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Published on : Wednesday, January 20, 2016
The first tourism industry study of its kind has revealed that a majority of tourism businesses have now considered targeting the lucrative market comprised of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) travellers however the research also uncovers some substantial industry missteps.
Areas the industry is doing badly with include not understanding the potential of the market to add revenues to their bottom line as well as certain misplaced fears about risks in engaging with this market. The new research has revealed that these issues are at present unnecessarily limiting industry outcomes in pursuing LGBT travel.
The ‘Out Now Global LGBT Travel Industry Survey’ (Out Now, 2016) http://BetterLGBT.com undertook research from May to November 2015 and was implemented in partnership with World Travel Market London. A total of 661 respondents from more than 90 countries completed the survey. Initial findings were previewed by Out Now to delegates in November at the LGBT Masterclass during WTM London. The full report is released today.
In announcing key findings, Ian Johnson, CEO of Out Now said the research contains several wake-up calls for the travel industry: “Out Now and WTM London have pioneered LGBT travel market development together for 12 years now and we are pleased to be presenting this first ever measurement of key issues driving the industry in engaging with this important market. For the first time we see clearly the scale of the opportunity and the tactical approaches which respondents indicate lead to market success and increased revenues with LGBT customers. To unlock the potential available the study shows the industry clearly needs to do more to educate their own staff through training, such as the http://Learn.LGBT education platform, as well as allocate proper levels of funding in line with the total spend which this market now accounts for in the tourism sector. There remains a lot of untapped potential for those industry members that make the effort to get it right. LGBT people reward companies that understand and meet their needs as customers through substantial levels of consumer loyalty – and revenues.”
Key study findings include:
– Two out of three (66%) organisations responding have considered targeting the LGBT market.
– More than half (57%) have invested some resources (either, time, money or in-kind) to develop the market.
– Most though (59%) have spent under USD$10,000 to date targeting the LGBT market.
– Most common activities undertaken include: reviewing published media coverage on LGBT travel research, advertising in LGBT media, using social media.
– 58% of respondents that undertook targeted marketing saw increased LGBT customer bookings as a direct result.
– 90% of respondents reported positive outcomes from targeting the market.
– More than one in five (21%) respondents say they made mistakes when they first targeted the group. These included: mistakenly using stereotypes, making campaigns too focused on gay men, and including sexual imagery or rainbows in their creative.
– 10% of respondents are confident LGBT travel directly accounts for more than USD$250,000 annual revenues to their business with a further 32% not sure of the actual amount or preferring not to answer.
Simon Press, Senior exhibition director, World Travel Market London also announced the 2016 launch of the Official LGBT Village at WTM London, with hosting partner ONBC http://OutNowBusinessClass.com returning for a fifth year.
“LGBT trade show exhibition spaces are now becoming more common, so WTM London is pleased that the Official LGBT Village by ONBC has grown every year with regular return exhibitors and taking larger floorspace each year,” says Press. “In 2016 the LGBT Village returns and we are pleased to be announcing our first exhibitors.”
The official LGBT Village presented by ONBC returns for its fifth year at London World Travel Market, the leading travel show for the global travel industry, from November 7 to 9, 2016 at ExCel Centre London.
The LGBT Village has profiled many leading travel brands as exhibitors since 2012 including: VisitMexico, visitBerlin, Marketing Manchester, Ku Group, Millivres Prowler, Two Bad Tourists, Visit Helsinki, Stockholm Visitors Board and many more.
Source: WTM London