Identifying and selecting those market segments that have the best potential for the goals of the destination is certainly not possible without thorough knowledge of the needs, wants, and perceptions of the target market.
The LGBT market is generally considered an important contributor to tourism worldwide with an estimated annual economic impact of LGBT travelers of over US$65 billion per year in the U.S. alone. A report recently published by the UN World Tourism Association (UNTWO) in partnership with the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association found that destinations offering a tolerant culture were reaping the benefits of increased travel to – and spend by – gay travelers.
For destination marketing, the report also cautioned against making assumptions about this market, stating that the wedding market for this sector is a big driver, and that the LGBT sector appears to have bucked the recession trend, bringing higher-than-average spend to their holiday destinations. Generally savvy in digital media, LGBT travel is also influenced by social media and digital or actual word of mouth.
Destination marketing associations who were successfully attracting the LGBT market were working proactively at gay-targeted expos and fairs but were also aligned with equal rights organizations that promoted tolerance.
As June is pride month, it’s interesting to see how destinations and hotels have recently come out to attract gay tourism.
Win a Date with Stockholm
Stockholm has just launched a social media campaign targeting the LGBT Market called Win A Date With Stockholm.
The new social media campaign, Win A Date With Stockholm, is live online until June 30, 2012 at www.winadatewithstockholm.com and is organized by Stockholm Visitors Board, VisitSweden, SAS Scandinavian Airlines and the Stockholm Gay & Lesbian Network.
The campaign calls to ‘Discover the world’s ’Favourite LGBT-Friendly City’, fly with award-winning SAS Scandinavian Airlines and meet with a local Stockholm resident guide – to highlight some of the best of their own favourite things which the city has to offer.
Entrants choose between six guys or girls, depending on what most interests them, each being a Stockholm ambassador for a specific theme, such as Arts & Culture, Sports, Outdoor, Fashion & Design, Food & Flavours or Music & Nightlife.
Six men and six women represent their various favourite leisure themes in the city, and people can choose the person they want to meet based on the program they have tailored to their specific theme.
More info: Win A Date With Stockholm
Marriott “Be you, with Us”
Marriott International also announced this month a new marketing campaign aimed at LGBT travelers, friends and families – “Be You, With Us”.
The “Be You, With Us” campaign launches in celebration of Pride Season (often observed from June through September) in cities around the world that host gay pride parades and festivals to celebrate the LGBT community.
The campaign is filled with imagery and messages that welcome all guests to be themselves when staying with Marriott. The campaign comes to life through travel packages and amazing hotel experiences and culminates with a sweepstakes where one grand prize winner and guest will receive a trip valued at $5,000 to the 2013 New York, San Francisco or Berlin Gay Pride Festivals.
More info: www.marriott.com
“Stay Hilton. Go Out”
“Stay Hilton. Go Out” was launched in early April, and offers special amenities and deals for LGBT travelers and friends of the community at more than 175 Hilton Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Grand Vacations properties worldwide.
Perks include: Reduced Room Rates, Double Hilton HHonors points, Late check-out (when available), Free High-Speed Internet, Free One-Year Digital Subscription to OUT one of the world’s leading gay magazines.
More info: www.hilton.com/GoOut