PHOTO: Hawaii Tourism Authority unveils LGBT study. (Photo via Flickr/D.A. Lewis)
Hawaii Tourism Authority has just completed an immense study into the trends of LGBT travel to Hawaii from the United States, Canada, China and Australia.
A press release explains HTA officials are in the midst of a more thorough look at this demographic, with studies being prepared that feature results from Japan and Taiwan.
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Daniel Nahoopii, HTA Director of Tourism Research, explained the impetus behind the project: “We initiated these studies to provide travel industry businesses statewide with both a broader and more precise base of knowledge as to how they can capture a greater market share of LGBT travelers from our key source markets.”
The amount of LGBT travelers to the islands may very well be significant: The report finds those coming from the U.S. eastern region could represent up to nine percent of visitors to the state.
Those estimates are followed by the country’s western region (seven percent); Japan and Canada both were around six percent.
When it comes to American LGBT travelers, a whopping 70 percent consider Hawaii to be a “LGBT-friendly” destination. However, only a scant 27 percent are actually thinking of making the trek in the next couple years.
As for the kind of market that Hawaii can target, China holds strong possibilities: “An estimated 65 million LGBT Chinese live in Mainland China and have a purchasing power of $470 billion.”
At the heart of the dilemma is convincing travelers to consider Hawaii, its natural beauty and lively scene—then for local businesses to wake up and realize the enormous potential that awaits them.
Nahoopii continues: “These studies also confirm that Hawaii travel providers can benefit from more targeted marketing, new product offerings and a greater understanding as to what LGBT travelers are seeking when visiting Hawaii.”
READ MORE: The 4 Most LGBT-Friendly Destinations in the US
As for LGBT travelers themselves, the director explains: “Hawaii is not on their wish list of preferred travel destinations and the attributes of the Islands are not as well known to them as they are to LGBT Baby Boomers. Increasing awareness about Hawaii’s range of offerings is key to elevating interest from this younger generation of travelers.”
There is hardly a more versatile destination than Hawaii. That it is splashed with unending beauty should make it a go-to travel spot for all.