Behind the Glitter: The Impact of Tourism on Rural Women in the Southeast

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Paper seeks to shed light on tourism industry jobs, much of which are overwhelmingly female (food servers, maids, and retail clerks). Paper points to the lack of economic opportunity for employees in the tourism industry.

There is little evidence of substantive economic benefit for wage-earners in the tourism industry in that industry growth has failed to “Trickle-down.” Findings point to negative impacts in tourism industry communities to be significantly worse for women in that 1)they experience higher unemployment rates than men, 2)poor families headed by women have increased dramatically despite overall poverty rates declined, and 3) family median incomes, particularly those of female headed households, lagged far behind those enjoyed by most families in the nation. Policy Solutions include increased access and availability to affordable, quality child care through local governments.

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