The Gay & Lesbian Tourism Bible, 16th Edition

"Travel Man" on London Eye by

All LGBT marketing pros worth their salt keep a copy of Community Marketing, Inc.’s (CMI) Annual Gay & Lesbian Tourism Study at the ready for answers to many questions regarding the segment from its size to various behaviors to its most popular destinations.

This year’s study, the 16th Annual Gay & Lesbian Tourism Study is chock full of great information and interesting tidbits.

Though it’s intended for professional marketers, there’s a lot of great information here for travelers of all stripes, especially with respect to how important the segment is in the industry in terms of the amount of money it spends ($70B annually in U.S. alone) and its resilience in the face of calamities and recession.

Read on and feel pride to be part of this powerful community.

Here are a few key results from CMI:

1. Overall, the LGBT community has increased their travel in the last year, compared to the year before. Most destinations surveyed increased LGBT travel by 1 to 3% in the past year. This is in contrast to the last two years, which saw a decrease in LGBT travel due to the global economic recession.

2. CMI’s annual destination rankings did not see much change from the previous year. However some cities did see a more significant increase. New York City has always been the number one LGBT destination in the USA and the city has slightly increased its lead. New Orleans continues to gain visitors and is approaching pre-Katrina rankings. Miami continues to trend upwards and has jumped back into the top ten for USA destinations on the survey.

Click below for more findings.

3. New York City scored #1 in all three key indicators; actual visits to the destination in past 12 months, most gay-friendly destination in the world and personal favorite destination. Las Vegas, San Francisco and London also scored well in all three indicators.

4. Considering their size and number of hotel rooms, Provincetown, Key West and Palm Springs scored extremely well in all three indicators. If you would analyze the data by number of hotel rooms in a destination, these three destinations would be the most popular in the United States.

5. LGBT travelers, and especially gay men, are much more likely to describe themselves as “urban core travelers” than “eco travelers” or “outdoor adventure travelers.”

6. Survey results suggest the mid-range market is the biggest group among LGBT travelers, followed by economy/budget, and then luxury.

7. The LGBT economy/budget market is larger than many people assume. More LGBT travelers consider themselves to be “economy/budget travelers” than “luxury travelers,” indicating an opportunity for every tier of travel marketers.

8. Once gay men or lesbians have children, family-friendly travel preferences become more important than LGBT-friendly travel preferences by a 2-1 margin.

9. Before booking a trip, gay men and lesbians compare on average three to four websites before making a purchase.

10. Results indicate that gay men and lesbians are more likely to avoid a destination because of recent LGBT violence than anti-LGBT laws.

11. 71% of gay men and 62% of lesbians own a smart phone, and 60% of LGBT smartphone owners use their smartphones during their trips to finds local tourism resources

Download the entire 40-page tourism report at

Published by edsalvato

Educator, marketing, communications and travel safety expert; LGBTQ Pavilion at the New York Times Travel Show; public speaker; expert panel organizer and moderator

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