PSDI highlights importance of women in tourism at SPTO’s Pacific Sustainable Tourism Leadership Summit
PSDI’s Senior Tourism Expert, Dr Sara Currie, and Tourism Analyst, Ms Alcinda Trawen, attended the recent Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) Pacific Sustainable Tourism Leadership Summit in Tahiti to discuss PSDI’s work, particularly its efforts to strengthen the enabling environment for women and women-owned businesses in the tourism sector.
Ms Trawen represented PSDI in a session on the economic empowerment of communities through inclusive tourism development, titled Elevating gender and women considerations in tourism and private sector development partnerships. In the session, she underscored PSDI’s position that understanding and responding to the different needs of women and men is critical for inclusive tourism development.
The session also introduced participants to the PSDI/SPTO gender audit—a joint undertaking to support the Pacific’s national tourism organizations to think about the needs of women and men. Emerging results from the gender audit process are highlighting good practice and opportunities to strengthen commitments to elevate gender and consideration of women in tourism planning and partnerships.
The audit focuses on policies and strategies; institutional commitments; gender equality within the organization in practice (including workplace environment, flexible work arrangements, recruitment, pay and promotion); resourcing; and data, analysis and measurement. It also considers the extent to which the specific needs of women, men and other groups are being considered in the core functions of the participating organizations.
At a PSDI side-event later that day, where Dr Currie, Ms Trawen, and PSDI Economic Empowerment of Women Analyst, Ms Madeleine D’Arcy (via video), presented insights from PSDI’s economic empowerment of women team research and diagnostics of relevance to the tourism industry, including a study of women’s representation in business leadership, digital gender gaps, and analysis on the informal economy.
Dr Currie also presented PSDI’s current and upcoming Tourism work program to the SPTO board, and PSDI hosted an evening reception for women leaders in tourism, featuring special guest the Hon Prime Minister of Samoa, Fiame Naomi Mata'afa.
The strong discussion of the need to empower women in the tourism sector left a significant impression, with the Hon French Polynesian President Moetai Bortherson remarking at the close of the week’s activities that his one key takeaway from the week was that we must consider women in tourism planning.”