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Published on : Monday, November 25, 2013
By 2014, tourism spend by the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) market will exceed $200 billion. The data comes from the new LGBT 2020 survey conducted by the travel trade association Out Now Business Class (ONBC). An affiliate of the global marketing firm Out Now Global, ONBC’s 2,300 members include hotels, brand managers, and other decision makers occupied in LGBT tourism.
Global CEO Ian Johnson told Travel Market Report, “Travel agents will find the research trends significant in a number of ways. For one thing, the sheer numbers in the LGBT2020 findings show that the market has outgrown its designation as a mere niche. With an annual spend of $56.5 billion, the U.S. is the largest source of LGBT tourism dollars. That’s a market agents can’t afford to ignore. The terrific thing about tourism is that there are always new travelers, People are more and more comfortable about being out. They feel safer being out.”
New trends in destinations that appeal to LGBT travelers, are cities like Berlin, New York, San Francisco, Sydney and London, according to Johnson. A mounting trend now is travel to a second wave of smaller, more unexpected LGBT destinations, including Stockholm, Helsinki, Manchester, England, and Australia’s Gold Coast.
“The LGBT2020 data also honed in on specific types of travel. Interest in adventure travel and honeymoon travel is also rapidly increasing. More and more states are allowing gay marriage Couples are deciding where to marry and also where to honeymoon,” said Johnson.
In terms of booking preferences, LGBT2020 found that price comparison websites such as kayak.com are most popular for booking hotels and airlines. Direct bookings with hotel or airline websites were a second-ranked choice.There is good news for agents as well. Agents can tap into those opportunities through social media platforms and other marketing programs that target LGBT clients, Johnson advised.A number of global tourism entities declared new initiatives directed at the LGBT community at World Travel Market.