As suggested by LGBT Hawaii (www.lgbthawaii.com), the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) announced today that two research studies have been issued providing insight on the profiles, preferences and opinions of LGBT travelers from Japan and Taiwan, as it relates to visiting the Hawaiian Islands.

Commissioned by HTA’s Tourism Research Division, the studies were conducted by Community Marketing & Insights, a San Francisco-based firm specializing in LGBT consumer research. The two new studies complete a set of six studies that are the first ever done analyzing LGBT travel to the Hawaiian Islands by the State of Hawaii.

Earlier this year, four studies were issued evaluating LGBT travelers from the United States, Canada, Australia and China.

All six LGBT travel studies are posted online in the Reports Section under Target Lifestyle Segments of HTA’s website at www.HawaiiTourismAuthority.org.

Jennifer Chun, HTA Director of Tourism Research, said the studies on Japan and Taiwan provide valuable information from survey respondents in each country that Hawaii tourism industry partners can utilize to attract more LGBT travelers from these two markets.

“The studies’ findings reveal there is potential in Japan and Taiwan to reach a larger percentage of LGBT travelers from both markets,” said Chun. “Hawaii tourism partners can customize their marketing programs to make a vacation in the islands a more enticing option compared to other destinations in Asia that are currently drawing the bulk of LGBT travelers from Japan and Taiwan.

“Hawaii’s attributes are well-known to LGBT travelers from Japan, but the research indicates that special offers targeting this particular segment would be well-received and help allay concerns about Hawaii being a good value.

“Taiwan appears to be a budding LGBT travel market for Hawaii that can be developed through increased awareness about the offerings of the islands beyond our beautiful beaches. For example, Taiwan’s LGBT travelers enjoy excellence in cuisine and touring historic sites and landmarks, but they don’t yet associate these attributes with Hawaii.

“Furthermore, Taiwan’s survey respondents do not view Hawaii as an LGBT-friendly destination, which is not the case and a perception that can be changed by educating travelers about our longstanding legacy of diversity and acceptance of all people worldwide, regardless of their ethnicity, religious beliefs or sexual orientation.”

Noteworthy findings from the LGBT travel studies about Japan and Taiwan include the following:

Japan

• Survey respondents averaged 3.3 leisure trips outside Japan’s mainland in the past three years, with gay and bisexual men taking more trips (3.6 trips) than lesbian and bisexual women (2.9 trips).

• Among destinations visited in the past three years, Hawaii ranks sixth among survey respondents at 14 percent. The top five destinations were Taiwan (47%), Thailand (33%), Okinawa (32%), Korea (22%) and Hong Kong (19%).

• Of the survey respondents, 43 percent have visited Hawaii since adulthood and, within that group, 33 percent have visited Hawaii in the past three years. Oahu has been visited by 77 percent of respondents followed by the island of Hawaii at 32 percent and Maui at 10 percent.

• The top three reasons for Japan LGBT travelers not visiting Hawaii since adulthood or within the past three years were “financial reasons/travel costs” (31%), “better value at another destination” (27%), and “not enough time to travel” (25%). LGBT-related reasons were not a factor.

Taiwan

• Within Asia, Taiwan is considered to be very progressive in regard to LGBT rights. On May 24, 2017, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled that the definition of marriage as being only between a man and a woman as unconstitutional. The ruling paves the way for Taiwan to become the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.

• Survey respondents took an average of three vacations outside Taiwan within the past three years. The most popular destination for both LGBT men and women is Japan at 71 percent, with the visitation rate being similar to the general population. Bali, the Maldives and Guam are all more favorable as travel destinations than Hawaii.

• Only 8 percent of survey respondents have visited Hawaii. The most common reasons for not visiting Hawaii were “financial reasons/travel costs” (42%), “not enough time to travel” (36%), and “not familiar with what there is to see and do in Hawaii” (35%).