Skift Take

A little humor and pride goes a long way with the growing demographic of LGBT travelers.

Pride celebrations in June are rallying the LGBT community and travel brands.

WorldPride kicks off in Toronto today, while in the U.S. the first anniversary of the nullification of the Defense of Marriage Act is one week away. Airlines, tourism boards, hotels, and booking tools have prepared for the season with campaigns that cater to this clientele.

Expect the market for LGBT travelers to grow. Currently, there are 19 American states that have legalized same-sex marriages and coincidentally, there are 19 countries worldwide, including Mexico and U.S., which differ by jurisdiction. In terms of pioneering governments supporting this movement, Canada was the first country in the Western Hemisphere that allowed this union in 2005; The Netherlands was the first country ever to enact it into law in 2001; and Denmark was the first to recognize these relationships as domestic partnerships in 1989 and passed gender-neutral marriage bill to legislation in 2012.

Here’s a look at how a few brands positioned their online video campaigns to beat their average YouTube views per video by to appeal to this new traveler demo.

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1. History Bites

Visit Toronto‘s montage of local personalities from the LGBT community talks about their inspiration and milestones of the movement, generated 50 times more views than its 15,300 views/video average.


2. No Judgement

Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority extends “whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” trope to gay travelers with a clever commercial spot with a double entendre. “The Check Out” garnered 45,745 views, 148 times more than its average of 309 views/video.


3. All Are Welcome

Marriott‘s “#LOVETRAVELS” is an integrated campaign that features eight personal video stories from a cross section of the LGBT community–from the individual to family. The behind the scenes video of the campaign from start to finish is close to 10,000 views beating its 2,350 views/video average by 425%.


4. Travel Style

Hotwire features two gay men candidly reacting to each other’s preferences in booking a hotel. The two words, “Lucky Me” — also the title — was brilliantly delivered by the actor. This video surpassed Hotwire’s 17,500 views/video average by 150%.


5. Relatable Stories

Tourisme Montreal collaborated with LogoTV and Air Canada to create a six-part web series depicting a gay couple’s long distance relationship between Montreal and New York. Although this was not posted on either Tourisme Montreal and Air Canada’s YouTube channel, it is noteworthy to mention on the basis of the collaboration and storytelling.


Edited 6/23/14: “Denmark was the first to recognize these relationships as domestic partnerships in 1989 and passed gender-neutral marriage bill to legislation in 2012.”

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Tags: air canada, hotwire, lgbt, marriott, montreal, skiftiq, toronto

Photo credit: Still of Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer from "What Pride Means To Us: WorldPride 2014 Toronto" Visit Toronto / YouTube

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