A recent survey conducted by the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA) found that a majority of members within the LGBTQ+ community are hoping to travel and venture out into the world once international travel is permitted.
The survey was conducted between April 16 and May 12, 2020, amongst approximately 15,000 LGBTQ+ travellers from across the globe, with the most responses coming out of the United States, Brazil, Canada, France, and Mexico. Seventy-nine percent of participants were between the ages of 25 and 64.
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“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,” President and CEO of IGLTA John Tanzella said in a statement. “We wanted to document their sentiments during this particularly challenging moment in time to remind the tourism industry at large that LGBTQ+ travellers should be a valued part of their recovery plans. Messages of inclusion have the potential to resonate even more strongly with LGBTQ+ travellers now.”
According to survey data, two-thirds (66%) of respondents claimed that they would be comfortable engaging in leisure travel again before the end of the year, with September and October being the most popular months. The other 34% claimed that they would feel comfortable travelling for leisure again in 2021.
Almost half (46%) stated that they would not alter the preferred destinations that they wish to visit following the resolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, “reflecting a high degree of destination loyalty amid the uncertainty,” the survey explains.
Although 25% of participants are still uncertain, only 28% stated that they would change their choice of destination.
In terms of the likelihood of using air travel, most participants expressed that they would be more comfortable on shorter-length flights, with 43% claiming that they would take a domestic flight that was three hours or less. Thirty-six percent stated that they would take a medium-length flight of three to six hours, while 25% disclosed that they would take a long-haul flight of six hours or more.
Fifty-seven percent stated that they would participate in a domestic leisure trip within the next six months, while 48% said that they would stay at a hotel or resort. Thirty-four percent said that they would stay in a vacation home or condo, while 29% reported that they would travel internationally.
Finally, when asked what sorts of activities they would participate in on their trips in the next six months, 33% of participants declared that they would be attending a Pride event of LGBTQ+ festival. Twenty-one percent asserted that they would be taking a group trip, 20% said they would visit a theme park, and 13% stated that they would take a cruise.
With the ongoing conditions surrounding the global COVID-19 pandemic, many LGBTQ+ advocates, activists, and members of the community are opting to celebrate Pride virtually this year, with a multitude of digital festivals and virtual tours to educate and celebrate the dynamic history and unity of the LGBTQ+ community.