Marketers to Target LGBT Travelers

On average, U.S. consumers are planning to take slightly fewer vacation trips this summer than last, 1.6  excursions versus 1.8. But a larger percentage of one demographic group  – lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgendered  (LGBT) consumers,  plans to take between 1–2 trips this summer. In addition, these consumers say they’ll increase their spending while on vacation. Other consumer groups plan a slight decrease in spending.

Harris Interactive and Witeck-​Combs Communications recently surveyed over 2,500 consumers regarding summer travel plans. Nearly 13% of these consumers identified as LGBT. While the average consumer will spend about $1,616 during this time, the LGBT consumers will shell out $1,321 or nearly $300 more than in 2010. Merchants should consider targeting all weekend vacationers. About 12% of  LGBT consumers and 10% of all consumers plan to increase their weekend trips this summer.  The survey also reveals that 75% of LGBT adults will keep leisure trips to the same length as last year or increase the time they are away from home, a detail which explains the higher travel budgets. Allison Powell, Research Director for Harris Interactive Travel and Tourism Research Group says, “now more than ever, it will be important for travel companies to continue to reach out to this important consumer segment.”

Marketers in the airline, hotel and rental car sectors can also benefit by targeting LGBT business travelers. This group expects to make an average 1.2 business trips this summer. This figures translate to about 18% of this demographic group planning on a business trip, versus 15% last year. When looking at the entire adult market, the average is 0.8 business trips. Overall, about 17% of consumers plan to take at least one business trip this summer.

[Source: Gay Travel Snapshot — Spring and Summer 2011. HarrisInteractive​.com. 7 Jun. 2011. Web. 25 Jun. 2011] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.