News for the Hospitality Executive
|WASHINGTON, DC -- December 6, 2006 - Nearly half
of all gay men (48%) and lesbians (47%) surveyed in the U.S. say that a
destination’s gay-friendliness is important to them when making leisure
travel choices. In fact, over one-quarter of gay men (27%) and lesbians
(28%) say gay friendliness is “extremely” or “very important” as a consideration
in travel planning, according to a new national survey conducted by the
Travel Industry Association (TIA) in partnership with Harris Interactive®
and Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc. and released today at a news conference
held in Washington, D.C.’s National Press Club.
“While we’ve known the importance of the GLBT travel market for some time, this study really underscores the tremendous economic potential of the market to the travel industry,” said Laura Mandala, Vice President of Research for TIA. “This data will be invaluable as the industry increases its efforts to reach out to this historically underserved travel segment.”
In addition, majorities of gay men (53%) and lesbians (69%) report that a place generally identified as safe and free from intimidation and threats – especially places “where they can hold their partner’s hand in public” – is one of the top three ways they consider a destination as gay-friendly. Bob Witeck, CEO of Witeck-Combs Communications said, “Gay-friendliness is frequently mentioned as a litmus test for how GLBT travelers and consumers favor destinations, travel brands and services. We find they are not looking for special treatment, but, instead expecting consideration and equal respect given all customers.”
Four out of ten gay men (40%) and lesbians (40%) also recognize a gay-friendly environment if the city or community “is known to be culturally welcoming and to support diversity and GLBT civil rights.” Positive word of mouth is a key consideration for both gays and lesbians, and gay men (33%) and lesbians (18%) also cite “gay nightlife, gay clubs and bars” as one of their top three considerations for gay friendliness.
These are a few of the key highlights from the national survey commissioned by the Travel Industry Association in September. The online study was conducted in conjunction with Harris Interactive, a global leader in market research, along with the leading gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) strategic marketing and communications agency, Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc. This study is considered first-of-its-kind because it closely examines the activities and preferences of GLBT travelers in contrast with heterosexual travelers.
The national online survey was conducted among 2,020 self-identified U.S. GLBT adult travelers (ages 21 and older) who have taken at least one leisure trip within the past 12 months and among 1,010 U.S. adults who self-identified as heterosexual and who also have taken at least one leisure trip in the past year. Both the GLBT and Heterosexual adults were randomly invited from among the overall Harris Interactive multimillion member online panel of respondents to participate in the survey.
Harris Interactive Vice President of Travel and Tourism Research Jim Quilty commented, "Contrasting GLBT activities and preferences with those of heterosexual travelers highlights marketing opportunities for destinations and companies who offer products and services to the GLBT community."
The GLBT respondents also were invited to state, from among given choices which U.S. and Canadian destinations, in their opinion, are gay-friendly.
The top 21 gay-friendly U.S. destinations named by the panelists (in order) include:
In addition to the lead partners, this comprehensive research also was sponsored in part by the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau, American Association of Nude Recreation, Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, Expedia.com, Florida Keys & Key West (Monroe County Tourist Development Council), Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, Harrah’s, Hilton Hotels Corporation, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, LA Inc., The LA Convention and Visitors Bureau, Logo, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Group, VISIT FLORIDA and Washington Convention and Visitors Bureau.
About the Survey
Harris Interactive® conducted the national online survey within the United States between September 12 and 21 2006. The survey was conducted among 2,020 self-identified U.S. GLBT adult travelers (ages 21 and older) who have taken at least one leisure trip within the past 12 months. In addition, another 1,010 U.S. heterosexual adult travelers (ages 21 and older) were surveyed. Both populations were drawn from the Harris Interactive multimillion member panel of online respondents.
Both a nationally stratified random sample and a GLBT over sample were drawn. The random sample was first weighted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region, and income to be nationally projectable. It was also used to develop a profile of the GLBT population that was used to weight the GLBT over sample to be nationally projectable. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.
With pure probability samples, with 100 percent response rates, it is possible to calculate the probability that the sampling error (but not other sources of error) is not greater than some number. With a pure probability sample of 3,030 one could say with a ninety-five percent probability that the overall results would have a sampling error of +/-2 percentage points. Sampling error for the sub-sample of 2,020 GLBT adults would be +/-2 percentage points, and for the sub-sample of 1,010 Heterosexuals would be +/-3 percentage points. Sampling error for results from sub-samples would be higher and would vary. However that does not take other sources of error into account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.
About Travel Industry Association
About Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc.
About Harris Interactive
|Also See:||Hawaii, Illinois, and Pennsylvania Have Biggest Budgets for travel and tourism promotion; TIA Ranks All the States / June 2005|
|AAA Survey Identifies Top 10 Factors Travelers Consider when Choosing Accommodations / May 2005|
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