Last updated: 10:14 PM ET, Thu July 02 2015

US Travel to Get Economic Boost from LGBT Travelers

Destination & Tourism | James Ruggia | July 02, 2015

US Travel to Get Economic Boost from LGBT Travelers

Out Now Global, a well-established Australian research consultancy on the subject of LGBT travel, is predicting enormous growth in LGBT travel to the United States due to the recent Supreme Court decision that established gay marriage as a fully legal right in the United States. In a prediction it describes as “conservative,” Out Now Global claims LGBT tourism will likely increase by 9 percent over the next three years and that the court’s decision will create an influx of 1.3 million LGBT tourists spending $4.25 billion over that same period.            

The Out Now Global LGBT2030 Study measured seven key LGBT markets: Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the UK. LGBT2030 researchers asked respondents the following question: “When you choose where to travel, to what extent can the legal situation for local LGBT people affect where you decide to go to spend your holiday/vacation?”

For its prediction, Out Now limited its assessment to only those respondents who indicated that the local legal situation affects their travel plans “to a great extent” and who also indicated an intention to visit the USA during the coming three years. Results were then discounted further to allow for the 37 US states which already had marriage equivalence, prior to the Court’s decision. The resulting figures are therefore somewhat conservative, as well as being substantial.

Key findings show that over the next three years LGBT travelers from Australia will equal 57,000, spending $320 million; from Brazil 465,000, spending $1,280 million; from Canada 99,000, spending $360  million; from Germany 216,000, spending $660 million; from Italy 124,000, spending $350  million and from the UK 168,000, spending $550 million. The total comes to 1.3 million LGBT travelers spending around $4.25 billion.

“In each of the seven countries we measured, there was a resulting increase in total likely LGBT visitors of between 9 and 11 percent,” said Out Now CEO, Ian Johnson.        

“This new data being reported today, which is conservative in analysis as well as being substantial in scale, shows that giving LGBT people full equality is not only a social issue, it can have substantial economic benefits as well. There are a lot of new U.S. tourism jobs that are going to be created in the next three years as a direct result of last week’s decision. No matter where people stand on the issue of marriage equality, the simple fact is that this is definitely a strong boost for jobs and for the U.S. economy.”

In an effort to more fully comprehend an enormous market that’s growing exponentially, the World Travel Market is asking members of the travel industry to participate in an online survey concerning the LGBT travel market. To participate, travel industry members should go to www.Welcome.LGBT and take a few minutes to answer questions. The findings will be unveiled at the next World Travel Market in London this September.

“World Travel Market has had a focus on the LGBT tourism market for the past decade, with educational seminars and a dedicated region on the exhibition floor,” said the WTM’s Senior Director Simon Press. “The findings of the survey could shape LGBT travel for the next 10 years.”

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