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, LGBTQ+ travel is one of the fastest growing tourism sectors worldwide, making LGBTQ+ hotel guests a gold-mine for hoteliers. If you’re keen to attract more LGBTQ+ guests, we’ve written a couple blog articles that you might find helpful. Have a look at How to increase your LGBTQ+ hotel bookings, Three ways to target LGBTQ+ travellers through your hotel brand identity and Why your hotel’s LGBTQ+-friendly reputation is everything.
As experts on all things related to LGBTQ+ travel, here are the main LGBT demographic and travel trends every hotelier should know in 2019:
LGBTQ+ demographic trends
- The number of adults identifying as LGBTQ+ is growing
A 2016 study by the Pew Research Center found that people are becoming more accepting of LGBTQ+ people, which has resulted in an increase in the number of people who come out as LGBTQ+. Currently, an estimated 1.1 million people identify as LGBTQ+ in the UK, while around 10 million people, or 4.1% of the population, said they were LGBTQ+ in the US. Interestingly, young adults are more likely to identify as LGBTQ+ than older Americans. In fact, it is estimated that 36% of LGBTQ+ 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, LGBTQ+ 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.
- LGBTQ+ 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.
LGBTQ+ travel trends
- LGBTQ+ honeymoon trips on the increase
With the legalisation of same-sex marriage in different countries, LGBTQ+ 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 LGBTQ+ honeymoons are Maldives, Thailand, Indonesia (Bali), Malaysia and the USA.
LGBTQ+ people travel all year round
The beauty of LGBTQ+ travel is that it’s not restricted to only one specific season: LGBTQ+ customers travel all year around. While summertime is still one of the most popular travel seasons, LGBTQ+ travel is relatively dispersed across all months of the year.
Pride and other LGBTQ+ events are key travel motivators
LGBTQ+ 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 LGBTQ+ 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 LGBTQ+ 2030 research program estimates that the annual LGBTQ+ 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 LGBTQ+ travel last year alone.
Stay ahead of LGBTQ+ travel trends with World Rainbow Hotels
At World Rainbow Hotels, we’re experts at marketing hotels to an ever-growing community of LGBTQ+ travellers. We bring together a global community of gay and lesbian welcoming hotels, providing accommodations like yours unprecedented visibility and access to the LGBTQ+ market.