Gender in tourism is the level how the existing sexes participate in the tourism sector. Women make up the majority of the workforce in tourism yet they tend to be the lowest paid. Sometimes women in the tourism industry end up unpaid and are offered jobs with the lowest statuses. The tourism industry can contribute to promoting gender issues by creating opportunities for women. A specialized United Nations agency (UNWTO) commits itself in enhancing positive impacts of development issues in tourism. The impacts are directed to women’s lives and aim at achieving the third millennium development goal that is, “promote gender equality and women’s empowerment”. This research paper aims at studying a book about tourism and producing an essay on the topic of gender and tourism. Besides, I will be able to give my reactions towards the book in relation to the topic of study.
The book written by Hall and Alan gives more information on understanding and managing impacts of tourism. In relation to the topic of study, gender issues in understanding the impacts of tourism must be considered. Tourism carries with it several impacts including social, economic, environmental and political impacts. However, much tourism can come up with significant economic benefits in some situations, its image to the environment has been bad at times. The book states that tourism does not exist in a vacuum and it is shaped by broader changes in the environmental. The writers provide a clear synthesis of the role of tourism in the contemporary world both as a change agent and as a response to change. Understanding and managing impacts of tourism gives more information that when tourism is well managed, it can have positive contributions in several destinations (Lamb et al. 78).
Gender issues in tourism have been incorporated as gender discrimination. The impacts of tourism that affect gender issues have called for actions making the tourism industry want to redress the problems. Promoting and enabling gender equality and women’s empowerment in the tourism thus matters and ranges from salaries paid to other issues like discrimination. Gender and tourism are crucial because women are the sole developers of the tourism sector. It is sad enough that these same women are the ones who earn lowest and are offered the most unskilled jobs even when they are skilled. Such gender segregation is the impacts in the tourism that matter so much. In the book of Hall and Lew, effects of tourism can both be good and bad depending on what is discussed. For the topic of gender in tourism, the effects here are just bad, and nothing good can be said about the gender disparities in the tourism sector. The effects as stated before include giving the women unskilled jobs, offering low wages that are not able to sustain them and at times even not paying them at all. Women are also breadwinners in their families in the present world and as my reaction to the inequalities; employees in the tourism sector should be given jobs as per their qualifications. Every worker who sweats to produce good results should also be paid as required.
Despite complaints in inequalities of wages and job ranking, the tourism industry still holds low spaces for women. With the impacts of tourism discussed in the book by Hall and Lew, decision making should as well be discussed. Extensive research shows that women in the tourism sector are never given equal opportunities as that of men in making decisions. Decision making in the tourism sector undermines women, and men are the ones seen to be of importance when it comes to giving ideas and deciding. The men could be right in their decisions, but not all the males can fall under the correct bracket. The women could as well be seen to be wrong when it comes to decision making, but not all women will count wrong. The absence of equal opportunities for women in making decisions brings a negative impact on the women’s personal and professional lives. The effects that are mostly described as negative are detrimental to whole communities and whether in Asia, America, Europe, Africa or Australia, women should be respected in all spheres and given equal opportunities as those of men.
Gender equality in tourism touches wide on general gender issues and supports women mostly because they are the ones who suffer more in this sector. With the knowledge discussed from the book of “understanding and managing tourism impacts” the effects that are gender based still focus on male gain and female loss. Equality in tourism has a belief that without rigorous gender analysis in the thinking, practice, development and evaluation of tourism, the female gender will just be exploited and this may continue fully (Pritchard et al 45). Human rights to the business, in the same way, are approaches gender issues as an integral to sustainability. Gender approach should thus be part of any agenda when handling issues in the tourism industry.
Lamb, Susan. Bringing Travel Home to England: Tourism, Gender, and Imaginative Literature in the Eighteenth Century. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2009. Print.
Pritchard, Annette. Tourism and Gender: Embodiment, Sensuality and Experience. Wallingford: CABI, 2007. Internet resource.