Among Friends: LGBTQIA+ Travel in Latin America

Trends / Realness
Frazao Studio Latino
1479551679
Samuel Malave Jr
Jun 24, 2024
Destigmatizing queerness
The LGBTQIA+ community faces significant hurdles throughout Latin America, particularly in the visual landscape. VisualGPS research reveals that 79% of LGBTQIA+ Latin Americans see more of themselves on social media than in traditional media, likely because of how stigmatized queerness is throughout the region.1 As people in the LGBTQIA+ community become more visible in society, so does the expectation to have that visibility reflected back to them. For travel brands, this gap has direct visual implications and creates an opportunity to highlight the limitless ways LGBTQIA+ people find comfort in travel, especially as 78% of Latin Americans believe it is important for travel brands to celebrate diversity of all kinds.

Despite this appetite for diversity, less than 2% of popular visuals chosen by travel brands last year feature any LGBTQIA+ people at all; even further, when they are shown, LGBTQIA+ couples appear in popular travel visuals four times more than single people do. While this is great for LGBTQIA+ visibility, VisualGPS research reveals that LGBTQIA+ Latin Americans prefer to see visuals of friends and family enjoying travel destinations rather than couples. Friendship then becomes a nuanced way of authentically visualizing Latin American LGTBQIA+ travelers.
Friendship as a solution
Analyzing where travel brand choices do accurately reflect LGBTQIA+ Latin Americans gives additional insight into how friendship among LGBTQIA+ travelers can be depicted. In these rare instances—LGBTQIA+ friend groups appear in less than 1% of popular travel visuals—travel brands can find helpful ways to portray friendship. When shown, diverse groups of friends tend to be seen spending quality time together, engaging in everyday tasks while traveling.

As we approach International Pride Day, it would be helpful for brands to remember the value of community and friendship when visualizing the LGBTQIA+ community throughout Latin America, especially in travel visuals. Showing LGBTQIA+ friends of all types of ages and races/ethnicities having a conversation in their hotel rooms or having a good laugh while on a walk can be a significant step towards equality in representation.
Sources
[1] AP News
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