Nowadays 61% of people that conclude higher education degrees in tourism are women. But who occupies top-level positions in the tourism sector? Which factors prevent women with higher education degrees from climbing the career ladder the way their male counterparts do? How do the careers of male and female graduates in the tourism sector differ? What are the expectations of the students who attend tourism degrees concerning the labour market? The Project Gentour aims at answering these and other questions.

After a thorough literature review and the analysis of several databases, surveys were applied to women and men undergoing higher education tourism degrees studies, in order to evaluate their aims, motivations and expectations. Parallel work was developed to inquire graduates in tourism studies who are working within the tourism sector, as well as their employers. The aim is to get insights and perspectives from both parties, and gain knowledge on women's evolution in the career and barriers to progression, salary levels, expectations and managerial positions commonly held.

The research focus was extended from the private sector, so as to integrate the tourism superstructure as well. More than 3,000 respondents took part in the survey. The study was also extended to Brazil, allowing for a comparison between the Portuguese and the Brazilian reality.

The main tangible results predicted for this project were:

      » A model to support women in their career progression;
      » A handbook for gender equality in the tourism sector [here];
      » An awareness campaign [here];
      » A tourism awards scheme for best practices;
      » The laying of the foundations for an Observatory of Gender in Tourism;
      » A Code of Ethics for Tourism Employment.

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