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Analysing the opportunity cost of gender inequality in tourism The study, presented by Meliá Hotels International, reveals that tourism is an essential activity not only for personal wellbeing but also for the economy as a whole. The existence of a gap in this area is based on the premise that gender is a differentiating element in the effective demand for tourism services.

Gender gap in tourism

This gap is directly related to the gender inequality that persists in the labour market, which, in turn, is influenced by the enormous gap that still exists in Spain in terms of work-life balance.

Another key difference between men and women is the reason for travel. Despite travelling 6.9% less than men, when they travel for personal reasons, women make 2.2 million trips more than men per year, they are better planners, and lead in the use of websites or apps for making reservations.

Calculation of opportunity cost

The most immediate opportunity cost is in business tourism. The economic impact of the gender gap in this type of tourism is €2.35 billion a year. For every business trip made by women per year, men make three. If this gap were eliminated, 6 million more business trips would be made, and this would increase spending on hotel, general commerce and transport.

This analysis shows that men and women travel differently, which is not in itself a problem. However, it also demonstrates the existence of gaps in tourism due to inequalities that remain in employment, leisure and work-life balance.

Gabriel Escarrer Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Meliá Hotels International

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