LGBTQ+ Travel

Trends / Realness
Klaus Vedfelt
Rachel Brinton Matthews
Jun 4, 2019
According to the Second Global Report on LGBTQ+ travel by UNWTO and IGLTA, the LGBTQ+ community are some of the most regular holidaymakers, and when they do travel, they often have higher than average spending habits. Couple this with the social and legal changes to LGBTQ+ rights that are taking place in many countries across the world right now, and it’s no wonder we see an increase in travel products specifically designed for this demographic.

Knowing the social and legal state of a country before traveling is an additional step taken by most members of the LGBTQ+ community. The security offered by travel companies such as VACAYA or Out Asia, through their expertise and bespoke tours, provides peace of mind and access to like‑minded travel buddies. Whether it is a group tour or solo backpacking adventure, these dedicated agencies are recognizing the specific travel knowledge and needs for this community and offer tailor‑made solutions.

And it’s not just tour companies embarking on these extensive offerings; one‑off travel extravaganzas such as the Kesha Cruise are promoting ‘weird and wonderful rainbow rides’ for the queer contingent and their allies, ensuring glitter and glamour are at the forefront while providing a safe environment for total self‑expression. In a world where homosexuality is still illegal, and transphobic crimes still exist at an alarming rate, the advocation by such a prominent pop figure is a true statement of validation.

Tourist boards are also seeing the positive impact LGBTQ+ tourism can have on their economy. The ‘Ireland says YES to love’ campaign was launched just one day after the historic referendum in favor of same‑sex marriage, encouraging LGBTQ+ couples to visit their country and celebrate their love. And just last year, one of the world’s most popular locations to say ‘I do’ in launched their LGBTQ+ inclusive campaign, showing Las Vegas as much more than just bride + groom…and Elvis impersonators.

Photography is ubiquitous across the travel industry – gorgeous images of sun‑soaked beaches and bustling urban environments are imperative to catch eyes as well as spend. This is no less true for LGBTQ+ tourism and perhaps even more relevant as seeing the ‘road already traveled’ can be an important indicator of safe spaces, welcoming communities and inclusive experiences.