It seems like a no-brainer that any traveler would hope to feel safe and accepted no matter where their feet are planted, but even in 2023, such a sentiment is still on rocky ground. Travel and tourism agency MMGY Global has released a new research report, “Portrait of LGBTQ+ Travelers in America,” that reveals some sobering realities from the community.
The study, which sampled more than 3,000 American LGBTQ+ travelers, was created with guidance from “a steering committee of professionals from LGBTQ+ organizations focused on travel, tourism and empowerment of the LGBTQ+ community,” according to MMGY Global.
Findings show LGBTQ+ travelers want more representation
Among the most notable takeaways from the study, the LGBTQ+ community desires more representation in destination marketing materials. Nearly half of those surveyed said it would make them feel more confident that the destination they want to visit is inclusive of the group.
Safety and politics are additional concerns
Politics and acceptance play a big part in both the community’s feelings toward safety, as well as their comfort and excitement about a certain destination.
Half of LGBTQ+ travelers said safety is a big concern when it comes to planning trips.
Fifty-two percent of respondents said state politics related to their LGBTQ+ identity greatly impact their decision to travel.
Thirty-nine percent of respondents noted that negative perception of their community from both locals and tourists alike impacts the destinations they choose.
Thirty-three percent of those polled said these negative perceptions affect how they present themselves while at said destination.
Other interesting takeaways
Four in 10 are motivated to travel by LGBTQ+ events and attractions.
LGBTQ+ travelers are typically younger (average age: 39) than the average U.S. traveler (49).
LGBTQ+ travelers are more likely to travel solo than other Americans, with 50% of LGBTQ+ respondents saying they travel solo compared to 40% of other U.S. travelers.