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"80% of hotel choices and bookings are made by women"

Interview with Valérie Hoffenberg, founder of the SHE Travel Club, who is working to ensure that the needs of women in the travel industry are better taken into account.

Who is Valérie Hoffenberg, founder of the SHE Travel Club?

"I am an entrepreneur at heart as well as a committed woman, particularly on issues relating to gender equality. Several years ago, I created the Collective Leaders Club to reflect together on the major issues facing our society. Four years ago, I created the think tank Agir pour l'Egalité (Act for Equality) with Marie Claire magazine. It is a space for reflection, but its purpose is also to make concrete proposals to advance equality between women and men. [...] In the course of my work for this think tank, I noticed that there was a real feminisation of travel with a need in the tourism sector, and more particularly in the hotel industry, to better take into account the expectations of female travellers and women working in the sector. I myself travelled a lot when I worked in the diplomacy."

The genesis of SHe Travel Club

"It is above all a travel tech with many digital tools. It is the first label for hotels that have taken into account the needs of female customers when they travel. Women already represent 64% of travellers worldwide. In 2019, they represented 52% of business travellers.

We surveyed 5,000 women in France, the US, the UK, China and Brazil to understand their specific expectations. 80% of hotel decisions and reservations are made by women.

There is a real evolution in our society and this societal evolution is reflected in the tourism sector."

How does the SHe Travel Club work?

"I am surrounded by a team that has worked for several years in the hotel sector. One of the first elements we took into account was the need to offer a tool that was simple and quick to use.

The expectations of women from the survey we conducted were grouped into 4 pillars for which we selected the 10 most important criteria. We have thus defined 3 levels of certification to enable properties to progressively enter into a virtuous process.

In concrete terms, the property can download a self-diagnosis and in 15 minutes it will have a clear view of its level of compliance. It then receives a kit with QR codes so that its female customers can give their opinion on the property and the level of consideration given to their expectations and needs.

Women nowadays have more confidence in the comments of their peers. It is therefore the women customers who will validate the hoteliers' answers through the questionnaire they will fill in.

The SHe Travel Club will provide the hotel owner with a complete report per service section with a note that will allow them to communicate on their commitment to female customers.

The SHe Travel Club is also an online ecosystem that will allow women to exchange tips when they travel. When they travel, women want to be able to participate in local life.

Certified hosts will benefit from visibility on our website and platform and within the major international women's networks we work with.

Great Place to Work will support our approach and encourage companies to book SHe Travel Club certified properties for their female employees."

An international award on 8 March, from 2023

"Every 8 March, the SHe Travel Club will reward the 100 best addresses for taking into account the needs and expectations of female customers. 50% of the score will correspond to the services provided by the properties for their female customers, and 50% will also be based on the implementation of a policy favourable to their female employees by the properties.

Women guests today are looking for authenticity, they expect brands and companies to take steps towards gender equality."

On this International Women's Rights Day, do you have a message for them?

"When you have a passion deep inside you, you can say to yourself that if you fail, it's not a big deal, any experience is constructive!

All women must dare. Dare to dream big, dare to ask for a salary increase, break the glass ceiling, run hotels, or even start their own business."

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