LGBT Tourism Demographic Profile

Use this link to obtain a complimentary copy of CMI’s 19th Annual LGBT Tourism Survey CMI’s 19th Annual LGBT Tourism Survey (December 2014)

Key findings from CMI’s 19th Annual LGBT Tourism Study have been compiled from responses from consumers who read LGBT publications, visit LGBT websites, and attend LGBT events. With over 4,000 qualified, community-representative respondents, this LGBT tourism-dedicated study offers valuable insights about consumers who may be reached through LGBT-dedicated marketing initiatives.

In addition to the Tourism Study, CMI produces online surveys, focus groups, field studies and customer satisfaction evaluations for a wide variety of clients including CVBs, DMOs and tourism offices, tour operators, hospitality groups, real estate developers, etc. In the past year alone, CMI collected and analyzed over 100,000 LGBT survey responses.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the travel and tourism industry in the United States generated more than U.S. $2 trillion in economic output in 2012. Based on this data and CMI sample demographics, we estimate that the annual economic impact of LGBT travelers is over US $100 billion per year in the U.S. alone.

Key Findings and Observations

  1. LGBT Travel Increasing: After a couple of years of post-recession slow growth, LGBTs reported significant travel increases over the past 12 months. In 2014, LGBTs recorded a 9% positive increase rating in their leisure travel score, compared to only 2% in 2013. LGBT business travel remains steady compared to 2013.
  2. Frequent Travelers: 29% of LGBT participants are frequent leisure travelers, taking 5 or more leisure trips per year, with 10 or more leisure hotel room nights per year. 14% of LGBT respondents are frequent business travelers, taking 5 or more business trips per year.
  3. Business Travel: Over the past year, 24% of all LGBT survey participants reported extending a business trip at least one day for leisure purposes. Business/leisure destinations might consider communications focused on encouraging extending a business trip for a long weekend, bringing a partner, etc.
  4. Top Hotel Brands: The LGBT Travel Survey has been asking this hotel branding question for many years. 2014 continued the trend of Marriott and Hilton rising to the top of LGBT brands, leaving boutique-style brands to fall in the rankings. This trend is likely due to significant resources being spent on the LGBT market by the two larger brands over the past three years.
  5. Hotel Email Marketing: When asked about appealing email titles, text specifically targeting LGBT guests received the highest potential open rates. Contests scored second.
  6. Hotel Selection Rankings: Location and value of price for quality of hotel are the two most motivating factors for hotel selection. Of note, LGBT-friendly reputation was more important than a hotel’s loyalty program.
  7. Destination Safety and LGBT Discrimination: LGBTs strongly prefer to travel to destinations that they consider safe and do not have laws that discriminate against LGBT residents and travelers. Only 11% indicated that they are willing to travel to a country that has laws against LGBT people.
  8. Dream Vacations: When asked, “If cost was not an issue, what is the one country in the world you would like to visit that you have never visited before?” Australia and New Zealand scored particularly well with this question. With the economy improving in the United States, this may be a particularly good time for “Down Under” destination outreach programs. European countries scored lower, primarily due to fact that many LGBTs have already visited these countries. Of note, South American countries did not score as high, perhaps a surprise when considering proximity and new outreach from Argentina and Brazil.
  9. Regional Reputation: Following general travel safety, respondents were asked about perceived safety in specific countries. Many of the following countries are of note as they have significant general population tourism initiatives, but are located in parts of the world that are not always perceived as LGBT-friendly. Russia scored the lowest among all counties tested. Other counties, while not explicitly anti-LGBT, suffer from negative perceptions about their regions.
  10. LGBT Family Priorities: When LGBT parents are asked to choose which is more important, family-friendly or LGBT-friendly, parents are more concerned with finding family-friendly destinations and hotels, almost by a 2 to 1 margin. This trend is increasing over past years (+5% since 2013).
  11. Destination Selection while Traveling with Children: Clearly, Disney is attracting LGBT families as evidenced by write-in responses specifically mentioning Disney or destinations where Disney Resorts are the main attraction. While no urban destination is significantly outperforming others, urban destinations are quite popular with many LGBT families.

 For more key findings, download the 19th Annual LGBT Tourism Survey using the links below.

Permission to use this data is granted on the condition that all LGBT research references credit “Community Marketing, Inc., San Francisco, CA”

Click here to download CMI’s Approach to Market Research.

Special cross-tab reports are available to assist marketers interested in more detail on sub-segments of the LGBT market. For further information please contact: Thomas Roth or call Tom at 415/437-3800.

Use this link to obtain a complimentary copy of CMI’s 19th Annual LGBT Tourism Survey CMI’s 19th Annual LGBT Tourism Survey (December 2014)

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