Why It's Important to Consider and Understand the LGBT Travel Market

By Darrell Schuurman Co-Founder, Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce | August 17, 2014

Competition is continually growing. But we're not only competing with the new hotel down the street; we're competing on a global scale with properties in destinations that are actively and aggressively trying to capture a larger share of the travel market.

Hotel operators need to constantly be looking at opportunities to drive new business and increase the number of room nights sold. Often these opportunities are focused geographically. For example, many local CVBs and DMOs are working with the hotel industry to invest resources and energies into the emerging markets, such as China and Brazil.

But new markets are not restricted to geography. We know that segmentation can happen by a variety of demographic and psycho-graphic methods. We need to look outside of the typical market segments to find new ways to grow business.

Why Consider the LGBT Market?

The LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) market is one segment that several hotel operators have begun to look at for a variety of reasons. Research has shown that the LGBT market has a host of qualities that make it an extremely appealing customer base:

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.