The Big Business of LGBT Travel

by Merryn Johns + Skift Team - Aug 2014

Skift Research Take

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender travel has always existed, but recently mainstream companies have been tailoring campaigns to the demographic. As social and political views in the U.S. evolve and become more accepting of the LGBT community, we see businesses revamping their marketing models to become more inclusive as well.

Report Overview

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community has never been more visible or powerful than now. With the steady progress of LGBT rights coupled with global economic recovery, the LGBT consumer is highly desirable—a “dream market” as described by The Wall Street Journal in 1988 — due to its high discretionary income, economic resilience, confidence, and brand loyalty.

“Gay travel” has always existed, whether in the form of gay men partying the night away on Mykonos or lesbians making a pilgrimage to their namesake Lesbos. This travel market has grown visibly in the past 20 years, reflecting advancements in LGBT rights and social acceptance, resulting in a corresponding increase in corporate marketing, communications and responsibility aimed at the LGBT demographic. Today, most players in the travel and tourism industry agree that the LGBT market is lucrative and actively court it.

LGBT travel might be booming, but marketing strategies and diversity awareness are still evolving at a business level. This report will discuss the events that helped create LGBT market awareness, the major trends in today’s market, and innovative approaches to campaigns and strategies that work.