JourneyWoman CEO Carolyn Ray Speaks on Women and Aging at IWTTF on June 27 in London, UK

by | Jun 2, 2024

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Last updated on June 12th, 2024

Featured image: It’s time to change the narrative on women over 50  | Photo by halfpoint via Envato

Shining a light on women, aging and travel

JourneyWoman CEO Carolyn Ray is joining a panel of change makers to talk about the influence of women over 50 in travel at the 2024 IWTTF (International Women in Travel and Tourism Forum) on June 27, 2024. The IWTTF is the leading conference and event focused on discussing, celebrating and advancing DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, created by Women in Travel CIC.

“The continuing success of IWTTF and the fantastic response to the inaugural IWTTF Awards last year shows how many people share our passion to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive travel industry,” says Alessandra Alonso, Managing Director and Founder of Women in Travel CIC. “Last year, we had a waiting list for both the Awards and the Forum, and the content – from our incredible keynote speech to our interactive breakout sessions – was phenomenally well-received, reinforcing our position as the industry’s leading event in this space.”

“On the occasion of JourneyWoman’s 30th anniversary, it’s an honour for me to advocate for women over 50 in travel and join a panel of impressive and influential women, including Debbie Marshall, Managing Director, Silver Marketing Association, Nicky Lyle, Hotelplan, Alice Morrison, Explorer, BBC Presenter, and Meera Dattani, Senior Editor,,” says Carolyn Ray, CEO, JourneyWoman. “This conference, created by visionary and 2021 JourneyWoman Award winner Alessandra Alonso, is an opportunity to shift stereotypes about aging and women and create safer, more inclusive travel experiences.”

As the CEO and Editor of JourneyWoman, Ray is a passionate advocate for women over 50, women’s empowerment, and purposeful, sustainable travel. In March 2023, she was named one of the most influential women in travel by TravelPulse.An award-winning writer, Ray leads JourneyWoman’s team of contributors and is the Canadian Chapter Chair of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW).  She also convenes the JourneyWoman Women’s Advisory Council, JourneyWoman Women’s Speaker’s Bureau and the JourneyWoman Awards for Women Over 50.

Panel Discussion: AGEnts of Change: Celebrating Midlife through Work and Leisure

June 27, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Aging in the industry might be the elephant in the room, what the sector does not speak about openly, but many women in particular experience on a regular basis, whether they are travellers or staff. Yet all stats tell us that consumers live longer and that the fastest growing segment in the travel market, with most of the disposable income, is women over 50. It is therefore critical to ensure their views are represented in the workplace. But is the industry listening?

Moderated by Debbie Marshall, Managing Director, Silver Marketing Association, panelists include:

speaker's tile showing five women at IWTTF

About the IWTTF conference

Now in it’s sixth year, the IWTFF conference is being held at Expedia’s London Headquarters, located at Angel Building, The, 407 St John St, London EC1V 4EX, United Kingdom. To purchase tickets for the awards ceremony or the conference, please visit the IWTTF website here.

** JourneyWoman has a limited special discount available, please contact Carolyn at [email protected] to take advantage of it. 


IWTTF was set up by Alessandra Alonso, MD and Founder of Women in Travel CIC, a social enterprise whose mission it is to economically empower women and non-binary individuals by providing access to employment and enterprising opportunities in travel, tourism and hospitality. Proceeds from IWTTF go towards funding that mission. Through training, mentoring and inspiring, Women in Travel develops the knowledge, skills and confidence of women from diverse backgrounds, who have been disconnected from the workforce, helping them to become work-ready

IWTTF’s Founding Sponsor is Intrepid Travel. Google and Expedia have also played a key role in recent years as hosts of the Forum and Awards (respectively).  Other sponsors for IWTTF and the IWTTF Awards 2024 include Tourradar, Eurail, Visit Malta, DiamondAir International, Grant Thornton, Manchester Airport Group, Contiki, BlueSoup, Atkin Jones, Georgian House, Weeva and WeTravel.

Why Women over 50?

In JourneyWoman’s most recent global study, “The Influence and Affluence of Solo Women 50+ in Travel”70% of women over 50 said they felt undervalued and ignored by the travel industry. Women also expressed concern about the lack of age-appropriate and diverse photography, a desire to see more appropriate terminology to describe older women and more emphasis on mobility and accessibility requirements. 

Women over 50 are not ‘old’, but experienced. Not sedentary but adventurous. Not dependent but independent. Not alone but powerful. Not behind the industry, but ahead of it. These are women who challenge convention, follow their own path and wait for the rest of the world to catch up. It’s time they were recognized and honoured, and who better to do it than JourneyWoman.

About JourneyWoman

Founded in 1994, JourneyWoman™ is the world’s first solo female travel resource and one of the most trusted women’s travel brands in the world. JourneyWoman hosts the world’s largest Women’s Travel Directory as a free service to women, providing hundreds of curated and vetted women-friendly tours, retreats, small ships and safe places to stay while supporting small tourism businesses around the world. To elevate women’s voices, the award-winning Soul of Travel Podcast joined JourneyWoman in 2023. JourneyWoman also launched the travel industry’s first Women’s Speaker’s Bureau to share wisdom from women over 50 and accelerate diversity and the JourneyWoman Awards for Women Over 50. To learn more, visit FacebookInstagram, or LinkedIn. JourneyWoman is a registered trademark of Journeywoman Enterprises Inc.

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1 Comment

  1. Winifred Heaps

    I’m a 76 yr old woman who has travelled alone in the world for many years. Due to a serious illness I now have to walk with a rollator. I’ve been trying to find an assisted walking holiday unsuccessfully for the past year.
    I live independently and can walk fine but I keep getting told I can’t be accommodated! I’m so frustrated and feel discriminated against. I don’t need looking after as such I just need to feel safe and included.


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