With their high disposable income, LGBTs are literally painting towns and cities red wherever they go. It is, therefore not surprising to see the industry all too eager to design luxurious travel packages and programs with this group in mind. There have been a lot of innovations being dedicated by the travel industry to helping LGBTs create unparalleled travel experiences from romantic settings to incredible destinations for “wild adventures and escapes.”
To better equip the industry, surveys are being regularly undertaken to discover fresh information that would reveal the changing patterns in LGBT travel preferences and options. For instance, a survey undertaken over three years ago, the “Gay and Lesbian Travel Survey” by the Community Marketing, Inc. (CMI) shared interesting results through this article: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Gay Travel. This was written by Beth Greenfield for Forbes – Lifestyle Section.
- Economy be damned! Overall, the gay and lesbian community reported more trips in the past 12 months, while travel had been down in the past two years’ surveys. Both men and women took an average of more than three leisure trips in the past year.
- Still, gay travelers like saving money, too. More LGBT travelers call themselves “economy/budget travelers” than “luxury travelers” (though the mid-range market is still the largest)…
- Kids rule. Once gay globetrotters become parents, the importance of “family-friendly” trumps “gay-friendly” when planning getaways.
- Anti-gay, stay away? Not always. Only about one third of gay men and lesbians avoid destinations with anti-gay laws, indicating that destination boycotts are not so effective …
- Passports are prized possessions. In the U.S., 85% of gay men and 77% of lesbians own a passport. International travel is more popular among gay men than lesbians, though, with 54% of gay men surveyed reporting that they used their passports in the past year.
The LGBT survey also revealed:
- Destinations matter: The survey showed that LGBT travelers are highly selective when it comes to choosing destinations, as well as free WiFi.
- They prefer buying directly from suppliers: The survey revealed that more than half of these travelers bought their travel from websites than from a travel agent.
- LGBT travelers prefer warm weather. They can be described to be “warm-weather traveler.” Not that they don’t like wintry destinations or outdoor/active adventure activities, there were just more respondents who like going to locations where the sun is always out and the sky is blue,
- Honeymoon is one big reason to travel. About 43 percent of those legally married respondents travelled during their honeymoon and 50 percent of them going to a tropical destination.
- The Big Apple is still the top destination. It has been so throughout CMI’s 16 years of survey. This survey, however, showed a small increase for #2 and #3 held by gay San Francisco and gay Las Vegas respectively.
These trends and preferences cannot be ignored having used responses “from more than 6,700 U.S. residents and 540 Canadians.” You cannot also underestimate the power of LGBT travel who are estimated to contribute “more than $65 billion a year in the U.S. alone”
If you are in the business of travel, you can benefit from this information.
If you are an LGBT traveller, feel your power as you travel the world and bask in everything it has to offer.
The “world is your oyster” now, there is no need to hide, but make sure safety is included as a factor in choosing destinations.