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Women in Tourism boosted with empowerment pilot project in Limpopo
Women in Tourism boosted with empowerment pilot project in Limpopo


The Department of Tourism today launched the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Women in Tourism Pilot Programme in Limpopo province which aims to drive gender equality and inclusion of women entrepreneurs in the sector.

The UNWTO Women in Tourism Empowerment Programme sets a precedent for establishing tourism as a tool for the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment, using gender analysis and gender training to tackle inequality and gender-based discrimination in the tourism industry.

The Department of Tourism attended and participated in the UNWTO First Presidential Leadership Taskforce meeting which took place during the International Tourism Trade Fair of Madrid (FITUR) on 25 January 2019 in Madrid, Spain.  

At this meeting, the member states selected a pilot site (country) to implement a three-year project to assess the progress of women in the sector and also understand the challenges still facing women within the tourism sector. Due to the established Women in Tourism Programme in South Africa which started in 2013, member states elected South Africa as the country of choice where the UNWTO would partner with to conduct the three-year pilot to assess the state of tourism sector in South Africa. 

The UNWTO Women in Tourism Pilot will include seven sites on the Ribola Art and Rixile Kruger Routes in the Mopani and Vhembe districts. The businesses selected are Twananani Textiles, Nahakwe Lodge, Baleni Salt Harvesters, Mashishimale Village Homestays, Hi Hlurile Pot of Beads and Mukondeni Pottery Village. 

During the launch, the Director-General of the Department of Tourism, Victor Tharage urged the businesses in the community to work together to uplift the entire community. 

“To succeed as a community, all the businesses in the area need to work together and not compete. We should leave no one behind and I therefore urge you to use, buy and exhibit each other’s products and crafts,” said the Director-General.

The UNWTO Women in Tourism pilot project focusses on gender equality; job creation; market access; and diversification of income streams; and financial independence.

On the back on International Woman’s Day, the Department continuously strives to advance gender parity by celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. One such achievement is the Chairship of the Commission on the Status of Women for the 66th and 67th session, 2022 and 2023 as announced by Cabinet last week.


Ms Susan de Bruin

Acting Chief Director: Communications

Department of Tourism

Cell: +27 (0) 82 921 7303