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Economic benefits of LGBT tourism highlighted in new UNWTO report
POSTED 12 May 2017 . BY Tom Anstey
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has released its second global report on LGBT tourism, underlining the potential of the market and how to effectively maximise its value.

According to UNWTO figures, approximately 36 million overnight visitors within the LGBT community travelled to international destinations around the world last year.

The first edition of the Global Report on LGBT Tourism, published in 2012, identified the clear relationship between countries’ progressive policies towards LGBT people and the economic benefits for their tourism sector.

The second edition, published in partnership with the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), offers a more extensive analysis, examining the current state of LGBT tourism around the world and the advancements that have been made towards securing equal rights for LGBT people in recent years.

“LGBT travellers have become recognised as a segment that travels with greater frequency and demonstrates higher-than-average patterns of spending,” said the report.

“Social change and improvements in the legal recognition and protection of LGBT people around the world have meant that LGBT consumers have gradually become more visible and with this, more easily targeted as a consumer segment.”

Social media is identified as key to a millennial audience, with a greater share of news, opinion and advice absorbed through social media. According to the report, as corporations spread their operations, they need to be sure that they apply the same standards of care and responsibility towards their customers and employees across the world.

“This is good practice in corporate and social responsibility but also will help companies operating in anti-LGBT environments to avoid having to take positions inconsistent with the values of the commercially critical global middle class,” says the report.

“However, when it comes to promoting LGBT inclusion and diversity, businesses may find that in some countries where they operate, implementing corporate policies that recognise and support the rights of their LGBT customers and employees may contravene local laws and customs which are hostile to LGBT rights.”

The emergence of the millennial LGBT traveller is also highlighted, with the group aged 15-34 soon to become the next generation of business travellers, honeymooners, family travellers and
all the other adult consumers, becoming the main consumers of a whole variety of travel products and services.

“A massive generational and global shift in attitudes has occurred around the world towards acceptance of those who have a different sexual orientation and/or gender identity,” says the report.

“Even in countries where homosexuality is not accepted across the population, a breakdown of statistics by age group reveals that it is younger age segments that are the most supportive.

“This generational shift in attitudes is likely to have important consequences for LGBT travel product development and marketing in the future. Those looking to reach this market will have to find innovative ways of making their product attractive to an audience which feels less defined by their sexuality, or the need to hide it from wider society, while at the same time recognising the need to welcome those who feel different from the mainstream and want to express this through their travel choices.”

LGBT travel is not without its challenges, with certain regions worldwide not welcoming of the community.

“In spite of the flourishing diversity of products and destinations that now welcome LGBT visitors with open arms, the fact remains that both travelling and identifying oneself as LGBT is still a distant dream for many LGBT people around the world,” says the report.

“Over the past decade, the United Nations itself has taken unprecedented steps to raise awareness of discrimination of LGBT people around the world (outlined in this report), but recognises that there is still a long way to go.”

Offering guidelines on how to understand and engage with the LGBT market, the report concludes that operators and tourism bodies should encourage LGBT inclusion and diversity among all destination stakeholders, carry out research to be shared with destination partners, recognise that relationships with the LGBT community should be authentic and not just a marketing scheme, and to work in partnership with local businesses and the wider LGBT community.

To read the full report, click here.
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NEWS
Economic benefits of LGBT tourism highlighted in new UNWTO report
POSTED 12 May 2017 . BY Tom Anstey
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has released its second global report on LGBT tourism, underlining the potential of the market and how to effectively maximise its value.

According to UNWTO figures, approximately 36 million overnight visitors within the LGBT community travelled to international destinations around the world last year.

The first edition of the Global Report on LGBT Tourism, published in 2012, identified the clear relationship between countries’ progressive policies towards LGBT people and the economic benefits for their tourism sector.

The second edition, published in partnership with the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), offers a more extensive analysis, examining the current state of LGBT tourism around the world and the advancements that have been made towards securing equal rights for LGBT people in recent years.

“LGBT travellers have become recognised as a segment that travels with greater frequency and demonstrates higher-than-average patterns of spending,” said the report.

“Social change and improvements in the legal recognition and protection of LGBT people around the world have meant that LGBT consumers have gradually become more visible and with this, more easily targeted as a consumer segment.”

