According to Out Now Business Class (ONBC), queer vacations are an increasingly big business: their research indicates that by 2014, for the first time, LGBT tourists from around the world will spend over $200 billion USD on travel.
The results of their research were presented on November 14 at a lecture on trends in LGBT tourism at the World Travel Market in London, considered the most important event in the global tourism industry.
Referred to as LGBT2020, the data from the study revealed that the two largest LGBT tourism markets are the US (which accounts for $56.5 billion annually) and Brazil ($25.3 billion).
ONBC also announced two new affiliations with other companies in the business, European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) and Gay and Lesbian Tourism Australia (GLTA); ONBC and ETOA also put out a new LGBT2020 Report on European Tourism, which shows that in 2014, LGBT Europeans will spend $66.1 billion on tourism.
ONBC’s CEO, Ian Johnson, also spoke at the event. “Out Now always works very hard to deliver the best from all our work, so for us the successful launch of the Out Now Business Class tourism trade association for the industry has been really important,” he said, according to Hospitality Net.
“ONBC is not only delivering unequalled levels of education, networking and research to members, we are pleased the industry has understood the many benefits we are hard-wiring into the ONBC system to help businesses do better in their LGBT marketing and that sees our membership now exceed 2,300 members worldwide. That makes Out Now Business Class by far the largest LGBT tourism networking association in the world.
“It is great that the value of LGBT tourism spending now exceeds USD$202 billion but there are still many challenges the industry needs to address,” he said. “Staff training is essential to help get staff up to speed with what has become an unstoppable LGBT consumer revolution for the travel industry. We are obviously pleased that all ONBC members now receive unlimited online staff training to help deliver better understanding and customer service to LGBT guests.”
He also mentioned that the use of the acronym LGBTI may come to replace the current “LGBT,” to be more inclusive of the intersex community. “Intersex people are becoming more visible and their unique issues are slowly becoming better understood. In a number of markets in which Out Now works the acronym LGBT is now routinely being superseded by LGBTI and the global tourism industry definitely needs more education on what being Intersex means.”
Further details regarding LGBT2020 and other studies can be found here.