Ageing travellers, “boss-less” workers and female empowerment were the three major travel trends to come out of WTM Latin America last week.

The trends report, created by Euromonitor International, identified that growing female autonomy in Latin America means that women are increasingly confident and empowered to travel.

The report claims that autonomous female travellers leave a significant digital footprint and this sharing of experience through blogs, websites and social media has fuelled the growth in female travel.  

This is a global trend. Last year, Asia specialist travel company Wendy Wu Tours claimed a 13% rise in solo female travellers over the last three years (vs +8% for males) whilst adventure travel company Intrepid reports a 35% increase in female travellers.

The WTM trends report evaluates female empowerment with the following criteria: percentage of female “head of households”, female employment rate, female disposable income (per capita) and level of female higher education.

Latin American women have moved into the workforce in record numbers, yet they are still largely shut out of leadership roles accounting for just 5.6% of board seats in the region’s 100 largest companies (Americas Society).

These trends illustrate that whilst there are positive steps forward in terms of narrowing the gender discrimination gap. There is clearly still some way to go.  This is true not just for developing nations but also the Western world highlighted by the UK’s 9.4% gender pay gap (ONS).

Female travel encourages financial independence, emotional autonomy and enables cultural integration and learning. Let’s hope that these female travellers not only inspire other women to follow in their footsteps but also help carve the path forward for achieving gender equality.