Featured Image: IGLTAF Leadership Think Tank in NYC
With June Pride month wrapped for 2019, our members are back to the business of LGBTQ+ travel.
So as we return our focus to everyday issues of improving tourism and hospitality for all, I’d like to share some of our association’s latest news and trends about LGBTQ+ travel—and how best to harness it for destination and business success.
This year, the IGLTA Foundation collaborated with several partners to establish three important pieces of research and data, each serving as valuable resources about travel trends and trip planning among LGBTQ+ travelers. Their benefits are twofold. Each report helps in accommodating visitors; and each report helps destinations track and measure the benefits of tourism in theirs or similar markets.
Ultimately, however, this collaborative research shares how to more effectively grow and sustain LGBTQ+ travel. In a sense, the data is a pillar on which destinations can build strategies, and plan better ways to serve their visitors.
In a June 2019 travel-trend recap, Airbnb worked with IGLTAF to survey LGBTQ+ travelers in the U.S. about their preferences. Some notable findings regarding safety in travel are that the majority of LGBTQ+ travelers admit they’re “very unlikely” to travel to a country where being LGBTQ+ is illegal. Meanwhile, 86 percent say a destination’s policies toward the LGBTQ+ community are at least somewhat important when selecting where to travel. More Airbnb survey results are available in our website’s press room (look for “2019 LGBTQ+ Travel Trends”), including what activities respondents are most drawn to.
The next source of valuable information is a product of IGLTAF’s April 2019 Think Tank, held at Google during our Annual Global Convention in New York City with support from Miles Partnership. Titled “Responsible Tourism Through the Lens of LGBTQ+ Travel,” this white paper explores challenges such as managing the impact of travelers on destination infrastructure, the meaning of authenticity, perceptions about safety, and language as it applies to LGBTQ+ visitors. As you can read in the paper (shared on our Research page), LGBTQ+ tourism continues to expand, and savvy businesses are revising strategies to invite and accommodate more LGBTQ+ visitors.
John Tanzella, IGLTA President/CEO
The third study was led by a research team at New York University in partnership with IGLTAF. On the B2B topic of “Current Trends in LGBTQ+ Travel,” about 100 IGLTA member buyers completed questionnaires about serving our niche travel market. The wide variety of survey findings are posted on our Research page, from trends in family travel and preferred vacation attributes, to common complaints and emerging travel types.
IGLTAF-NYU research results presented at IGLTA's Annual Global Convention by Nicolas Graf, Associate Dean, NYU's Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality
Travel offers many indescribable joys—for the travelers, and for locals eager to share their destinations with visitors. With valuable research partners like Airbnb, NYU, Google and Miles Partnership, our Foundation is able to educate our industry, get ahead of the trends, and use the power of research to help create a safer, more welcoming global landscape.
Photo credits: Rachel Covello, OUTCOAST Photography