Skift Take

As with other travelers, the needs and preferences of LGBT travelers differ according to age and stage in life.

Earlier this week we released our new report, The Big Business of LGBT Travel, which examines the current state of LGBT travel. Get the report for a deep dive.

According to Community Marketing Insight (CMI), which has been publishing an annual report on LGBT travel for 18 years, older LGBTs are warm weather travelers and older gay men are likely to stay LGBT-dedicated properties and guesthouses. Some older gay men are more likely to vacation with lesbian friends of a similar age, since nightclubbing and meeting other men are no longer priorities.

“A very important segment is the aging LGBT traveler,” says co-founder of R Family Vacations, Gregg Kaminsky. “I still love disco music, but I might not be on the dance floor all night with my shirt off anymore. Stick me in a piano bar with show tunes and cocktails and I’m a happy gay man.”

Ed Salvato, editor-in-chief of digital magazine ManAboutWorld agrees, “the over-50 gay traveler is part of a first-ever generation of out, gay-identified travelers, with the money and time for extensive travel. This diverse market includes guys celebrating milestone birthdays, and traveling with small to medium sized groups of friends and family—often footing the bill.”

X, Y and Millennials

According to the Boston Consulting Group, 16-34 year olds are more likely to travel internationally, use low-cost carriers and less likely to use loyalty programs. According to CMI, younger LGBTs are motivated to travel by friends, entertainment and LGBT nightlife. They are more likely than older LGBTs to describe themselves as budget, urban, adventure travelers, and more likely to use mobile devices for planning and during trips.

Despite the mainstreaming of the LGBT community, Millennials still need niche, bespoke or consulting services to cater to their specific consumer profile and tastes. “We are looking at diversifying to include women-only groups, because younger lesbians, specially in Europe, seem to prefer that,” says Marta Dalla Chiesa of Brazil Ecojourneys.

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Top International Destinations for LGBT travelers

Destination % Visited
Canada 13%
England 7%
France 7%
Mexico 7%
Spain 6%
Germany 5%
Italy 5%
Montreal, Canada 5%
Toronto, Canada 5%
Vancouver, Canada 5%

Source: CMI’s 18th Annual LGBT Travel Survey Report

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Tags: lgbt, Travel Trends

Photo credit: Provincetown, MA is a popular destination for gay and lesbian travelers. Harvey Barrison / Flickr

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