With the flags of pride flying higher each year for June, the global event celebrates those who identify as lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQ+). But, when many countries criminalise homosexuality, sexual or gender nonconformity, and hate crimes still run rampant, we must support LGBTQ+ travellers year-round.
The LGBTQ+ travel market was worth $218.7 billion pre-pandemic, and in the U.S. alone, the community spends nearly $100 billion on travel. In this post, we wanted to share how we are currently supporting LGBTQ+ attractions, tours and activities at Livn and some of the ways the travel industry can cater better to its travellers.
Livn Partners to Support LGBTQ+ Tours & Activities
We consider ourselves allies to the LGBTQ+ community and fully support equality in our workplace and the members of our team who identify as part of this community. We do not discriminate on race, gender, or sexuality, and this also extends into our partnerships with operators who showcase attractions, experiences, tours and activities to the LGBTQ+ community.
For example, Livn supports attractions, tours and activities like Pride Tours NYC, one of the most comprehensive tours that share the history of the pride movement. They tell the story of the Stonewall Uprising, the subsequent revolution, and the historical sites of riots and demonstrations for those who stood up for human rights and made pride what it is today.
Beyond this we also try to avoid working with operators who discriminate, support homophobia, or with those who are against human rights and free expression. But there is more to be done to support the LGBTQ+ community year-round, and it’s something the entire travel industry can put into practice.
3 Ways to Pay Attention to the LGBTQ+ Traveller
1 - Consider Safety and Respect
Persecution is still a genuine concern among the community, on both a legal and localised level. This can create safety worries that detract from the overall experience. Hotels, attractions, and tour operators should create a safe and inclusive environment where everyone feels respected. Putting policies to police this is an excellent starting point to show the community they are front and center.
Skift's, Marc Graser, (Vice President of NMG Network) says, “We also seek out the destinations that treat us with respect and make us feel better about ourselves and the world around us. I’ve stayed in hotels in some of the world’s most homophobic countries but didn’t feel shunned when checking in with my husband. That matters and builds incredible brand equity that lasts. Hospitality should clearly be for everyone.”
2 - Inclusivity in Marketing
From making sure your imagery is as inclusive as possible to being educated on the most appropriate terminology, it is important your digital and in-destination marketing messaging matches the values of your company.
3 - Drive Diversity, and Train Your Staff
If you need another reason to hire a diverse workforce, 43% of companies with diverse management see higher profits than their competitors, which can also lead to a competitive advantage.
Training and development is also important. Staff should be trained to understand pronouns and be respectful and sensitive to LGBTQ+ travellers. For example, having a process in place should there be a hate crime between guests or resources, events, and business allies available that cater to the community. All of these elements can not only encourage more LGBTQ+ travellers but vastly improve their experience of your tours or activities.
When it comes to global equality the job never ends, from encouraging tours and tourism boards to support the community, to encouraging anti-LGBTQ+ legislation from passing. But the critical thing to remember for attractions, tours and activities is that travel and support for the LGBTQ+ community are more than just a month of pride, it is year-round.