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Article
november 16, 2010
LGBT: A Potential 142 Billion US$ Market

Even though it is a well known fact, many still find surprising the growing relevance, the specific weight and the business generation capacity of the so called LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual) market.

Due to this, this market has recently achieved a significant degree of interest from the tourism industry, including travel, lodging and complementary offer. Thus, in the latest edition of the World Travel Market Exhibition in London the firm Out Now Consulting http://www.OutNowConsulting.com has presented an abstract of their latest survey: “Community Values 2010” www.CommunityValues2010.com, which may be considered the deepest and most extensive analysis ever made with regard to this market segment. Thus, LGBT consumer habits have been assessed across 23 countries by means of over 30,000 interviews, 8,000 of them in the UK. Preferences with regard to expense, destinations, travel, tour operators, airlines, hotels, resorts and other miscellanea have been thoroughly scrutinised and subsequently processed and, as a result, we now have an insight on how, how much and when the members of this community choose to spend in tourism and which are their key elements of choice. Indeed, a global, unprecedented survey.

The survey reflects that the business generation potential this market segment is expected to have in 2011 is circa US$ 142.1 Billion, approximately 100,000 million Euro, and split as shown in the following table:



From the previous data we may infer that Australia is the source market having the largest per capita expense expectation. This is largely due to its remoteness and higher travel costs. The USA ranks as the second mainly due to its large population although being 4th in per capita expense. Canada makes a remarkable 3rd place with regard to per capita expense although it is a rather small market.

Some destinations in our country have already taken up position to attract this kind of tourism with more or less means and investment. Some of the best known examples are to be found in Catalonia where Turisme de Catalunya succeeded in consolidation and growing this demand typology with their own and specific website http://www.catalunya-lgbt.cat/es/; or Barcelona, a destination that benefits from one of the so called flagships: the Axel Boutique Hotel located right in the middle of the “gayxample” where this kind of tourism generates a large number of stays and leisure expense since there are plenty of suitable amenities nearby, including clubs such as the Arena, Salvation or Metro Disco. With this sort of supply, Barcelona, succeeds in attracting circa 210,000 tourists every year, which make up about a 6% of the total number of visitors.

Madrid, with the Chueca neighbourhood as a main attraction, also pioneered in taking up positions to with regard to this market and organised the XXII Eurogames in 2008 and is a serious contender for the World Pride 2016. These dynamics are the reason behing the signature of an agreement between the City Council and the Autonomous Community of Madrid to increase the efforts and the budget allocated to attract this kind of tourism. Notwithstanding the fact that Sitges must be considered the true and historical pioneer destination for this market, nowadays most of the cities having any tourism resources compete against each other to attract a demand with a growing appeal and high expense capacity: San Sebastian, Seville, Granada, Benidorm and Alicante with its Rainbow Tourism at the front line, and many others, also take part in the competition.

The fact that the purchasing power of this clientele is circa 35% higher than the average, and that most of the couples are DINKS (Double Income No Kids) has unleashed a fierce competition to grab part of a market segment that also contributes to break the seasonality, increases the income and the average stay and is also very loyal when convinced.


Xavier Vives
C4T
Socio Director


*Please note that “Billions”, as shown in the text, are meant to be American billions are equivalent to a thousand million, or milliards, in Europe. We choose to use the latter denomination when referring to amounts in Euros.


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