Women are powering the Host community in the country, with Filipinas making up two thirds of Hosts*. This makes the Philippines Airbnb’s second-largest women-driven Host community globally after New Zealand.
Known for their iconic warmth and hospitality, Filipinos — and especially Filipinas — are increasingly contributing to the country’s tourism economy by welcoming travelers into their homes and employing fellow women to support them in their daily operations. Hosting is also providing a significant financial opportunity amid rising costs of living, with Filipina Hosts collectively earning Php2.5 billion in 2022*.
Women are a cornerstone in Airbnb’s guest and Host community and comprise 55 percent of all Hosts globally.* They also comprise 40 percent of Airbnb’s 1 million Superhosts** who provide guests with outstanding hospitality in more than 200 countries and territories. Solo travel is also gaining momentum in the Philippines, where 56 percent of all solo traveler nights in 2022 were booked by women.
Timed to International Women’s Month this year, Airbnb is celebrating the growing role of women in driving greater equity in the Philippines’ travel and tourism industry. The global hospitality platform recently launched its inaugural #WomenInTravel industry dialogue, discussing how travel is challenging stereotypes and breaking boundaries as more Filipinas take action to uplift and empower new generations of Filipinas in the travel and tourism industry.
Speakers included Mich Goh, Airbnb’s head of public policy for Southeast Asia, India, Hong Kong and Taiwan; Honorable Maria Josefina “Joy” Belmonte, mayor of Quezon City; Anne Jeaneth Casalme, Philippine Commission on Women Gender and Development representative; Noelle Wenceslao, Philippine Coast Guard officer, mountaineer and the first Filipina to summit Mount Everest; and Colleen Vidal, tourism entrepreneur, Airbnb Host and content creator.
Highlighting the importance of Airbnb’s women-powered Host community in the Philippines, Goh 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. 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.”
Mayor Belmonte shared, “Quezon City is committed to ensuring that every woman is recognized, empowered and celebrated through various initiatives that promote economic empowerment and equality in business and livelihood opportunities for all genders, including women tourism entrepreneurs. We will continue to be a leader and model of local governance to create a society that is inclusive and unbiased. We look forward to industry players such as Airbnb supporting our goal to make Quezon City and the Philippines a go-to destination, with women at the forefront of tourism development.”
Echoing the need to drive more visibility of Filipinas in the tourism industry, Casalme added, “The Philippine Commission on Women fully supports initiatives to empower Filipinas in the tourism sector. 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. We look forward to more discussions on women’s sector development with the private sector in the country.”
Wenceslao added, “Throughout my years in the Coast Guard, I’ve worked alongside so many diverse and strong women, including a two-time Olympian, a world champion dragon boat paddler, women rescue divers and bomb squad members. To top it off, they are mothers — proving that stereotypes exist only if we allow them to.” On being the first Filipino to summit Everest, Wenceslao shared that she drew strength by looking at the journey as her ‘highest’ goal, “I believe everyone has their own Mount Everest, an ultimate goal we want to achieve. It took me three years of preparation and three months on expedition to spend just thirty minutes on the summit, but it meant so much that the long preparation was nothing compared to what I felt when I conquered it.”
Vidal shared her journey from content creator to travel entrepreneur: “When I first started creating travel content, I wanted to share tips to guide my followers on how best to plan their vacations. Along the way, I realized that I could provide these very accommodations and activities — and that’s how my journey as a tourism entrepreneur came about. Throughout the years that I have called Siargao my home, I have learned that we, the locals, make up its very soul. Promoting the island’s travel offerings has meant giving back more economic opportunities to local communities while also helping tourists experience what Siargao is all about.”
*Based on internal Airbnb data from January to December 2022
**Refers to Hosts who held Superhosts status and identified themselves as women as of September 30, 2022