The ITB Berlin, the world’s largest tourism trade fair, hosted a panel on ‘Gender Equality: Tourism as a door opener for female empowerment and the role of gender equality in addressing the climate crisis’ in Berlin, Germany.
The panel was led by Dagmo Ahmed Jama, Director Integrated Marketing for Oman Airports Management Company and was joined by esteemed panelists: Ms Shruti Shibulal, Director and CEO of Tamara Leisure Experiences Pvt Ltd., Danielle D’Silva Head of Sustainability at Booking.com, Barbara Glanz General Manager B2B Europe at Intrepid Travel, and Nino Zambakhidze Chairwoman of the Georgian Farmers’ Association (GFA)
The panel conjoined the reality of climate change and its disproportionate impact on women to address the ways in which tourism can facilitate inclusive and equitable practices which include human capital building and meaningful job creation to uplift women and thereby communities in a sustainable way.
Taking both a strategic and holistic view of the matter, Shruti Shibulal said, “The real problem is that we have a retention issue. We need to take a close look at how we can keep women employed. Firstly, it’s training; women need to be given the opportunity to learn financial literacy and other key skills. Secondly, it’s leadership. We need more women in leadership roles, and not just one token position. We need female role models and mentors in leadership positions. You have to make space for women and fight for their inclusion.”
“Empathy is crucial to achieving gender equality. Both women and men have their challenges, and inclusivity must be a more united conversation. Some people are aware of the need to build equality for women, but women may not have that same awareness for men. As such, there is a mutual empathy that needs to be built to ensure lasting change,” added Shruti.
This year, the ITB Convention centered on ‘Mastering Transformation’ within Tourism, with a strong focus on sustainability. Tamara Leisure Experiences, a responsible hospitality group has grown to become a thought leader in sustainable tourism in India. At the ITB convention, the group introduced their NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers) Certified Ayurvedic resort: Amal Tamara on a global stage.
Additionally, PATWA (Pacific Area Travel Writers Association) awarded Tamara Leisure Experiences international recognition under the category of ‘Boutique Hotel Chain of the Year – India‘ at the convention. At the award ceremony, held as part of the PATWA World Tourism and Aviation Leaders Summit, Shruti Shibulal spoke on ‘New Initiatives in Tourism’ alongside prominent leaders: Winnie Muchanyuka – CEO of Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, Mr. Alain St. Ange – Former Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports, and Marine, Republic of Seychelles, Georgi Alipiev, Director of International and Visa Affairs Directorate, Ministry of Tourism of the Republic Bulgaria, and Mr. H. E. Edmund Bartlett – Minister of Tourism Jamaica.