MANILA - Women hosts in the Philippines collectively earned some P2.5 billion in 2022, making the country the second-largest women-powered host community globally, Airbnb said on Tuesday.
Two-thirds of hosts in the Philippines or about 66 percent are women, who are not just boosting their presence in the tourism and travel sector but also contributing to the economy, the online homestay booking platform said.
“Women hosts are playing an increasingly pivotal role in the travel and tourism sector, and especially in the Philippines. We are heartened to see more and more women open their homes to travelers and provide the authentic hospitality that Filipinos are renowned for," said Mich Goh, Airbnb's Head of Public Policy for Southeast Asia, India, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
"As more Pinays step up to lead our Host communities and share hosting tips with one another, we remain committed to supporting and growing our Pinay host community and ensuring that their roles in contributing to the industry are recognized," Goh added.
Goh said the platform gave mothers, homeowners with spare rooms and those under 30 an opportunity to earn from properties they already have.
"Warmth is really the Philippines' unique selling point...And more and more women are beginning to understand that they can share not only warmth and hospitality and say 'hey I can make a living out of it,' and 'I can start small," she said.
Philippine Commission on Women Gender and Development Representative Ann Jeaneth Casalme said it is crucial to drive women's visibility in the tourism industry.
"We are excited to see companies like Airbnb showcasing their expertise in tourism development and promotion of women entrepreneurship in the country while advocating the safety of women tourism travelers," Casalme said.
In the Philippines, 56 percent of solo travel nights were booked by women last year, Airbnb said.
The government also has a role to play in empowering, educating and employment of women, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said. Opportunities offered by platforms such as Airbnb also spark the spirit of entrepreneurship in women, she said.
"The role of government in this scenario to make it more accessible for women to participate in this field," Belmonte said.
"Quezon City is committed to ensuring that every woman is recognized, empowered and celebrated through various initiatives that promote economic empowerment, equality in business and livelihood opportunities for all genders, including women entrepreneurs," she said.
Airbnb recently held its inaugural #WomenInTravel dialogue which was focused on challenging stereotypes when traveling, and breaking boundaries with empowered Filipinas including Philippine Coast Guard Officer Noelle Wenceslao, who was one of the first Filipinas to reach the peak of Mt. Everest.