International LGBTQ+ Travel Association recently completed a survey to gauge attitudes within the community regarding leisure travel in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The association found that there was a strong desire to resume travel in 2020 once global timelines and safety protocols have been established.
Two-thirds (66 percent) of global LGBTQ+ respondents said they would feel comfortable traveling for leisure before the end of the year. September was the most popular choice.
“Previous studies have shown our community to be a resilient and loyal travel segment with a tendency to travel more than their non-LGBTQ+ counterparts,” said John Tanzella, IGLTA president and CEO. “We wanted to document their sentiments during this particularly challenging moment in time to remind the tourism industry at large that LGBTQ+ travelers should be a valued part of their recovery plans. Messages of inclusion have the potential to resonate even more strongly with LGBTQ+ travelers now.”
In the U.S., data was benchmarked against MMGY’s research and showed a higher likelihood of those identifying as LGBTQ+ to resume travel activities in the next six months when compared to travelers at large.
The survey also found that COVID-19 has not changed opinions on where and how to travel. Nearly half (46 percent) said they would not change the types of destinations they choose to visit after the coronavirus situation is resolved, reflecting a high degree of destination loyalty amid the uncertainty. While 27 percent of respondents are still undecided, only about 27 percent said they would change their destination choices.
When it comes to flying, LGBTQ+ travelers are more comfortable with traveling on shorter flights. Forty-three percent said they would be likely to take a flight shorter than three hours long in the next six months. Thirty-six percent said they would take a three- to six-hour flight, and 25 percent said they would take a long-haul flight (more than six hours).
When benchmarked against nationwide data from MMGY, LGBTQ+ travelers were more likely to engage in activities such as staying at a resort or traveling internationally and taking domestic trips.
Fifty percent of LGBTQ+ travelers said they would stay at a hotel or resort versus 31-36 percent of U.S. travelers at large. Condos or vacation homes were also more popular among the LGBTQ+ community. Thirty percent would stay in a vacation home or condo in the next six months. Fifty-six percent said they would take a domestic or leisure trip and 24 percent said that they would travel internationally.
U.S. travelers as a whole were more likely to take a cruise than LGBTQ+ travelers. Approximately 13 percent of U.S. travelers said they would take a cruise in the next six months versus 11 percent of LGBTQ+ travelers.
LGBTQ+ were also more likely to take group trips (18 percent vs. 12 percent) and visit an amusement park (16 percent vs. 15 percent).
Thirty-one percent said that they would attend a Pride event or LGBTQ+ festival in the next six months.