Community Marketing & Insights’ (CMI) announces the
results of the 20th Annual LGBT Tourism & Hospitality survey. The
report and related webinar focus on the data of over 3,772 self-identified
gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender United States residents.
20th Annual LGBT Tourism & Hospitality Survey
Hawaii is the most popular destination for LGBT honeymoons at 8%, many
destinations are benefiting from marriage equality, especially the beach
destinations in Florida and Mexico, as well as urban destinations across
North America and Europe.
With Marriott’s “Love Travels” campaign, the company has risen to the top
hotel brand recognized for their LGBT outreach efforts. Of note is that
four of the top five brands had better numbers in 2015, compared to 2014.
This hotel brand awareness question has been asked in this format in the
annual survey since 2009. During that time, Marriott ranked number five i n
2009 and has risen to number one through their considerable focus in
outreach to the LGBT community.
Based on LGBT travel to a destination and spending at least one night in a
hotel, Community Marketing & Insights’ annual LGBT travel destination
rankings remain largely unchanged in 2015. New York is again the most
popular LGBT destination across all categories, followed by Los Angeles,
San Francisco, Las Vegas and Chicago, which are tightly grouped in 2nd
place. This year’s rankings did see increases for Los Angeles as well as
increases in Florida travel, with Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando; all
being top-10 destinations. For the first time Rehoboth Beach, DE and
Nashville, TN entered our survey’s top-20 destinations, which reflects an
overall trend for a greater number and diversity of destinations involved
in LGBT outreach.
Including LGBT-specific activities while on vacation is not diminishing
among LGBT Millennials. 60% of LGBT Millennials indicated having visited a
gay bar while on vacation in the past year, and 56% visited an LGBT
neighborhood while on vacation. These percentages were equal to or better
than Generation X and Baby Boomer LGBTs. Attending an LGBT Pride event
while on vacation was especially popular among Millennials, particularly
when compared to Baby Boomers.
For the first time, the survey tested questions on shared economy
accommodations. The report indicated that lesbians (21%) were more likely
than gay men (17%) to have actually booked via a rental-by-owner or shared
economy website in the past year (e.g., Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO). LGBTs
primarily book shared economy accommodations for cheaper rates (59%) and to
be in a specific neighborhood (56%). 20% of LGBTs who booked shared economy
rooms in the past year did it just because they were curious. Looking to
the future, only 9% of lesbians and 4% of gay men said that rental-by-owner
or shared economy websites were their preferred way of booking
Sixty percent of LGBT participants who spent a night in a shared economy
accommodation, if unavailable would have just stayed in a hotel/motel in
the area instead. However, 40% indicated that the option of a shared
economy accommodation encouraged them to either stay at a destination
longer or stay in a paid accommodation instead of a family/friend stay.
Shared economy websites may create a more positive economic impact for this
segment (which was about 6% of all participants in the study).
Communications: Some tourism bureaus offer
specific information for LGBT travelers on their website. In the survey,
90% of LGBT participants indicated that the existence of LGBT information
on tourism bureau websites makes them feel that the tourism bureau is
LGBT-friendly, 86% indicated that a tourism website should offer a specific
LGBT page of information and some same-sex imagery throughout the website,
while only 10% indicated that LGBT sections on tourism bureau websites are
no longer needed. It’s notable that a much higher percentage of lesbians
and Millennials did not know that such LGBT microsites even exist, which
may suggest that some of the destination’s LGBT marketing may not be
reaching these segments.
Among most LGBT parents, “family-friendly” is more important than
“LGBT-friendly.” When parents were asked, if you had to pick one when
traveling with your children, which is more important to you, a
child-friendly destination or an LGBT-friendly destination, 68% choose
child-friendly. Similarly, 64% choose a child-friendly hotel over an
LGBT-friendly hotel. This percentage has slowly increased over time as we
ask this question every year. LGBT-friendly priority dropped 10% for
destinations and 5% for hotels over the three-year period.
While there is a lot of attention on same-sex parents these days, the
survey discovered a long overlooked group, LGBT grandparents. 56% of LGBT parents
with a child over age 18 have grandchildren, and 28% indicated going on a
vacation with their grandchildren in the past year. Multi-generational
trips is an emerging market for many destinations, and LGBT should be
included in this discussion.
LGBTs who are employed full-time received a median 20 vacation days per
year. Those who receive two weeks of vacation per year tend to take the
full amounts. Those who receive more than two weeks are less likely to use
their full vacation time allocation.
The Community Marketing & Insights team has been
conducting LGBT consumer research for over 20 years. Our methodologies
include online surveys, focus groups, IDIs, MROCs, and advisory boards
across the USA and globally. Industry leaders around the world depend on
CMI’s LGBT research and analysis as a basis for feasibility evaluations,
positioning, economic impact, ad creative and brand testing, informed
forecasting, measurable marketing planning and assessment of return on
Custom studie s produced for CMI’s research clients
include leaders from a wide range of industries, including these and many
other clients: NYC & Co., Empire State Development Corp., Visit
Philadelphia, VISIT FLORIDA, Visit Orlando, Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB,
Travel Portland, Choose Chicago, Tourism Toronto, Las Vegas Convention
& Visitors Authority, Hawaiian Airlines, Hyatt Hotels, Starwood Hotels
and Resorts, Aqua Hotels, as well as (outside tourism and hospitality)
Prudential, Wells Fargo Bank, Aetna, Target Brands, Hallmark, DirecTV,
Johnson & Johnson, WNBA, American Cancer Society, Kaiser Family
Foundation and numerous other corporations and organizations across North
America and around the world.
CMI’s research has been published in the New York Times,
Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal,
Forbes, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald, CBS News, CNN, NPR,
Associated Press, eMarketer, Mashable and many other international,
national and regional media.
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