A special welcome sign in the window isn’t necessary; hotels and businesses that show respect and serve all clients without bias will see a boost in profits and visitors regardless of where they're located.
LGBT festivals, fairs, and events are among the activities LGBT travelers are least interested when taking a trip; however, an “LGBT-friendly” reputation is one of the leading motivators for selecting a destination.
Similarly, an “LGBT-friendly” reputation was the third-most important factor in selecting a hotel, after price and location, according to an online survey executed by LGBT market research firm Community Marketing.
The majority of findings from the report, which looks at the travel preferences and habits of 5,700 LGBT community members, are in line with general travel trends.
LGBT travelers cited warm weather, cultural institutions, and beaches as major factors in choosing a destination; and they picked June to September as the most popular time to travel.
What makes LGBT travelers different is their spending habits. The report found that U.S. gay and lesbian hotel guests spend, on average, 57 percent more on their travels than their heterosexual counterparts.
Tweets coming out of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association’s Annual Global Convention today confirm the niche market’s importance for destinations and businesses.
The LGBT travel market in the U.S. alone is estimated to be over $55 billion. Globally the sector currently has value around $165B #IGLTA
— WTTC (@WTTC) May 2, 2013
The LGBT sector grew by almost 10% in 2012 year on year, reflecting the resilience of the Travel & Tourism industry as a whole. #IGLTA
— David Scowsill (@DScowsill) May 2, 2013
No single hotel brand stood out as “especially LGBT-friendly,” but respondents mentioned Hilton, Kimpton, Marriott, W Hotels, and Hyatt in 66 percent of their answers.
Some 73% of respondents cited San Francisco as the most “LGBT-friendly” destination. Gay and lesbian travelers indicated they visited San Francisco along with New York, Chicago, and Las Vegas most frequently for business and leisure trips.
The full report from Community Marketing is below:
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Tags: lgbt, research, san francisco, Travel Trends
Photo credit: The Dublin LGBTQ Pride Festival is an annual series of events that celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) life in Dublin, Ireland. This shot is from last year's festival that ran from June 22 to July 1. William Murphy / Flickr