A recent United Nations World Tourism Organisation publication, Regional report on women in tourism in the Middle East identified that the representation of women working in tourism in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is significantly below the global average. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabian (KSA) government is seeking to address this imbalance. The purpose of this research is to support this initiative, by determining how women’s workforce participation in the event sector can be encouraged. A qualitative study using a mix of case studies and semi-structured interviews with twelve personnel from within the event sector in KSA was conducted. Additional qualitative data was gathered from the authors’ participation in virtual gender-related tourism events and conferences. Thematic analysis indicated key findings which include the need for the KSA government and the corporate sector to promote a positive attitude towards women in the workplace. The cessation of activity in the sector, due to COVID-19, requires government and business leaders to develop a recovery plan that will continue to foster the empowerment of women in the sector. Without a recovery plan, there is a real risk that the gains in the empowerment of women in the sector will be lost. © 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
- empowering women
- government support and events
- Saudi Arabia
- Saudi Vision 2030