A pioneering initiative has been signed between MoT and TAAI and FLO, towards women empowerment, laying emphasis on personal and hospitality skills, a more flexible work balance and greater options for entrepreneurship with significantly lower capital. This marks a new chapter in collaboration between government and industry; women power is an important and integral part of a cohesive and inclusive policy for tourism development. Women are a big part of our sector, employed in large numbers in travel agencies, hospitality and the airline sector, among others.

This MOU envisages the State Chapters of FLO and TAAI to create awareness, along with state tourism departments and state tourism corporations, to highlight the vital role, the tourism industry can play as a model for sustainable livelihood for women and ensure their economic upliftment. This collaboration will help in initiating and engaging women at grassroot level, the middle level in semi urban, urban areas and the urban educated unemployed. 

FLO and TAAI will be the facilitators in the process, connecting women with the relevant stakeholders, undertake training in specific verticals for enhancing their livelihood opportunities, increasing their self-awareness as equal partners in the nation’s growth and working towards their economic empowerment.

Flo President Jahnabi Phookan

The Representatives took the pledge of Dekho Apna Desh to visit 15 destinations within the Country.

The main components proposed under the initiative are:

(i) Encourage travel to at least 15 destinations within the country under the Dekho Apna Desh initiative. This will be a mandate for FLO’s & TAAI’s membership base of over 8000 women and their family support systems.

(ii) Conduct community-based tourism activities around one Iconic Monument or Tourist Landmark in each state. Women will be the tour guides, run food stalls, souvenir stalls with their own arts & crafts, handle the overall accounts and running of the landmark.

(iii) FLO-TAAI chapters will raise awareness on Sustainable Tourism practices and focus on Tourism as a vital sustainable livelihood tool for women’s empowerment, by way of advocacy and awareness, educational workshops, seminars and panel discussions.

(iv) Tie-up with training agencies for Tourism workshops for training women about concepts on food safety, health & hygiene, sanitation, environment, culinary skills and entrepreneurship skills.

(v) Women to be engaged and sensitised about the Atithidevo bhava motto through sensitisation workshops to be organised by NGOs, some implementing agencies, travel industry associations etc.

(vi) Create community-driven and women-led initiatives for rural and urban homestays to provide livelihood opportunities for women.

Jyoti Mayal, president, TAAI

(vii) Create awareness about the Incredible India Tourist Facilitator (IITF) Certification Programme. 

The Ministry of Tourism would support the initiative with the following measures:

  • Endorsement of FLO – TAAI Initiatives under this MoU
  • Co-Branding with MoT logo presence
  • Guidance & Interventions
  • Facilitation through the right connects

Welcoming this initiative, Minister of Tourism, Shri Prahlad Singh Patel, said “We have the best of women doctors, pilots, scientists, businesswomen. Women have also excelled in various adventure related activities and sports like mountaineering, trekking, bicycling, etc. Today, women form an important component of our Armed Forces. And we are a nation where women have assumed positions of the Prime Minister and President of the country.

It becomes our moral responsibility to ensure that women in the travel and tourism sector are encouraged to come forward and participate in the development of tourism, which would not only benefit the sector, but would also help in their upliftment and empowerment. There are many areas in tourism where women can excel, like homestays, tourist facilitators, catering business and more”