Sustainable tourism key to empowering women: Planeterra

Travelers and the tourism community can change the lives of women across the world by calling for and adopting sustainable tourism practices, says Planeterra’s Megan Epler Wood pre-International Women’s Day celebrations.

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Tourism is one of the best industries to positively impact the world’s poorest, two thirds of which are women, Ms Epler Wood told e-Travel Blackboard.

“Tourism is becoming one of the most important economic sectors in poor countries,” Ms Epler Wood said.

“No other sector spreads wealth and jobs across poor countries in the same way.”

According to Ms Epler Wood, due to this reach and impact, those earning less than $2 a day “have a greater chance of benefiting from the tourism economy than almost any other type of work”.

What can you do to promote sustainable tourism?
Ms Epler Wood says:

Travelers can request their vendors to seek to meet either Fair Trade standards of employment, or ask if their travel vendors have employment policies that give women and minorities opportunities, training, and chances for promotion.

The travel industry can get in on the action too and seek to contract locally, using services that meet high standards that employ local women or use women-owned business services.

Emerging destinations can invest in ensuring their destinations have appropriate infrastructure that is environmentally friendly; social services that ensure all tourism workers get the education and health services they need; and a plan for smart growth, which ensures that as tourism grows there is a plan in place to protect fragile natural areas, cultural values and grassroots economic development.

On 8 March take a moment to commemorate some of the many women involved in sustainable tourism:

Martha Honey is the co-Director at the Center for Responsible tourism in Washington, D.C. and a well respected author on ecotourism who has fought hard for equity and fairness in how tourism development benefits local people, particularly women.

Trisha Barnett, Director of Tourism Concern in the UK, has worked tirelessly to make certain local tourism workers get a square deal.

Jennifer Seif who is the head of Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa leads one of the world’s most active organizations to ensure local tourism workers and women receive appropriate wages and that tourism companies meet fair trade.

Megan Epler Wood is the founder of The International Ecotourism Society which is the oldest and longest running organization in the world dedicated to making tourism a tool to conserve the environment and assist local people with greater benefits from tourism.

Source / Fuente:

Author / Autor:  e-Travel Blackboard: G.A

Date / Fecha: 27/02/12

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