In the UK, British gay men travel twice as often as heterosexual men. What’s more, gay travellers tend to have a more disposable income, and spend more on holidays, than heterosexual couples. This is mainly due to their DINK status – dual income, no kids. Studies have shown that gay men devote 12% more to non essentials (such as travel) annually than heterosexual men.
As a result, LGBT travel is one of the fastest growing tourism sectors worldwide, making LGBT hotel guests a gold-mine for hoteliers. If you’re keen to attract more LGBT guests, we’ve written a couple blog articles that you might find helpful. Have a look at How to increase your LGBT hotel bookings, Three ways to target LGBT travellers through your hotel brand identity and Why your hotel’s LGBT-friendly reputation is everything.
As experts on all things related to LGBT travel, here are the main LGBT demographic and travel trends every hotelier should know in 2019:
LGBT demographic trends
- The number of adults identifying as LGBT is growing
A 2016 study by the Pew Research Center found that people are becoming more accepting of LGBT people, which has resulted in an increase in the number of people who come out as LGBT. Currently, an estimated 1.1 million people identify as LGBT in the UK, while around 10 million people, or 4.1% of the population, said they were LGBT in the US. Interestingly, young adults are more likely to identify as LGBT than older Americans. In fact, it is estimated that 36% of LGBT adults today are aged 18 to 34.
- Gay and Lesbian Americans increasingly wed
The US Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in 2015, granting same-sex couples a constitutional right to marry. As a result, LGBT marriages are on the rise. Today, 17% of gay men and 16% of lesbian women are married. According to a recent study in the US, married same-sex couples tend to have a higher income. They found that the household income of the typical married or partnered gay man is $13,400 higher than that of the typical married or partnered heterosexual man.
- LGBT families are growing
With weddings becoming more popular amongst same-sex partners, so is the idea of raising a family. Approximately 3% of gay men and 19% of lesbians indicated having children under 18 living at home in the US. It’s further estimated that between 2 million and 3.7 million children have an LGBTQ parent, while 200,000 of them are being raised by same-sex couples.
LGBT travel trends
- LGBT honeymoon trips on the increase
With the legalisation of same-sex marriage in different countries, LGBT honeymoon trips have increased tremendously. According to The Guardian, same-sex honeymoon bookings have increased by 279% over the past five years. The top destinations for LGBT honeymoons are Maldives, Thailand, Indonesia (Bali), Malaysia and the USA.
LGBT people travel all year round
The beauty of LGBT travel is that it’s not restricted to only one specific season: LGBT customers travel all year around. While summertime is still one of the most popular travel seasons, LGBT travel is relatively dispersed across all months of the year.
Pride and other LGBT events are key travel motivators
LGBT events, such as Pride, are important travel motivators for gay travellers, particularly amongst people aged 21 – 35. According to a recent Community Marketing study, over 20% of LGBT respondents indicated that they travelled to another city and spent a night or more to attend Pride events in the past 12 months. Side note: if you want to promote your hotel for a local Pride event, have a look at our three tips on how to increase hotel bookings for World Pride for inspiration.
Increased travel spending
The global LGBT2030 research program estimates that the annual LGBT travel spend in 2018 amounted to more than $218Bn. This includes spending on domestic and international travel, accommodation, holiday dining, sightseeing and other tourism expenditures. The US accounts for the largest share, with $63.1Bn, but the UK is amongst the top five countries, with residents spending a total of $11.7Bn on LGBT travel last year alone.
Stay ahead of LGBT travel trends with World Rainbow Hotels
At World Rainbow Hotels, we’re experts at marketing hotels to an ever-growing community of LGBT travellers. We bring together a global community of gay and lesbian welcoming hotels, providing accommodations like yours unprecedented visibility and access to the LGBT market.