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Two women in India

These are the three winning initiatives of the FiturNext 2021 Challenge and this is their contribution to gender equality

After analysing 400 projects and selecting 12 finalists, FiturNext 2021 has presented its winners. Afrikable, Fundación Codespa and Women in Travel CIC are the three selected initiatives of this new Observatory’s edition. Sponsored by Mastercard, this year’s edition is focused on fostering empowerment of women for gender equality in the tourism industry and the awards ceremony will take place on May 19th, as part of the International Tourism Trade Fair in Madrid (FITUR).

The selection process has been carried out according to the Replicability Barometer, a proprietary model that evaluates the capacity of projects to be adopted by other actors in the sector across different contexts. Moreover, this edition has incorporated the Impact Barometer, a tool that measures projects’ potential through personal interviews. Finally, the FiturNext Advisory Board made an external evaluation to determine the winning proposals.

Awarded initiatives highlight the role of women in tourism

At a decisive time for the tourism sector, promoting projects that put in value equality and commitment is crucial. Gender equality and the empowerment of women are cornerstones for sustainable development. For this reason, the three winning initiatives have in common their contribution to boost the presence of women in tourism through employability and inclusiveness:

  1. Afrikable is an organisation that offers job opportunities to women in the tourism sector in Kenya. Through the “Solidarity Holidays” project, it fosters trips to the African country hiring exclusively local women for all the services, which stimulates their professional development and independence. The initiative provides work for between 50 and 100 women in vulnerable situations, generating a significant positive impact.
  2. With its “Routes” programme, Fundación Codespa promotes community-based and inclusive rural tourism in Peru and Bolivia. It offers routes led mainly by women, a project that not only increases their presence in the sector, but also gives them a greater role in the family economy. A total of 312 women entrepreneurs have been able to start their own business as a result.
  3. Using tourism as a vehicle for positive impact, the UK-based social enterprise Women in Travel CIC offers job opportunities for women at risk of social exclusion. More than 2.000 women have been trained in the profession with its services, and one in three has found a job. The initiative also fosters the recruitment of female talent in the industry.

Nine finalist projects lead tourism’s contribution to gender equality

Beside the three awarded initiatives, nine other projects have been shortlisted as finalists in the FiturNext 2021 Challenge because of their outstanding  support for women’s leadership:

  1. Open Eyes Project, hires socially excluded women to organise trips to India.
  2. Active Woman, promotes female entrepreneurship through nature travelling.
  3. RaizUp, develops a global community that helps women to find jobs in the tourism industry.
  4. Women in eTravel, boosts women’s participation in public events. 
  5. Equality Tourism, helps vulnerable women in Tanzania and empowers them to become suppliers to local hotel accommodation.
  6. Fundación Santander (Best Africa), provides financial and training support to professional women who want to embark on tourism projects in Gambia, Senegal and Morocco.
  7. Fundación EnVía, offers assistance to indigenous women’s communities in Oaxaca so that they can start their own business projects.
  8. Fundación Barceló, has a tourism training scholarship programme in the Dominican Republic to support women in their professional careers.
  9. ASEET, provides a space for women leaders in the tourism sector to share best practices.

Less than a month to FiturNext 2021

FiturNext will offer a wide-ranging programme as part of Fitur to stimulate equal opportunities and empower women in the tourism industry. The awards ceremony, talks, conferences and dialogues with leading professionals from the sector, and the presentation of the 2021 Report, will be some of the activities to highlight equality in the sector.

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