How to Engage the LGBT Traveler
By Darrell Schuurman Co-Founder, Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce | December 07, 2014
Once you have made the decision to target the LGBT market, and have taken the necessary steps to become market ready (see my last article), you now have the challenge of building LGBT customer engagement.
It is important to point out that, until now, I've been referring to the LGBT traveller as one homogenous market. You need to keep in mind that this is not actually the case; this market is comprised of a variety of segments. There are various ways that you could segment the broader LGBT market, such as by age, family composition, experiential, and so on. Ultimately, for any successful strategy and execution, you need to clearly identify your core target segment and have a firm understanding of their specific travel habits and motivators.
Following is a variety of insights that will assist as you work on building your LGBT customer base and long-term loyalty.
Sourcing of Travel Information
Understanding how and where the LGBT traveler is obtaining information for their travel planning and booking will impact where you focus your marketing activities. Knowing what media your chosen market segment uses, for example, will obviously influence how and where you advertise.
We may tend to assume that to reach the gay traveler we have to use LGBT media sources. However, over the past few years, we have seen a shift in where LGBT travelers are turning to. Research conducted in the US and Canada has shown that both mainstream and LGBT-focused sources are influencing the LGBT travellers' choices in destination and accommodation selection.