PATA | Contact

All posts in Gender

White Men in Suits at ITB panels – part 2. Time to tackle the lack of diversity at tourism events

Categories: Blog Posts, Gender
Comments Off on White Men in Suits at ITB panels – part 2. Time to tackle the lack of diversity at tourism events

by Marta Mills (oneplanetblog.com), sustainable tourism specialist and sustainability adviser for the Transcaucasian Trail

 

 

 

Exactly a year ago after ITB Berlin 2017, I wrote White Men in Suits and Sustainable Tourism for PATA’s Sustainability Blog, referring to the nationality, race and gender imbalance of speakers at ITB, but also at other conferences and events in the tourism industry. Has anything changed at ITB2018?

The only non-male panel at ITB CSR Day, 9 March 2018. Still pretty imbalanced.

This article is not meant to provide solutions but simply describe a status quo in relation to the inequality. And I have nothing against people wearing suits. But in this context, the suits represent the (mostly) white men who spend their time behind a desk in a city office block as opposed to working on the ground in tourism destinations. They know how to manage big tourism or airline companies, or are respected academics, but often have little practical knowledge that could then be worth sharing with destination practitioners during ITB panel discussions.

Quick look back at 2017

The whole CSR programme of events last year showed the lack of inclusiveness and balance, but there was one particular session (“How Can Sustainable Travel Offers Be Marketed Successfully?”) that prompted me to write. Seven white men in suits, six Germans and one English, discussing sustainability in tourism.  How ironic.

The “White Men in Suits” panel on sustainable travel at ITB 2017

I wanted (and still want) to find out who and how makes the final decision on the structure of the panels, and why there seem to be the same speakers year after year. Is it really that hard to find a women specialist, or someone from the southern hemisphere? Neither in 2017 nor in 2018 ITB responded to my questions.

Hopes for 2018

Considering a few significant events that sparked the worldwide debate on gender inequality – the Harvey Weinstein case of sexual abuse allegations, the #MeToo movement, now the most recent outrage at unequal pay at the BBC, to name a few – I hoped that the situation at ITB might change this year.

Also, in the written foreword to the  CSR Program, Rika Jean-François, the ITB CSR Commissioner, mentioned that in 2018, the tourism industry will have to deal with numerous challenges, including “gender inequality and discrimination due to sexual orientation (…) If we see how many seminars are still dominated by men, even in the sustainability sector, we must invite women to raise their voice – women are definitively carrying half of heaven on their shoulders”. Wise words. But…

 ITB 2018

Take the panelists for the CSR Program 2018. In Hall 4.1 (Responsible/Adventure Travel hall) on the Big Stage, there were 95 men and 44 women (7-9 March). Discussions in Halls 7.1 saw 78 men and 22 women. But during the ITB CSR Day (!) there were 16 male panelists and only one woman. Three out of four sessions had men-only panels. The last had five men and that one woman. All except two men were German, all were white. Er… Unbelievable?

At the end of this last session, its moderator Matthias Beyer who also moderated last year’s aforementioned “all-men-in-suits” session, pointed out that „one woman joining the panel this year is an improvement but certainly it is not satisfactory“.

Recycled speakers

And if we are comparing these both sessions moderated by Matthias:  three of the panellist were on both panels. That again made me think: who and how selects the panels for ITB? Is there a pool of “recycled speakers” that are always invited, based on some unwritten – or maybe written, somewhere – criteria? Surely, these speakers are experts in their area, but also, surely, there are so many others that never get approached. Why not? Do the organisers even want to go that extra step and go beyond the old, recycled bunch?

Matthias Beyer, Prof. Dr. Edgar Kreilkamp and Norbert Fiebig, participants of panels in 2017 and 2018

 “Others take the decision”

„In general, I totally agree with you that ITB panels require a much better balance in terms of race, nationality and gender“, Matthias Beyer said. I asked him whether he had any say in the selection of the speakers on his panels. „The influence for me as a moderator is limited. I can make suggestions but others take the decision. In 2018 my whole panel was fixed before I came into play“.

