Community Marketing, Inc., based in San Francisco, has released its 16th Annual LGBT Tourism report, which showed that the LGBT community is traveling more.The study was compiled from responses from self-identified gay and lesbian consumers who read LGBT publications, visit LGBT websites, and attend LGBT events. There were 10,000 responses.
A few key findings of the report are that the LGBT community increased its travel in 2011 by 1 to 3 percent. In 2010 and 2009 LGBT travel was down.
New York City continues to be a U.S. top destination for LGBT travelers. Other top destinations are San Francisco, Las Vegas, New Orleans and Miami. Provincetown, Key West and Palm Springs scored extremely well considering these cities’ size.
A few other fact gleaned from the report were that 85 percent of gay males and 77 percent of lesbians responding to the survey owned a passport; 54 percent of gay men used their passports in the last year. LGBT travelers are more interested in urban and warm weather travel than eco travel. Gay men lean more this way than lesbians.
Also, survey results show the mid-range market is the biggest group among LGBT travelers, followed by economy/budget, and then luxury. Although the LGBT travel community likes budget travel only about a third indicated they stay at economy hotels because they are low income. Most said they would rather spend their money to travel more often and on local attractions or restaurants.
LGBT events get a high draw, with guests staying on average of three nights in a hotel. For those under 35-year “Gay Pride” events are still a big travel motivator. Those older than 35 may not travel to another city for the event.
LGBT people don’t penalize communities and people because of national or state laws. Only about a third of gay men and lesbians are inclined to not travel to destinations with anti-gay bias. A destination’s reputation for anti-gay violence is more of a deterrent. The top four motivators in choosing one hotel over another are the hotel’s location, price, free Wi-Fi internet access and the hotel’s gay-friendly reputation.
Approximately 3 percent of gay men and 19 percent of lesbians said they have children under 18 living at home. In that case they are more interest in family travel than LGBT travel.