Will women be the first to restart?

From the Rimini Tourism Fair TTG the data of the restart. Follow the girl's massive attack

For the first time ever, a Country introduces disaggregated data and scenarios, with a perspective view on women-run businesses thanks to the new policies generated by the PNRR and solo travelers as a new market.
It happened in Italy, at the TTG in Rimini on October 2021, where, after two years, talk was done making eye contact!

The topics of the moment: the first timid recovery data, the agreements to collect more accurate data, renew the technological tools, the growth of a more social and innovative entrepreneurship centered on the resources of the territories, the transition to green and a clear message from the market to operators: get ready to move to digital.
In general, the tourism crisis has hit women in particular, as we shall see later, but it is certainly not yet over for anyone. The surprise? Get ready for the girls' massive attach, as you will see from our data.

GENERAL FRAMEWORK
In Italy tourists arrived in the two summer months of 2020 and 2021 (but only 25% from abroad), with a decline in large cities and a growth of 37% in the most isolated areas, so 2021 will close with a growth limited to +2%, with a 15% of activities remained closed. Instead, e-commerce grew, reaching a value of 10.8 billion euros and a share of 55%. Even the new companies were half of 2019 start ups, but their success was immediately clear: digitalization has doubled the extra hotel sector and the new start-ups have given a hand to innovative companies and territories with technology and suggestions. ENIT has launched eco-sustainability, training, innovation and micro-finance programmes for small businesses and students. Operators have been adviced about storytelling by journalists Laura Fiengo and Laura Pezzino: no more clichés, superlatives and adjectives, now it is the moment of emotional contact, empathy, stories told by locals.

DATA ON FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS
But the novelty, in line with international directives that require more data broken down by gender, were the numbers on the women’s market, presented by ISNART-Unioncamere CHamber of COmmerce Observatory (Osservatorio Imprenditorialità femminile, Unioncamere, Osservatorio Economia del Turismo), in two conferences, in which GRT also participated.
In the conference 'Hospitality is woman: the internal product of gender in Italian tourism. Data Isnart on the weight of female entrepreneurship, between tradition, sustainability and innovation', we know that even in tourism crises strike first women and rely on their shoulders for solutions.

Here are the data:

The women of the enterprises are altogether 1,3 million (22% of the total), the tourist enterprises are 170 thousand. From 2011 to 2021, women’s tourism companies increased from 29% to 27%, new registrations fell by 34% and personal businesses by 42%.
In 2021, the sector started a slight recovery (+4.7%) and in the total economy women’s businesses rose by 24%, but women’s tourism enterprises in 2020 still have the negative sign (-1.7%), and then return to record positive growth rates since summer 2021. They work at 35% in housing, 66% in catering, 34% in travel agencies, in intellectual and highly specialized professions, but are poorly represented among the technical professions (9.3%) and among managers (19.0%). 55% are individual companies and 23% are capital companies, but a sign of strength is that the latter are growing again in 2021. Many of the new enterprises are born for initiatives of women and are addressed to the women: travel companies, accomodation and services of transport dedicated to a clientele only feminine that will represent in the near future an optimal opportunity of market.
All the good news? The great courage of young women: in fact, girls are 12,5% of those embarking on new activities in tourism, compared to 9.6% of males.

What should we deduce from this data?
That crises damage those who have less margin and those who replace services, then women with personal businesses, which in this case have literally closed shop (easier in an informal sector like tourism) to turn into teachers, nurses, farm workers etc. But also that, if a country wants to grow, it must be ready to offer the services that allow women to work.

As Flavia Coccia, coordinator of the Isnart research area said : " We are faced with a problem not only economic but social. Covid-19 has impacted the most exposed female companies because at the head of usually individual projects and at the base of this negative curve must be recognized a greater difficulty of access to credit and a lack of support for the family. In large tourist groups, in fact, they are more numerous in the unqualified professions (25%), being in any case minority on a total scale (17.4%)".

DATA ON FEMALE TRAVELLERS
In the second Conference after the research of Isnart-Unioncamere '' Is the choice of holiday a woman? How the buying behaviour of female tourists influences the market". we have the most interesting frame of the women travelers with new data.

In fact, as explained by Alessandra Arcese, Coordinator Area Qualification Territories and Enterprises ISNART : 'As in other sectors in which goods are sold in diversified categories, even in tourism it's about time for targeted offers, listening to different questions, with an advantage for the whole market. Operators and destinations will do better to keep an eye on the habits of "only female travelers"' . And then, for example, change communication, study tours of small groups, customize offers, listen to their fears, leave room for inspiration and independence, satisfy what women seek not based on age but on passion ( How to forget the bike boom?). As it has been happening for years, but more and more, all explained by the data: the female travelers have an average of 45 years, but the very young ones have more different experiences, they willingly spend and buy local products, they prefer culture, nature, adventure, (10% in the mountains)With friends and bonded to a true "experiential society".

For 78% safety is a mandatory condition (Italy is the sixth safest country), but 54% prefer to travel alone.
"Watching and studying tourism for women, in its supply and demand components, added Antonella Ballone, President of the Chamber of Commerce Gran Sasso d'Italia - is not a question of gender but a question of opportunity. Women can be an extraordinary radar to understand how to navigate the enormous challenge of the recovery that the tourism sector has in front of it".

After Alessandra Arcese, Iaia Pedemonte responded with the voices of women -that are overlapping as in a mirror with the data of Isnart-, collected in her 'Guidebook of Independent Women Travelers' and in her recent research.

For example: we are faced with a market that wants a "scale of feminized values"; new tourism after 2021 overlaps with the tourism made by women; last August ladies clients took the car in order to reach anyway the Riviera from the north, despite flights restrictions, just to follow the trekking organized by Mete di Liguria; women were the first to bring outside husbands and children after the lockdown (words of Raffaella Visconti @zafferanodiDesenzano ); during the lockdown, the Three Sisters guides in Nepal used the savings to educate more women in new trekings . Or, as it turns out from hundreds of sites in the world (founded by groups of gardeners, mothers, archeologists, historians, geographers, LGBT+s, explorers, clima changers and nature lovers women travellers), we know that more and more young girls, solo, with clear ideas, the guide on their mobile, appointments already defined, are setting off in order to recover their time, their living space, increase self-esteem (according to WTTC they have tripled in ten years and the tourism of the future will be more sustainable thanks to them). As Susanna Di Ciò observes from the House of the Slow Movement "The new phenomena are: excursions for grandmothers and grandchildren. the lowering of the average age with many groups of teenagers and girls. And, finally, the motivation of the female audience: first of all to get in touch with themselves, make an inner journey".


Interesting on this is also the research of Christina Boixiére, who organized La Voyageuse in France with 800 travellers and dozens of private and small hotels hosting: 80 women out of a hundred have a personal curiosity but are afraid. So the most important thing is to let travellers know that they are going to a safe place, with a series of innovative safety measures.
Another example is the success of the story telling with rural women by Elisa Spampinato, the first Community Based Tourism Travellerstoryteller .

And finally, Iaia Pedemonte called on stakeholders and policy makers to include a Gender Equality Evaluation in tourism and give the way to innovative strengthening starting from female entrepreneurship, according to many possible initiatives, as GRT and more partners experts on the field are listing, also following UnWomen and EIGE-EU tools. 'Let’s start this change ourselves, launching an action plan for Italy based on women travelers and new tourism's trends. Proposals of itineraries, products, training, with female entrepreneurs: time has come to put into practice the recommendations'.

 

 

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