Women take Centre Stage Building Inclusive Tourism in Asia & the Pacific

Women take Centre Stage Building Inclusive Tourism in Asia & the Pacific

Women-led tourism initiatives are driving sustainability efforts forward across Asia and the Pacific region but more financial investment, training and equal opportunities are still needed to reach gender equality.

The 2nd Regional Conference on the Empowerment of Women in Tourism in Asia & the Pacific provided a platform for some of the most successful women in tourism from the region to spotlight their initiatives, identify challenges and develop strategies for inclusive growth and sustainable development. This is in line with the drive to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality and the empowerment of women.  

UN Tourism and the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia co-hosted the event. Over 500 participants from 25 countries gathered to share best practices, forge new partnerships and discuss measures to promote gender equality in the tourism sector. Tourism’s contribution to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda was central to discussions of the Ministerial Roundtable and the three panels which covered some of the key areas for women's empowerment in tourism, including entrepreneurship, leadership, education, accessibility and workforce participation.  

‘Centre Stage’ project expanded to Asia and Pacific  

One of the highlights of the conference was the announcement that UN Tourism’s flagship ‘Centre Stage’ capacity-building programme for gender equality is now open to all its Asia and Pacific Member States. The programme provides targeted support to governments and tourism businesses, creating more opportunities for women’s empowerment and their professional development. 

Among the set of key recommendations that emerged from discussions are supporting women-owned businesses, introducing gender-responsive budgeting, more training opportunities and promoting women's leadership in decision-making roles.  

Speaking about the conference, Harry Hwang, Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific of UN Tourism, said “the inspirational women gathered in Bali are role models for an inclusive and sustainable future for tourism. Today is an important milestone on the road to gender equality but as we have seen, we have a lot more work to do.” 

Angela Tanoesoedibjo, Vice Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy/Deputy Head of Tourism and Creative Economy Agency of Indonesia stated that “Indonesian women participate in and contribute significantly to the tourism sector. In Indonesia, data shows that 54.22% of tourism workers are women, similar to the global trend”. 

Sandiaga Uno, Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy of Indonesia, added “as we’ve seen, women are the motor of the Indonesian tourism sector. We are committed to providing more empowerment opportunities, breaking down barriers and making sure women are centre stage of our future development.” 

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