TORONTO, Ontario – Travel Gay Canada (TGC) announced today the findings of their second research study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-identified (LGBT) travelers, showing a market size of $7 billion annually. An estimated market of 1.8 million gay, bisexual, lesbian and transgender travelers spent on average $1,131 per trip last year.
The gay and lesbian travel market has remained relatively untapped by many of Canada’s destinations and tourism-related businesses and, therefore, represents a lucrative opportunity. As more and more destinations outside of Canada begin to actively target this market, Canadian businesses and destinations need to act now to ensure it captures and maintains market share.
Although the actual size of the population that identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans-identified is unknown, it is estimated that in North America, it’s close to 30 million people (6-8% of the total population). The total value of spending by the LGBT North American consumer market is estimated at 750 billion dollars, with tourism spending estimated to be more than 70 billion dollars.
The study, conducted by the Protean Strategies, surveyed Canadian LGBT travelers in the Fall of 2010. When compared to the general travel market the following was found:
• LGBT travelers spend nearly twice as much per trip as their straight counterparts ($1,131 vs. $597).
• LGBT travelers are almost twice as likely to go on vacation or leisure trips as the general public.
• LGBT travelers are more likely to travel frequently; on average, those who traveled took 4.6 trips.
• On average, Canadian LGBT travelers spent $3,400 on travel in the previous twelve months (October 2009 to October 2010) and 40% intend to spend more in the next twelve months.
Laurence Bernstein, the Managing Partner of Protean Strategies, said: “This study confirms that there is a pent-up demand for increased travel within Canada among the gay community. This business could help to compensate for the loss of business coming to Canada from the US.”
“The domestic LGBT market is an important one for Canada,” said Darrell Schuurman of Travel Gay Canada. “Gay travelers’ travel more frequently, spend more per trip, and are more likely to travel in the off-season than the mainstream market,” he added.
Travel Gay Canada’s research substantiates other research that has been conducted on gay travel, an important market identified by federal, provincial, and regional tourism stakeholders. However, the critical findings are the domestic market’s size.
“For much of the Canadian tourism market, the gay market is still undeveloped and an untapped market. This research demonstrates that the domestic gay market is a force in itself,” said Schuurman, “At $7 billion dollars in Canada, gay travelers have significant impact. Certainly when we include gay travelers from the US and other countries, the market size becomes even more significant.”
Not all LGBT travelers are the same – there are sub-segments, defined by gender, region, and age/life stage. As with any other market segment, marketers must understand which su- segment they are targeting and specifically how to meet the experiential needs of these differing groups. Marketers planning on connecting with Canadian LGBT travelers must find specific, differentiated attributes of their product that promise enhanced experiences.
For more in-depth information on the findings of this research study or for general information, visit: www.travelgaycanada.com .