LGBTQ+ travel is one of the fastest growing tourism sectors worldwide. According to Out Now’s global LGBTQ+ 2030 research program, the annual travel spend by LGBTQ+ customers in 2018 amounted to more than $218Bn.
For hoteliers wishing to attract more LGBTQ+ customers, being recognised as an LGBTQ+-friendly hotel is crucial. There’s a number of ways hotels can show their LGBTQ+-friendliness online, such as adapting content on their website, being listed on LGBTQ+ travel sites or joining LGBTQ+ trade associations and consortias. We’ve written a few blog articles on this, have a look at How to increase your LGBTQ+ hotel bookings and Three ways to target LGBTQ+ travellers through your hotel brand identity.
While a combination of the above is important, nothing beats travel agencies finding your hotel due to your LGBTQ+-friendly reputation on the GDS (Global Distribution System).
Here’s everything you need to know about the GDS, and why ‘coming out’ with an LGBTQ+-specific GDS chain code will be the best thing to boost your RevPAR from LGBTQ+ guests.
What is a GDS?
A GDS is a central reservation system that gives travel agents easy access to real time hotel rates and availability. There are three different GDS systems: Travelport (Galileo, Apollo, Worldspan), Amadeus and SABRE, a global partner of ours. As online travel agencies (OTAs), such as Booking.com, TripAdvisor and KAYAK, use GDS platforms to place customers’ bookings, being represented on a GDS is crucial for hotels, as they generate billions of dollars in global travel sales every year.
LGBTQ+-friendly hotel chain codes
Independent travel agents, online agents and travel agencies all use a GDS to search for the best available travel and accommodation rates for their clients. But with so many accommodations listed, how can your hotel stand out from the crowd? A GDS works with different codes, making individual hotels easily visible through a specific combination of numbers or letters. There are different codes for all kinds of searches, such as pet-friendly hotels, countryside hotels and city hotels.
In order to add LGBTQ+-friendly hotels as a category, we successfully launched the only two existing LGBTQ+-specific GDS codes in 2011: GY1 and GAY. We’re very proud of this achievement, and the team at World Rainbow Hotels continues to work hard to promote them throughout the GDS. With these two codes, agencies worldwide can easily search for and book LGBTQ+-friendly hotels, giving them access to an ever-growing community of LGBTQ+ travellers.
Become an LGBTQ+-friendly hotel with World Rainbow Hotels
If you’re keen to attract more LGBTQ+ guests and want your LGBTQ+-friendliness to be searchable on the GDS, we can help. At World Rainbow Hotels, we bring together a global community of gay and lesbian welcoming hotels, providing accommodations like yours unprecedented visibility and access to the LGBTQ+ market. Find out more about our services or register your hotel today.