The presence of the gay travel market is slowly growing at the World Travel Market, London UK. This year IGLTA exhibited in partnership with HotelRes and alongside World Rainbow Hotels. Jon Tanzella, CEO of IGLTA proudly announced that the organisation had been accepted and is the first gay focussed business of the UNWTO (World Tourism Organisation) – in itself marking a new era for the niche travel sector.
OutNow Consulting hosted its fifth annual Gay Travel Market seminar joined by representatives of its Berlin destination campaign and Thomson’s Freedom holiday collection. The gay marketing specialists announced results from its recent Global LGBT Study showing that the UK and USA are differing when it comes to booking patterns by Gay consumers. Just over half of American citizens surveyed (56%) book flights online vs 68% of UK citizens which is a similar result to hotel bookings, 48% and 55% respectively, with Travel agents taking approximately one quarter of all bookings. These buying patterns are giving brands more intelligent market data to more appropriately target the gay and lesbian market.
Tui Thomson’s gay products, Freedom, campaign presented by Paul Clark, Innovations Manager / Regional Manager, began looking at targeting the gay market in late 2008. Earlier this year the travel agent launched its collection through viral content from its representatives and creating videos at Pride festivals in the UK. The company is now looking at expanding its collection and begin developing more lesbian travel packages.
Clark Massad, European Ambassador for IGLTA announced that the organisation would have its own separate booth in its own dedicated section at ITB Berlin 2011 in March. Formerly a stand as part of North America and USA, the IGLTA will now have a specific gay and lesbian section next year.
A new travel agent launched a range of outdoor and adventure tours specifically for gay and lesbian travellers. Yellow Brick Road will offer 12 – 14 day trips to Cuba, India, Egypt, Central Asia, Middle East, China and Asia, plus South America. With the first tours due to begin in May 2011. Founder, Iain Shiels said “Our aim is to offer gay and lesbian clients the chance to travel to exotic locations they may otherwise shy away from through uncertainty, in a safe and comfortable environment. I want to expose clients to the realities of the country through cultural information and local experiences at a safe level, all the time being conscious of the legalities of gay lifestyles in the destination.”
Owners Direct a service specializing in advertising privately owned holiday accommodation direct from the owner offers a series of apartments aimed at the gay market.
Fort Lauderdale is preparing for the IGLTA Convention with the launch of it’s Mild to Wild website and application, and is preparing for Royal Palms, the newly extended and now largest luxury gay accommodation in North America, to be opened to the public in January. Florida Keyes has also been working hard on the gay and lesbian market to promote its annual events programme, while St Pete Clearwater have announced a Fam trip following the Convention.
TripOutGayTravel.com and Logo announced the winners of the 2010 Tripout Gay Travel Awards. tripoutgaytravel.com/presenting-the-winners-of-the-2010-tripout-gay-travel-awards/