On the 9th of March we met several friends, on the red carpet of the Berlin Travel Trade Show,
(one digital place with over 3500 exhibitors from over 120 countries and 65.700 platform users), at the awards ceremonies and panels, dedicated to sustainable tourism and moderated by Rika Jean Francois, Commissioner Corporate Social Responsibility at ITB.
From these and other meetings some initiatives are born: the Associations GRT, Equality, Equations, and others, will make inclusive actions and call all women of tourism to join their voices.
Here we tell you some points raised in the speeches.
For example, at the Panel “Just Transitions in Global Toursim” Stefan Gossling, Judy Kepher-Gona, Zina Bencheikh, and our friend Joyatri Ray from Equations, discussed how to play for a better future and not be overwhelmed by overcrowding, climate change, biblical crises like the one we are experiencing now.
We heard the interesting theories about low carbon, resilience, circular economy, models focused on SDGs, we learned how depending on rains or tourism brought a bigger crisis between farmers and informal workers in Kenya, and how projects have been made to train and disseminate different skills.
As Joyatri said, the question now is whether tourism allows diversification, whether we will be able to maintain ourselves by having social and cultural activities coexist, whether the resources are not of the tourism industry but of the communities, and that those resources can be integrated and shared. Some prjects we liked? Those in Kenya and India, in communities where no one is left behind, preparing, both in the suppliers and in the destination, new figures capable of different tasks, building talents that are based on local culture or new crafts, to overcome the crisis.
The "TO DO Awards", rewarding by looking at the welfare and initiatives of communities, have never been so contemporary as today: the winners, in Iran and Cambodia, have shown how to react to problems by building something new, but ancient. A wonderful village of land collapsed by an earthquake now looks like a fairytale country. The centuries-old temples and trees in the forest have been cleared and the roads retracted. But always for a few visitors at a time.
One of the TO DO Awards for Human Rights has been virtually given to Equality in Tourism, with which GRT is connected. Kalish, Cole, Barnett, went straith to their goal - shared by GRT and other groups such as Women in Tourism Indonesia-: changes must accelerate, you can no longer just ask that the voice of women be heard or that equity, diversity, inclusion, integrate into all work and industry processes, from boards to kitchens, to informal or contracted jobs. Now, the steps to get to those results pass through the recognition, throughout the tourism chain. But, to confirm that they want to participate in the improvement of society and the achievement of SDGs and human rights, all companies must take action as well, not only must commit to equal pay but also to training and recognition, fair work balance, gender based violence codes of conduct, to generate sex disaggregated data. And once we got companies on board doing that, then we will organize an Award for Companies taking initiatives and for the best on line travel agents and booking platforms, that will have included gender equality among the many choices for the traveller.
Finally, on the virtual stage, the Panel Discussion 'Tourism & Human Rights: Multiple Experiences of Discrimination and Inequality and How to Fight It', to which participated Iaia Pedemonte with Sandi Robinson, Stephanie Jones, Tobias Sauer, experts of blacks, colored and LGBT tourism. That gender equality is one of the Human Rights for due diligence is well known. Nonetheless, when travelling there are multiple discrimination experiences, related to racism, gender inequality or sexual orientation.
So, how to fight stereotypes? We need to support a change in the all supply chain. We all have to fight together against these stereotypes.
When will things start to change? The structural connection between homophobia and gender in tourism is a cultural issue, a gap that will disappear with education, with sustainability, with security index and codes for the different categories.
With the awareness that the world is made of diversity and stereotypes are overcome by facts, when people from all worlds will be brought to the decision-making tables.
At the moment the Guidebook is only in Italian but we are planning to translate it in English.
Would you be interested in reading it in English?
Please let us know writing at firstname.lastname@example.org
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