Each year, pride season comes on strong with LGBTQ+ promotions, rainbow logos, and fantastic events around the world. Then by July, the pride thrills fade, and it can feel like the LGBTQ+ community is, in some ways, forgotten.
But in the travel industry, this cycle presents a huge opportunity to reach devoted travelers who comprise one of the most valuable niche markets. The fact is, LGBTQ+ people by and large love to travel. And the companies that are savvy enough to market to our worldly community throughout each year often reap the rewards of brand loyalty that potentially can last a lifetime.
To help members better understand the prospects and rewards of year-round LGBTQ+ marketing, IGLTA’s next Members Connect hot topic is: “Beyond Pride: Learn the Latest LGBTQ+ Marketing Trends.” Taking place Thursday, 22 July, at 11 a.m. EDT, the online panel will be moderated by IGLTA Marketing Manager Auston Matta, who will lead a discussion with Diane Anderson-Minshall, CEO and editorial director of Pride Media; Janéy Tate, Sponsorship Coordinator, Queendom Atlanta & Sweet Heat Miami; Oriol Pamies, founder of Queer Destinations; and Dustin Woehrmann, CEO and creative director of Communify.
Panelists will share ideas for reaching LGBTQ+ travelers around the world, an enthusiastic group as demonstrated by our 2021 LGBTQ+ Post Covid Travel Survey. Conducted over two weeks by the IGLTA Foundation, the international survey revealed that out of 6,324 LGBTQ+ respondents, 73 percent said they plan to take a major vacation in 2021—a reassuring figure, especially after 2020’s disastrous COVID-19 impact on the travel industry. Better still, during the survey’s 26 March-9 April polling dates, 23 percent of respondents said they had already made travel reservations “in the past week,” a figure that’s likely risen since April.
Our U.S. breakout report contains a benchmark that underscores the travel propensity of our community. While only 42 percent of Americans have passports (according to the U.S. State Department), a whopping 85 percent of our U.S. LGBTQ+ respondents hold passports, poising them to head out of the gate internationally ahead of their non-LGBTQ+ counterparts.
Of course, the pandemic remains a serious concern around the world. So for most respondents, domestic travel is preferred, with 68 percent saying they are more likely to take a domestic leisure trip, and 50 percent planning a short-haul flight (3 hours or less). Although group travel still polled lower, the picture changes when it comes to attending an LGBTQ+ festival or pride event. Overall, 43 percent were likely to attend a 2021 LGBTQ+ festival or pride event; a number that rose to 56 percent among respondents in Brazil, reflecting the strong desire to reconnect after so much time in isolation. We’ve shared the results with breakout data for the United States, Mexico, Brazil and the EU in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
Our survey received a mix of demographic input, and even though gay men were the majority at 57 percent, 19 percent of global respondents identify as lesbian, 17 percent as bisexual, and 7 percent as a self-identified orientation. We aimed to reach more women with this survey, and are happy that females represent 31 percent of the total.
The survey’s clearest message is this: The LGBTQ+ community is resilient, loyal, and passionate about travel. So for IGLTA members and enterprises keen to reach avid queer travelers, don’t miss our 22 July Members Connect. We can’t wait to learn from these experts, and hear ideas for travel companies and brands ready to think beyond pride, and grow year-round interest from the travel-hungry LGBTQ+ community.