Publication Details

Gretzel, U. & Bowser, G. (2013). Real stories about real women: communicating role models for female tourism students. Journal of Teaching in Travel and Tourism, 13 (2), 170-183.


This article identifies the lack of role models as an important factor that discourages women from taking on leadership roles in tourism communities, government agencies, companies, and academia. Based on discussions of the current literature on role models and the importance of stories, the article presents case studies of initiatives that use social media to collect and share the stories of female role models. The article then discusses opportunities to replicate such initiatives within the tourism education context to provide female students and educators with opportunities to identify with and be encouraged by the real stories of real female tourism leaders.

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