Travel market reveals latest global gay tourism trends

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New research reveals which travel destinations hold the most appeal to one of the most valuable niche demographics – the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) travel market.

New research reveals which travel destinations hold the most appeal to one of the most valuable niche demographics – the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) travel market.

The United Kingdom and London are the big improvers in this year’s rankings released today by Out Now Business Class – the world’s leading LGBT business networking membership association.

France is up, but Paris is down – and the USA has dropped two rankings as a desired LGBT tourism destination in 2013.

The findings are the first data to be released from the “Out Now Global LGBT2020 Tourism Report” 2013 edition, which will be revealed in full at World Travel Market (WTM), the leading global event for the tourism industry, in London this November.

For the first time, there is also a dedicated LGBT sector exhibition space – “Out Now Business Class” at WTM, which will significantly increase visibility, market access, and networking opportunities for exhibitors – such as airlines, destinations, hotels, tour operators, marketing specialists, and others. The LGBT pavilion at WTM will dramatically increase exhibitors’ B2B networks, allowing them to extend their consumer reach and significantly expand their own share of global LGBT tourism.

Reed Travel Exhibitions Director World Travel Market Simon Press said: “I am delighted to be able to announce the launch of Out Now Business Class at WTM. “The LGBT market is of growing importance to the global travel and tourism industry, and it is great that WTM is able to lead the way in offering business opportunities for such an ever-increasing important sector of the market.”

The latest LGBT2020 research shows there is much business development work to be done by the industry.

France has moved up – and is now the number one most-desired destination country for the more than 6% of the total global tourism industry identified as LGBT.

The USA has lost its top spot, falling from first to third this year. One of the biggest improvers as the industry heads towards 2013 – and apparently basking in the Olympics afterglow – is the UK, which moved up from fourth place to second.

Talk of the Eurozone crisis has not deterred LGBT travelers who have pushed Greece up the rankings to appear in the top ten most-desired gay destinations globally. Italy also moved up while Spain dropped two places.

Out Now is the world’s premier global LGBT market specialist, and the new LGBT2020 global tourism report for 2013 is the result of 3 years of research data collected from almost 100,000 respondents in 24 countries. Sampling has been undertaken in 12 languages, and this year comparative data for respondents from Israel, India, and Turkey are included for the first time.

Respondents were asked which of a large number of listed countries and cities they wanted to visit in the next 3 years.

LGBT tourism is big business. In 2012, Out Now’s research showed that the total tourism spend by LGBT people globally will exceed USD$165 billion.

Out Now will release the latest research findings on the value of the market in 2013 at WTM this November and is hosting a dedicated LGBT exhibitor pavilion at the event called “Out Now Business Class.” Among confirmed exhibitors are tourism marketing offices from Berlin, Helsinki, Pridetours from Israel, and THE OUT NYC – a lesbian and gay targeted hotel from New York.

The new LGBT pavilion at WTM is specifically designed to highlight those tourism industry players that are most committed to expanding their share of this growing market. One of the exhibitors – Berlin Tourismus – has seen its LGBT2020 ranking increase by 4 places this year, as a result of their concerted strategic marketing focus on the LGBT consumer travel market.

In terms of most popular gay cities, New York has remained in the number one position for the second year running. However, NYC is being very closely challenged by Rio de Janeiro in second place, which moved up one place and pushed Sydney down to third place.

London has moved ahead of Paris this year, which has now fallen one place behind traditional gay favorite, San Francisco.

Darren Cooper, Senior Consultant at Out Now based in London, said the results contained some surprises and a few wake-up calls.

“The latest LGBT2020 tourism research data from Out Now Business Class is one of the year’s most anticipated releases; as we track global LGBT tourism trends the industry needs to know in order to optimally position for this potentially lucrative market,” Cooper said, “This year, it seems that Team GB can take credit for a few more wins as both London and the UK have seen significant improvements in their appeal to this market. When you consider the scale of the LGBT market opportunity, moving up or down a notch can mean hundreds of millions difference in tourism revenues for a destination.”

Cooper urged the industry to act now to secure a place at the dedicated LGBT exhibition space at this year’s World Travel Market.

“The importance of business-to-business connections in the implementation of an effective LGBT marketing strategy cannot be understated,” Cooper said, “It is only through quality partnerships with the right partners – from LGBT media, tour operators, mainstream destination marketing offices, hoteliers, airlines, LGBT marketing specialists, and other business networking that those wanting to increase their market share can expect to succeed. This is a lucrative market opportunity for those who take the trouble to get it right. The rewards for those who do are substantial, and we are looking forward to working with all our exhibitors at WTM this year to significantly expand their results from the global LGBT market.”

Out Now Business Class exhibitor display space at WTM is available now on a stand-alone basis and with booth sharing opportunities. Spaces are limited and can be secured by contacting Darren Cooper at Out Now [email protected] .

All data is copyright 2012 Out Now – and can be reprinted provided following data credit is used in full.

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About the author


Editor in chief for eTurboNew is Linda Hohnholz. She is based in the eTN HQ in Honolulu, Hawaii.