Before the pandemic, global tourism revenues peaked at $1.47 trillion in 2019. Women often find more opportunities in tourism than in other industries; the travel industry had a predominantly female workforce in 2019with 54% of tourism professionals globally identifying as women, compared to 39% of women in the economy as a whole.
If you want to contribute to the recovery — like leaving the house and visiting the sites — check out these eight experiences that encapsulate the spirit of Women’s History Month. All are female-led and work with travelers to connect with locals in a safe and comfortable way for everyone.
First, find accommodation that suits your needs
The ability to connect with others through travel is one of the most wonderful experiences our world has to offer. Unfortunately, not everyone feels so safe or at home when travelling. If you identify as female or LGBTQ+, try alternative booking sites Womanbnb for holiday rentals between women or MrB&B for gay- and queer-friendly accommodation.
A Community Host Family in the Caucasus
Nazy’s Guest House is an “enchanting” family-run guesthouse offering homestays in the Pankisi Valley, northeast Georgia, two hours from the capital, Tbilisi. The valley is the main house of the Kist community, descendants of Highland Chechens. Founded by Nazy Dakishvili, the guesthouse offers award-winning hospitality and connects visitors to the local community while educating them about Kist’s Georgian traditions, culture and nature.
“In 2021, our business rebounded strongly after being virtually inactive throughout 2020 at the height of the COVID pandemic and subsequent major disruptions due to international and domestic travel restrictions, [and] we expect a further increase in bookings this year,” Dakishvili told TriplePundit. “I think sustainable rural tourism is becoming increasingly attractive with many tourists visiting Georgia, and places like the Pankisi Valley are becoming increasingly popular for trekking, horseback riding, mountain biking and cultural experiences. .”
Crafts and bush nature at Basecamp Maasai Mara
Masai Mara base camp is a place to rest your head on the doorstep of Kenya’s Mara National Reserve, home to the highest density of wildlife in the world. The Basecamp Explorer tourism company supports Maasai women through its Brand Basecamp Maasai“a community-based handicraft enterprise whose goal is to use traditional beadwork practices to help local Maasai women improve their financial independence.”
Women beaders receive 75% of the income they earn while the rest covers the costs of the business. Base camp stays are ideal for those who appreciate nature, observable right outside your tent, and cultural understanding, thanks to the Maasai-run Enjoolata Outreach Centre.
Supporting an Africa where the future is female
Founded by four female entrepreneursCandace Nkoth-Bisseck, Regina Honu, Tania Habimana and Eyitemi Popo, Girls Travel Tours offers tours for women in Kenya, Ghana and other countries on the continent.
“Since I started Girls Trip Tours in 2018, I’ve been pushing for slower, sustainable, community-empowering tourism,” Popo told 3p. “If we have more time to spend in a country, how can we explore different parts of that place, instead of jet-setting from one destination to another? How can we create a community there and financially empower local women and girls in this community with our tourism spending?”
The group focuses on mentorship, through Girls MAP, a mentorship and advancement program for teens. Each trip booked educates a girl for a school year, and all travelers are encouraged to give back through an exchange of knowledge or skills. Participants have the chance to meet high profile businesswomen, industry leaders and other African women.
Trekking in the Atlas Mountains and giving back to Morocco
The intrepid journeys trip to moroccoof its range of Female Expeditions, offers a vision of the country beyond its “exotic” stereotype. One option is to hike the Atlas Mountains with Morocco first female mountaineering guide, Hafida Hdoubane, for whom “women should talk to women, because we speak the same language”. The travel agency is the world’s largest travel B Corp.
“We’ve noticed a shift in our customers’ travel values over time,” said Matt Berna, Intrepid’s general manager in North America. “They want an authentic look at local life. They are curious about different cultures and traditions. They want a sustainable, unique travel experience that invests in local communities and an experience of connecting authentically with people, making a positive impact along the way. »
These trips to Morocco help support Intrepid’s education initiatives, which provide access to education for girls in remote villages in the High Atlas region. Intrepid also offsets carbon emissions from transportation, accommodation, and waste.
Discover another facet of Colombian cities
“We like to go to places that we think are misunderstood by a global audience,” said Katalina Mayorga, Colombian-born CEO and co-founder of El Camino Travel, a woman-owned travel agency for family travel. group of women. That’s why Mayorga was keen to debunk myths about Colombia, which by most accounts is one of the most biodiverse countries on the planet.
El Camino’s trip to Cartagena and Medellin is a first-hand experience of the sensory beauty of the country with a focus on economic equity. Participants have the opportunity to support entrepreneurs who seek to generate a positive impact on society and help create stability that can lead to lasting peace. According to Mayorga, the last six months have been the most successful on El Camino, thanks to a growing interest in small-group trips that connect women with each other and local experts after two years of isolation that have returned many between us even more disconnected from each other.
(Side note: while you’re there, consider visiting Comuna 13, a community in Medellín that offers culturally inclusive tours which 3p editor Leon Kaye really enjoyed.)
Kayak Your Way in Canada
Although Wild Women Expeditions began with all-women kayaking trips in Ontario in 1991, the agency now offers a variety of trips. If you don’t want to stray far from North America, this is the perfect trip that will help female travelers build community, get outdoors, and support a women-owned travel company that’s a mainstay at long term. Maybe a kayaking trip in one of the many beautiful waterways Canada has to offer?
Creating a Non-Traditional Space for Women in Pakistan
mad hatters Co-owner Aneeqa Ali is one of the few female travel entrepreneurs in Pakistan. Ali, an avid biker, says she was inspired by her own inner journeys to start the business:[My travels] made me realize that Pakistan is a very difficult country to navigate as a woman,” she told 3p. His agency is now helping them do just that.
Mad Hatters connects visitors with female tour guides and female-led host families while creating new economic opportunities for rural communities. “In March 2020, we were all geared up for years to come, with our event calendar locked down with pre-booked tours,” Ali said at 3 p.m. “No one in their wildest dreams imagined the world would come to an end like this. After a very long and arduous wait, travel has finally started to open up again. We hope this trend [will] keep it up and trips will bounce back even better than before!”
The team is working on redesigning the company’s website and trips will be available soon.
The future of travel is female
women make up largest contingent of world travelersand women traveling alone in particular book tours at a higher rate than ever. But you don’t have to identify as a woman to support travel agencies and women-owned businesses!
Whatever trip or location you choose, try to consider the environmental impact and take community-led tours with a focus on cultural inclusion as soon as possible.
Image credit: Agnieszka Boeske via Unsplash