Trends 2021

June Issue, 2021

Trends to Chase: How hoteliers can stay relevant in 2021.

Honouring the Stonewall uprising in 1969, June is a month of celebration for the LGBTQ community. With the rainbow flag soaring high, this month’s trend article will explore how the community is a trend-setter for the hospitality industry.

Acknowledge diversity

The aim of all hospitality organisations is to provide memorable guest experiences. The first step in this process is to welcome all guests by creating an inclusive environment and marketing your property as an LGBTQ-friendly space. According to research by the Community Marketing and Insights (CMI), almost 70% of LGBTQ travellers stated that they preferred hotels that are known to be LGBTQ welcoming. A hotel’s LGBTQ-friendly reputation is the third most important motivator for gays and lesbians when booking a hotel.

Marketing inclusivity has to be followed by educating the staff about sexual orientations and gender identities. Flying the rainbow flag at your property will not be effective if the organisation continues to address all couples as “Mr and Mrs”. Given that one in three members of the LGBTQ community fears judgment from staff while travelling, educating the staff to think and act inclusively is vital to ensuring the comfort of all guests.

With more and more countries relaxing marriage laws, same-sex marriage and LGBTQ honeymoons are becoming more prevalent. Within the past five years, LGBTQ honeymoon bookings have increased by 279%. So, looking past the stereotypes and acknowledging the diversity will open up a whole new market segment for hospitality organisations.

LGBTQ to the rescue

According to the World Tourism Organisation, LGBTQ travel is one of the fastest-growing markets in the global travel industry. In 2018, the LGBTQ community’s annual spend stood at $218 billion in the entire market, $63.1 billion in the US, $20.7 billion in Japan, and $11.7 billion in the UK. With 180 million LGBTQ travellers predicted by 2030, these numbers will continue to grow.

Travel is an integral element for the LGBTQ community. The CMI states that LGBTQ travellers make up 7% to 10% of the travel industry. Also, LGBTQs are far more likely to travel internationally. Even amidst the pandemic crisis in mid-2020, more than 50% of LGBTQ adults expected to travel during the year as opposed to the 46% of non-LGBTQ adults. Hand-in-hand with the millennials, the LGBTQ community will pave the way for the recovery of the industry.

Moreover, LGBTQ travel is spread across all the months of the year. This is mainly due to Pride events happening at different times of the year. According to a study by Community Marketing, more than 20% of LGBTQ respondents stated that they travelled and spent more than one night at a location in order to attend a Pride event.

As the world embraces inclusivity, hospitality organisations will encounter more and more diverse guests. Accommodating and respecting every guest will not only open new market opportunities but also create a significant reputational boost for any organisation.

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