The Peculiarities Of LGBT Tourism

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Table of contents

  1. What is LGBT tourism?
  2. What are the favorite destinations of the LGBT community?
  3. Who organizes LGBT trips?
  4. LGBT tourism
  5. How much important are pride events?
  6. Security for LGBT travelers
  7. Conclusions

What is LGBT tourism?

This type of tourism is aimed to satisfying the needs of the exponents of the LGBT community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisex, Trans). Often members of this community feel threatened and therefore hide their sexual orientation when they are in public, especially in countries where there is a low degree of tolerance.the LGBT one can be defined as a new market, according to Hughes (2006) the reason why this branch is not fully explored is the researchers' fear of being judged for their discoveries (Peter Robinson, Sine Heitmann, Peter, 2011).

What are the favorite destinations of the LGBT community?

Generally the preferred destinations are large cities, which however are not too expensive. And above all well organized from the point of view of regulation, because obviously they want to be sure of not being attacked on the street, or at least to be protected in case they have problems. Furthermore, it is good that in the destination, places where you can meet with people from the same community are easily traceable and reachable, in order to socialize and meet new people. Without having to fear any prejudice. It often happens that destinations interested in making themselves known as friends of the LGBT community advertise themselves exactly in this way, so that they can reach as many LGBT tourists as possible. They can do this for example through local travel agencies that specialize in the needs and requirements of a member of the LGBT community. If we analyze the data provided by, the three cities considered, for one reason or another more closely related to LGBT needs, are Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, New York City, America; Tel Aviv, Israel.

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LGBT tourism can also be motivated by factors such as events, or such as: The gay pride parade, parties organized by the neighborhoods in honor of the LGBT community, More concerts, sports activities, and so on. During the entire duration of these events the number of appearances reaches its saturation level.

In America, the tourist flow generated by the LGBT community generates approximately 65 billion dollars per year. And, also in America, adults are able to spend over $ 600 billion a year. According to the Gay European Tourism Association, this industry generates over 50 billion Euros per year in Europe.

The first ever destination to have been interested in the LGBT tourism industry was Philadelphia, creating the first advertisement designed to entice the viewer to practice this type of tourism.

Who organizes LGBT trips?

More 37 years ago the IGLTA (International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association) was founded, which every year organizes an event that attracts people from anywhere on the planet, at the moment it can boast over 2000 thousand members. At present there is only one magazine dealing with the LGBT tourism industry in the United States of America. You can consult it only through the famous Apple devices 'Ipad' or with the nook. In Europe the GETA (Gay European Tourism Association) is working to make known and this type of tourism.

LGBT tourism

That of the LGBT community is a particular phenomenon that represents a new slice of the market, which the largest companies want to appropriate. The money this community has to offer is called the pink dollar.

The increase in tolerance towards this community is leading more and more people to come out of the closet, thus increasing the number of members belonging to the LGBT community who travel and generate a flow of money.

It is generally thought that couples of homosexual tourists pour in good economic conditions since despite having a double salary they have no children to look after (they are actually called DINK, Dual Income No Kids) (Jeff Guarancino, Ed Salvato, Columbia University Press, 2017) therefore they can save a higher part of income. It is the first time ever that homosexuals with more than 50 years of age are able to become part of a market segment, in this specific case, the LGBT tourism market (Jeff Guarancino, Ed Salvato, Columbia University Press, 2017). In reality a study conducted by Vorobjovas-Pinta and Hardy (2016) found that most of the statistical research based on the LGBT community is actually targeted only to homosexual Caucasian men. this is not always true because homosexual men are usually paid less than heterosexual men. Interesting is the fact that this gap between heterosexual and homosexuals does not occur in the case of women (who, however, receive on average a lower salary than men).

How much important are pride events?

According to some estimates during gay pride, there is a significant increase in tourist flows from the LGBT community. In this sense, gay pride can be seen not only as an ideological battle but also as a way to increase the flow of money. It is important to keep in mind what tourists in general, and here specifically LGBT people, need, if they feel safe leaving the hotel, and simply walking on the street or going to some bars. And above all what they think of gay pride, and events organized specifically for them, if they feel represented in the right way. A curated marketing session can result in a significant influx of LGBT tourists and consequently greater employment and greater profit for the destination.

Some examples of gay pride-themed events.

In Orlando, Florida every year the first week of June you can attend the most important event of the moment. All of this takes place in Walt Disney World. It can count up to 30,000 people.

Also in June but in a different location the Seattle Pride is held, in Seattle, Washington.

In Pine City, Minnesota, gay pride has managed to survive protests from Christians living in the area, and thousands of people gather every year to celebrate under the rainbow flag.

Security for LGBT travelers

Needless to say, travelers need to be guaranteed a certain level of security. Nobody would ever think of going on vacation to a place that certainly knows how to be mortal. During the decision-making process, when evaluating which is the best destination, it is not only the actual risk presented by the destination system that is very difficult to estimate, especially if you do not have the necessary knowledge, but also and above all the perception of it.

When booking a trip it is important to have absolute certainty that our destination is safe and free of dangers. This is the reason why in the event of war or terrorist attacks, tourism in the region concerned drops dramatically, with a consequent increase in arrivals to other destinations, which do not have that kind of problem.

In the case of LGBT tourism, the perception of security plays a key role because, if the destination is unable to understand and accept homosexuality, it is easier for members of the LGBT community to suffer mistreatment and injustice, and therefore to decide for the right reasons to go on vacation somewhere else. This can cause problems for the destination, because if it is perceived not only by the LGBT community but by anyone as an intolerant and violent country, fewer and fewer people will be inclined to visit it. This reduction in the tourist flow could cause serious damage to the local economy. Worldwide, more than 70 countries provide for penalties for homosexual relationships by law. So it is necessary to know where it is illegal and where it is not. To this end Expedia and other OTAs are working to make travel preparations less tiring. Expedia in particular has added the LGBT category as a search option, and provides information on which are the best hotels or places to eat or visit without incurring any dangers. However, the organization method most used by LGBT tourists is that of local travel agencies.


LGBT tourism is now playing an important role in global tourism. More and more LGBT people decide to take holidays in other countries, making the economy turn. It is therefore essential to harness the energy provided by this new flow and exploit it to renew the infrastructures dedicated to tourism, making it truly accessible to anyone. To do this, however, it is not enough to hang some multicolored flags. It is necessary to pay attention to several factors, first of all: perception.

As already mentioned, a bad perception of experience could seriously damage the reputation of a region in the long run and compromise its profit, even if only to a small extent. Intolerance and violence are almost never frowned upon, and things are unlikely to change in the future. So to have a good reputation it is necessary that the locals are able to behave civilly, maintaining their opinions but without injuring anyone.

This is the most complex part since it would be useless, if not counterproductive, to build a completely LGBT friendly hotel in the center of a completely homophobic city. If you really want to transform a region you cannot work on adults, because it is very difficult for them to change their mind, instead you have to work on children and teach them that the different is not wrong.And that is what are happening in Brazil where because of poverty and despair, attacks perpetrated against LGBT people are frequent (Mountian, I.(2014))

However, it is necessary to keep in mind how much LGBT families are really able to spend, so as not to exceed with prices. And above all it is necessary to keep in mind the value for money, people do not like to spend more than they should. An excessively high price could result in a huge gap between perceived quality and assumed quality. Again bringing the tourist to be dissatisfied to the point of choosing other destinations for his future travels and, worse, advising against the destination and undermining its reputation.

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The Peculiarities Of LGBT Tourism. (2021, September 14). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 19, 2024, from
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