Pro-Equality Countries See Tourism Boost
January 26, 2012 by Maureen McCarty, HRC Associate Director of Digital Media
LGBT tourism is on the rise, and that’s good news for countries with marriage equality on the books.
LGBT Americans have long travelled the world, but according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization's latest Global Report on LGBT Tourism, an increasing number are opting for areas where they can remain open about their LGBT identity.
That’s good news for destinations like Buenos Aires, Lisbon, Barcelona and Mexico City where marriage equality is a reality.
Governments working toward LGBT equality are better able to tap into the lucrative LGBT tourist market.
“The approval of legislation in favor of equality for same-sex couples sends a powerful brand image of tolerance, respect, progress and open-mindedness, resulting in an increase in LGBT visitors, among others,” according to the report.
Tourism creates employment and development opportunities, particularly in developing countries, according to the report. It is the fourth largest global export category, next to fuel, chemicals and automotive parts.
LGBT Americans surveyed showed an increasing intention to travel, with two-thirds reporting leisure travel plans for this summer, according to a poll conducted for the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
Further, LGBT Americans reported spending more money while on vacation, spending an average of $1,300 on travel between May and August 2011, compared to the $1,058 spent during the same time period in 2010.
“All businesses and destinations seeking to attract LGBT customers have a duty to recognize the link between social acceptance of homosexuality, government legislation and the effects of these on their business,” according to the UNWTO study.
Read the UNWTO Global Report on LGBT Tourism for more on emerging trends in LGBT tourism