As posted on Travel Pulse | Thu July 06 2017
Planning a trip can be a daunting task, but for a gay traveler, Jerry Desmarais said that it can be even more difficult.
“There are limited resources for the gay community,” said Desmarais, Dream Vacations Franchise Owner and Vacation Specialist in Wilton Manors, Florida.
“As more and more nations grant equality to same-sex couples, gay travelers tend to flock to the most accepting, inclusive and progressive travel destinations.”
Around the world, same-sex marriage is becoming more widely accepted, thereby opening up even more travel destinations and destination wedding opportunities.
“When it comes to wedding trends, destinations like South Africa, New Zealand and Ireland are becoming popular choices for LGBTQ couples,” said Megan Velez, Destination Weddings Travel Group. “While sandy beaches will always be a favorite, we’re excited to see the diversity and creativity of couples’ chosen destinations.”
After the wedding comes the honeymoon and Kelly Ortiz, owner of the Illinois-based Guru Travel, said she’s been booking quite a few for LGBT clients who already have children.
“They are looking for a friendly resort where not only they will feel comfortable but their children will too,” said Ortiz. “My clients are just like every other family: They are concerned with safety, comfort, location and ease of travel. They are not looking for a resort which is only GLBT; they are looking for an accepting resort.”
The UNWTO and the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association recently released the Second Global Report on LGBT Tourism, a report that discusses the trends and needs of LGBT travelers. It cites a survey that indicated that, when LGBT parents take their children on vacation, 68 percent chose a destination that is child-friendly, while 32 percent opt for a destination that is gay-friendly.
The report also states that the LGBT traveler today is highly diverse, more visible and adventurous.
“Millennials of all sexual orientations and gender identities are—as consumers and travelers—behaving differently than generations that have gone before. They seem less bothered by labels and conforming to rigid stereotypes and are much more accepting of LGBT people in general, raising questions over whether the segregation of LGBT travelers that has occurred in some destinations will be necessary or even desirable in the future.”
Cruises are especially popular for LGBT travel, said Daniel Hauptfeld, marketing director of Katarina Line, because it ensures that everyone onboard will be like-minded and fully comfortable in the environment.
“Croatia is an especially cosmopolitan destination, open to every lifestyle, but it is also extra reassuring when you can be among like-minded people who enjoy the same things you do,” he said.
Jeannette Candau, co-owner of The Blue Walk said that the biggest trend she sees in LGBT travel is “the growing acceptance and integration of alternative lifestyles into society.”
“While theme excursions are still popular, we find our LGBT travelers are primarily looking for a friendly and inclusive experience,” she said. “They are looking for open, like-minded people to explore, laugh and travel with.”