KABEER YOUSUF –
Internationally, tourism industry has almost twice as many women employee as other sectors and they are doing a remarkable job towards helping tourism industry grow. In Oman, women from various walks of life who contribute to the tourism sector have been lauded at an event held under the auspices of Maitha al Mahrouqi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, to mark the International Women’s Day at the Oman Tourism College (OTC).
The third in the series, themed this year #proud2workInTourism, the Day hosted girls from the college in order to encourage more female students to join the industry as well as women from across various sectors that help tourism.
“Internationally the tourism industry has almost twice as many women employers as other sectors but in Oman’s tourism industry, women are still poorly represented. Reason enough for us, as the only tourism college in Oman, to change the mindset of the society and to showcase our pride of working in the industry. Our students together with the participating lady leaders brainstormed in small group for ideas and activities for an action plan that can be implemented to encourage more ladies to enter the industry,”said Jaana Raisanen, Director of Quality – Professional and Vocational Studies at OTC who managed the event.
About 60 women from the private and public sectors who have carved a niche for themselves in the tourism and hospitality industry attended the event together with female faculty and students.
Maitha al Mahrouqi pointed that currently, 17,800 Omanis are working within in tourism and hospitality industry in Oman, of which 20 per cent are females.
“As an increasingly important pillar of the national economy, tourism will lead the way for Oman in the coming years and will create around 500,000 jobs by 2040. Each one of us has the potential to shape the future of our beautiful nation and find her path on the roadmap,” Al Mahrouqi said.
Al Mahrouqi’s speech was followed by exceptional story shared by young Omani female pilot, Shatha al Balushi, 2nd Officer at Oman Air. Zuweina al Rashdi, CEO of Dar al Hefya, Safa al Balushi, Learning and Development Coordinator at the Intercontinental Muscat and Vianney Antonio, PR & Marketing at Park Inn Radission Hotels in Oman presented their initiatives and best practices on how they empower women within their companies. Following a networking lunch, students and industry representatives gathered in small working groups to brainstorm and develop an action plan for future activities.
It was OTC’s 3rd Lady Leaders in Tourism event – an initiative that aims to raise awareness of the value that tourism can add to Oman and brings together current and aspiring lady leaders.