MMGY Global has released a new research report, "Portrait of LGBTQ+ Travelers in America"—a comprehensive study into this group’s travel behaviors, sentiments and attitudes. The research sampled more than 3,000 American LGBTQ+ travelers and was devised with input from a steering committee of professionals from organizations focused on travel, tourism and empowerment of the LGBTQ+ community.
One of the key takeaways from the study is that representation in destination marketing materials is “very/extremely important” to this group, with 43 percent saying it would make them feel more confident that the destination is inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community. Travel marketers should also be aware of additional concerns LGBTQ+ travelers have that influence their decision to travel to a destination, such as:
- Half of LGBTQ+ travelers said that the safety of a destination is a concern when deciding where to go.
- Fifty-two percent of respondents said state politics related to their LGBTQ+ identity greatly impact their decision to travel.
- Thirty-nine percent of respondents said that any negative perceptions locals and other tourists may have of the LGBTQ+ community make them uncomfortable and impact the destinations they choose.
Additionally, 33 percent said these above perceptions impact how they present themselves while traveling in a destination.
The following are other key findings from MMGY Global’s Portrait of LGBTQ+ Travelers in America:
- American LGBTQ+ travelers are on average younger, are more likely to be employed and have a lower household income than the average U.S. traveler.
- The average age of an American LGBTQ+ traveler is 39, compared to 49 for U.S. travelers.
- More than 60 percent of U.S. LGBTQ+ travelers fall within the Millennial or Gen Z generations.
Trip Planning and Spending
- LGBTQ+ travelers are more likely to travel solo and less likely to travel in pairs than other Americans, with 50 percent of LGBTQ+ respondents saying they travel solo and only 33 percent noting they travel in pairs. This can be compared to only 40 percent of U.S. travelers going solo and 40 percent traveling in pairs. However, a nearly equal percentage of both groups report traveling with children (12 percent of LGBTQ+ travelers and 14 percent of U.S. travelers).
- On average, U.S. LGBTQ+ travel parties spent $461 on each vacation in 2021—slightly more than U.S. travel parties ($455).
- LGBTQ+ travelers are most motivated by the desire to unwind, relax and explore new places, with more than eight in 10 respondents citing these as the main motivators for them to travel. Four in 10 are motivated by specific LGBTQ+ events and attractions.
- Hotels are the accommodation of choice for U.S. LGBTQ+ overnight travelers (47 percent), but at a significantly lower percentage than U.S. overnight travelers (55 percent). Another 23 percent of U.S. LGBTQ+ overnight travelers stay in non-paid accommodations, typically at the homes of friends/relatives.
All proceeds from the sale of Portrait of LGBTQ+ Travelers in America will be donated to Brave Trails, a national non-profit organization that is dedicated to LGBTQ+ youth leadership. It offers accredited innovative programming inclusive of family camps, mentorship programs, meet-up groups and year-round activities to build tomorrow’s LGBTQ+ leaders.
Source: MMGY Global