Can he refuse to moderate such imbalanced sessions? „To refuse a moderation is certainly an option but then you lose any influence. I prefer to remain involved and to try my very best to initiate and encourage changes“, he said.

OK, so „others take the decion“. That made me think, again, who …

ITB, wake up!

I want to emphasize again that the worldwide perspective doesn’t only come from the European, white middle-aged men in suits. Particularly during debates on supposedly more inclusive and fairer sustainable tourism. When will ITB, WTM and other big events start taking notice?

Does Rika have any impact on the composition of the panels, at least for the CSR Day? If not her, then who?

Hopes for 2019?

 Rika admitted that she was “totally aware of the unbalanced number of female and male speakers at the ITB Convention. I can assure you that I am also trying to change this and as CSR commissioner have discussed the phenomena also with our teams and the relevant co-organizers and scientific directors”.  She added: “You can be sure that I will work on it and readdress it again and again. This is one reason why I initiated the Gender Equality Seminar during ITB 2018 -as a start of a new series. We will support the dialogue and we will keep on going.”

 One seminar is a step in the right direction, but it is a tiny drop in the ocean. I’d like to see more inclusion and more diversity on other panels that not necessarily devoted to gender equality! Is it so much to ask to have a mix across the board to discuss a variety of topics, so this issue of imbalance and inequality doesn’t draw attention and it is not an issue anymore?

Let’s see if I am here this time next year, complaining about white European men in suits at ITB 2019.

Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author(s) and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) or any employee thereof. We make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability or validity of any information presented by individual authors and/or commenters on our blogs and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.

Share

Credit: Shutterstock

 

In April of this year, the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii recorded its first-ever carbon dioxide reading over 410 parts per million (ppm). This is a brand-new state of affairs, as humans have never existed on Earth with CO2 levels over 300 ppm. If carbon emissions continue their current trend, our atmosphere could get to a point it hasn’t been at in 50 million years—when temperatures were 18°F (10°C) higher and there was almost no ice on the planet (meaning there was a lot more water and a lot less land).

There’s long been a consensus between multiple countries to try to limit the temperature change from global warming to two degrees Celsius. This is critical for many reasons, not least the effect hotter temperatures will have (and have already had) on food production.

But author and activist Paul Hawken says two degrees isn’t enough—not nearly enough, in fact. In a moving presentation at Singularity University’s Global Summit last week in San Francisco, Hawken shared details from his recently-released book Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming.

 

Read the full article here and be surprised by at least one of the top solutions from Drawdown’s model.

 

By Vanessa Bates Ramirez for SingularityHub

Share

Credit: Shutterstock

 

Sunday May 14th is Mother’s Day in many parts of the world. It’s our chance to celebrate the special mothers in our lives. Mothers form a large part of the global workforce. Did you know, for example, that tourism employs twice as many women than other business sectors?

 

Mother Nature must also be celebrated on this special day and here are ideas about how to give responsibly:

 

  1. Plants instead of flowers:

One estimate suggests that a massive US$ 2.6 billion is spent on flowers for Mother’s Day. However, potted plants are an eco-friendly alternative to flowers. Buy locally if possible to support local community commerce. Check this plant-delivery- service to get some inspiration.

 

  1. Get inspired – make a gift by yourself:

A home-made present is often the most thoughtful and sentimental. Start painting, knitting, and scrapbooking. Even making a coupon book out of recycled paper can make every Mom happy. Crafting gifts can be enjoyed by everyone, can be especially fun in a group, and will bring out the artist in you. Here are some craft ideas and inspiration to get you started!

 

  1. Choose the right packaging:

Wrapping gifts usually means an extensive use of unnecessary paper. Opt for used newspapers or fabric. Think about making a gift box that can be decorated with paintings or personal messages. The box can easily be reused for storage. Read more about alternatives to gift paper.

 

When celebrating Mother’s Day, remember that it’s the thought that counts. Putting real effort into choosing an appropriate may take some time – but it can make all mothers feel happy and appreciated whilst also making an important contribution to the protection of our environment.

 

Read more on eco-friendly gifts here.

