringing together of diverse people, long journeys in confined spaces, the sharing of wine and the breaking of bread – are the same behaviors that propelled the pandemic. But when the tourism industry rises from the ashes, Katherine LaGrave suggests that it doesn’t have to emerge as the same beast it used to be. Tourism can be kinder to the environment, better to the people who live in its destinations, and friendlier to the people who make it run – namely, women.


The COVID-19 pandemic put the travel and tourism industry in shambles, but now there are opportunities to rebuild it and make it better.

Travel dipped 74%, and 174 million jobs disappeared, making 2020 the most devastating year for the modern global travel industry since its inception. Still, there’s hope. According to travel agents, the number of bookings for 2021 is similar to those in the time before COVID-19 hit, and during the early days of 2020, Americans saved about $1.4 trillion dollars, double the amount they saved the previous year. Chances are, people will want to spend some of the money they saved during the pandemic on travel.

The travel and tourism industry is in shambles and it’s time to rebuild it. Now is the time to decide what survives in the travel industry’s newest iteration. Sustainability and social impact on local communities are high on the list, but there’s a third item that the industry should not ignore: an equitable future for women in the travel industry.

In the past, women’s movement was restricted...

About the Author

Katherine LaGrave is the digital features editor and journalist for AFAR Media.

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