• Katharina Flöss

Women in tourism



Are women better hosts? Better tourism entrepreneurs? Are they better at serving coffees and teas and cleaning rooms? Are female travellers better travellers? More important to have? Easier to entertain? Easier to host?


This article is not going to answer these questions, but it will point out some facts about women in tourism. About women working in tourism and about women traveling the world. It is about us to decide what consequences and insights we draw from this information. That’s what this article is about and it is also what our network wants to be: A source of information on tourism and a platform to discuss the facts and findings that influence our daily work in the touristic sector.


Women working

  • 54 % of people employed in tourism worldwide are women, most of them work in low-level income jobs

  • 62 % of people working in the hospitality sector in South Tyrol are women

  • 23 % of tourism ministers worldwide are women

  • About 60 % of local tourist association directors/office managers and about 10 % of local tourist association presidents are women

  • Women in tourism earn 14,5 % less than men (12,7 % in South Tyrol), with a particularly low average daily wage for both men and women



Women traveling

  • 80 % of all travel decisions worldwide are made by women

  • 75 % of cultural, adventure or nature travellers are women, the average adventure traveller is a 48-year old woman

  • 230 % is the increase in the number of women-only travel companies in the past 6 years (2019), about 45 % of women from DACHI* countries are considering to solo travel in alpine regions (2020)

  • Women between 40 and 60 are the largest growing niche market in travel

  • word-of-mouth recommendations and classic search engines (Google, Bing, etc.) are still the most important sources for travel inspiration for women from DACHI countries (about 50 % each), followed by review platforms (Tripadvisor etc.) and Online Travel Agencies (Booking, AirBnB) (2020)


*DACHI = Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy



Sources: Forbes (2014), Gutsy Traveler (2019), UNWTO (2019), ASTAT (2020), marketmind survey in behalf of IDM Südtirol Alto Adige (May 2020)