Share

 

WorldOfWorkBanner_Feb2017_960pxWide

Thailand, 2015. Photo: UN Women/Pornvit Visitoran. | Lebanon, 2015. Photo: UN Women/Joe Saad | Kenya, 2016. Photo: CIAT/Georgina Smith

The 2017 theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March, focuses on “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”. 

The world of work is changing, with significant implications for women. On one hand, technological advances and globalization bring unprecedented opportunities for those who can access them. On the other hand, there is growing informality of labour, income inequality and humanitarian crises.

Against this backdrop, only 50 per cent of working age women are represented in the labour force globally, compared to 76 per cent of men. What’s more, an overwhelming majority of women are in the informal economy, subsidizing care and domestic work, and concentrated in lower-paid, lower-skill occupations with little or no social protection. Achieving gender equality in the world of work is imperative for sustainable development.

Read more about the International Women’s Day here. By UN Women.

 

Share

#TravelEnjoyRespect

The United Nations 70th General Assembly has designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

 

To that end, please explore the official IY2017 website at www.tourism4development2017.org, which is their primary tool for coordinating the worldwide celebrations of the year, and on which more than 200 events and activities have already been registered. The UNWTO kindly invites you to upload your IY2017-related initiatives, as well as to share your best practices, stories and/or knowledge. Your initiatives will be visible on the website’s calendar and global map, and you will be able to use the IY2017 logo in all your communications. Kindly note that all the information they receive will be included in their final report to the UN General Assembly in 2018.

Furthermore, UNWTO is organizing a series of events and activities, the details of which you can find in the attached document. For instance, they are running a consumer-oriented awareness-raising campaign “Travel.Enjoy.Respect.” with six useful tips for responsible travel, and would very much like you to help disseminate it as broadly as possible. In addition, UNWTO is organizing 14 IY2017 Official Events, as well as producing two flagship reports related to the themes and objectives of the IY2017, for which your support and input would be more than welcome and on which more info will follow shortly. As part of their awareness-raising activities, they have also initiated a Special Ambassadors programme, currently comprising seven high-profile individuals who will help spread the relevant messages regarding tourism as an agent for positive change.

Read more: PATA Sustainability & IY2017 Initiatives

 

Share

You don’t need super powers to add a dose of sustainability to your holiday. Check out this sustainable tourism guide and infographic. These travel tips can easily be incorporated in your trip. Peter Berg Schmidt. Read more.

Practical Tips for Sustainable Travel

Image credits: unuk

 

October 11 2015 – On the slopes of Mount Meru in northern Tanzania, Fatima Faraji welcomes guests to her 20-acre coffee plantation, where she harvests only the fullest cherry-red arabica berries. Hand-picked by a team of experienced women, the coffee is pulped and processed on site the same day. Hilary Tagg Read more.

Share

By taking tourists to visit Dharavi, one of Asia’s largest slums, Reality Tours & Travel breaks down negative stereotypes and shows visitors how the area is the heart of small-scale industries like embroidery and leather tanning in Mumbai. 80% of the company’s profits go to development projects through its sister NGO, Reality Gives, which range from computer classes to a girls football program, and I Was a Sari, a women’s empowerment scheme that turns old saris into designer products. In the seven years since it started Reality Tours & Travel has spent US$134,000 on such projects, and recently expanded to working in New Delhi with the Sanjay Colony slum as well.

Download PDF

Share

Tourism and the Millennium Development Goals

Categories: Case Study, Gender, Human Rights, People and Places, Planet
Comments Off on Tourism and the Millennium Development Goals
Tourism and the Millennium Development Goals

Photo Credits: Green Hotelier

The Millennium Development Goals are eight global targets which range from halving extreme poverty to combating major diseases throughout the world by 2015. How can the travel and tourism industry help to achieve them?

What are the MDGs?

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have been agreed to by all the world’s countries and leading development institutions and have galvanized global action to meet the needs of the poorest people on the planet.

By 2015 they aim to:

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3, Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5, Improve maternal health
6, Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for development.

Read more at Green Hotelier!

Share