Women play a dominant role among travel consumers and sellers, but they don’t occupy the highest decision-making positions in the industry.
In 2014, women made 80% of travel decisions, which equals to $125 billion of the travel industry’s purchasing power.
Women are becoming more and more confident and empowered to travel alone, as the recent statistics show. This trend has made women-only travel companies jump up by 230% over the last 6 years.
As of 2012, women made up 72% of travel agents, and the number has grown since then, according to Phocuswright, a global travel market research company. Consumer research shows women make 70% of all travel-buying decisions, according to Female Factor, a company that helps increase sales and market share with the world’s most powerful consumers.
However, only 33% are in the leading positions at travel organizations like the American Society of Travel Agents.
If you look at the boardrooms and C-suites at some of the leading global travel companies, you’ll see the following numbers:
- 1 woman on an executive team of 25 at Las Vegas Sands (4% representation)
- 3 women on the 9-person management team at American Airlines
- 3 women on the management team of 11 at Priceline Group (27%)
- 2 women on Disney’s 14-member management group (14%)
- 1 woman on Delta’s 9-member management team (11%)
- 1 woman out of 13 (8%) on Hilton Worldwide’s executive committee
- 2 women on the 10-member executive committee at Amadeus (20%).
- 5 women are among the company’s 21 senior executives, and 2 of 9 board members are women at Carnival Corp
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Travel industry executives are overwhelmingly male, and women don’t seem to discuss the topic openly. Laura Mandala, founder of Women in Travel & Tourism International and managing director of Mandala Research, suggests that women should have a collective approach towards the issue. According to Mandala, whenever women feel they aren’t treated equitably, they should grab their bag, work somewhere else.