Pretoria - The Western Cape's tourism industry has applauded women for the crucial role they play in the business, conceding that their valuable contribution is not always acknowledged.
"Tourism and hospitality are labour intensive industries, providing ample opportunities for women with their unique strengths and abilities to thrive. Significant progress has been made, but we are concerned that in some of the sub-sectors, women are still struggling to break through the proverbial glass ceiling," said Calvyn Gilfellan, CEO of Cape Town Routes Unlimited (CTRU).
Gilfellan said he was concerned that there have not been enough efforts made to drive to women to the top of the industry.
"Although women are well-represented in the tourism industry, too many occupy the lower echelons of the employment structures. It is time that more of them are employed as general managers, directors of companies and senior executives in government and other agencies," he added.
In recognition of the importance of women in the industry, CTRU said it fully supports the following United Nations World Tourism Organisation proposals to elevate the role of women in tourism:
The general improvement of the role and status of women in the tourism industry
Create awareness of the opportunities available to women at all levels of the travel and tourism industry
Ensure that women's matters and gender equality are high on the agendas of tourism policy and legislative processes
Support good training, development and career opportunities for women in or wanting to enter the industry
Support policy and legislation that provides for equal opportunity and equal pay for female employees
Strongly speak out against sexual and other exploitation of women and children in the industry
Acknowledge and celebrate women's immense contribution to the industry
In honour of the important role of women in the industry, the CTRU said it was planning a special Women's Month celebration in August.
On August 25, CTRU, in partnership with, among others, CapeNature, will take approximately 100 women to nature reserves to treat them to some well-deserved time-out and pampering.