Social media is identified as key to a millennial audience, with a greater share of news, opinion and advice absorbed through social media. According to the report, as corporations spread their operations, they need to be sure that they apply the same standards of care and responsibility towards their customers and employees across the world.

“This is good practice in corporate and social responsibility but also will help companies operating in anti-LGBT environments to avoid having to take positions inconsistent with the values of the commercially critical global middle class,” says the report.

“However, when it comes to promoting LGBT inclusion and diversity, businesses may find that in some countries where they operate, implementing corporate policies that recognise and support the rights of their LGBT customers and employees may contravene local laws and customs which are hostile to LGBT rights.”

The emergence of the millennial LGBT traveller is also highlighted, with the group aged 15-34 soon to become the next generation of business travellers, honeymooners, family travellers and
all the other adult consumers, becoming the main consumers of a whole variety of travel products and services.

“A massive generational and global shift in attitudes has occurred around the world towards acceptance of those who have a different sexual orientation and/or gender identity,” says the report.

“Even in countries where homosexuality is not accepted across the population, a breakdown of statistics by age group reveals that it is younger age segments that are the most supportive.

“This generational shift in attitudes is likely to have important consequences for LGBT travel product development and marketing in the future. Those looking to reach this market will have to find innovative ways of making their product attractive to an audience which feels less defined by their sexuality, or the need to hide it from wider society, while at the same time recognising the need to welcome those who feel different from the mainstream and want to express this through their travel choices.”

LGBT travel is not without its challenges, with certain regions worldwide not welcoming of the community.

“In spite of the flourishing diversity of products and destinations that now welcome LGBT visitors with open arms, the fact remains that both travelling and identifying oneself as LGBT is still a distant dream for many LGBT people around the world,” says the report.

“Over the past decade, the United Nations itself has taken unprecedented steps to raise awareness of discrimination of LGBT people around the world (outlined in this report), but recognises that there is still a long way to go.”

Offering guidelines on how to understand and engage with the LGBT market, the report concludes that operators and tourism bodies should encourage LGBT inclusion and diversity among all destination stakeholders, carry out research to be shared with destination partners, recognise that relationships with the LGBT community should be authentic and not just a marketing scheme, and to work in partnership with local businesses and the wider LGBT community.

To read the full report, click here.
RELATED STORIES
Birthplace of gay pride movement initiated into US National Parks system


The US has announced a new monument to LGBT rights, the place where its gay pride movement began in the West Village of New York.
Theme park employees unite in support of Orlando shooting victims


Orlando’s theme parks have united in solidarity following the tragic events of the weekend, which saw more than 50 people killed in a mass shooting at an LGBT nightclub in the city.
MORE NEWS
North Carolina Zoo to become “multi-day destination” through expansion plan
A taste of Asia and Australia will be brought to North Carolina, US, over the next five years, through a multi-million dollar project to build new areas inspired by these regions at North Carolina Zoo.
New dinosaur-themed water park to open in Croatia
A new water park is set to open in Istria, Croatia, at the end of Q2 2019.
Naruto World indoor theme park to open in Shanghai shopping centre
A new indoor theme park is to open in Shanghai themed on the popular Naruto anime and manga franchise, created by Masashi Kishimoto.
Super Nintendo World project remains on course, according to Nintendo’s Miyamoto
The joint ¥60bn (US$540m, €480m, £420m) Nintendo and Universal Super Nintendo World project remains on track for a 2020 launch, according to Nintendo representative director Shigeru Miyamoto, who has released some comments on the proposed Japanese and US theme parks.
+ More news   
LATEST JOBS
Active Outdoors Assistant
National Trust
Salary: £8.46 per hour
Job location: Ulverston, UK
Group Travel Trade Manager
The Royal Mint
Salary: Competitive Salary and Benefits
Job location: Llantrisant, Pontyclun, UK
Commercial Operations Director
The National Museum of the Royal Navy
Salary: £60,000 circa per annum
Job location: Portsmouth, UK
Theme Park Resort Duty Managers
Gulliver's Theme Park
Salary: Competitive Salary and Benefits
Job location: Rother Valley, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, UK
Trainee Manager Programme
Gulliver's Theme Park
Salary: Competitive Salary and Benefits
Job location: South Yorkshire, UK
Restaurant and Bar Team Leader
Alton Towers Theme Park
Salary: Competitive
Job location: Stoke-on-Trent, UK
+ More jobs  
 


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