Target the powerful niche market of Gay Travel

5 mins read

The LGBT Travel Audience is undoubtedly one of the most powerful audiences that modern hoteliers wish to actively target, for supporting and enhancing their direct sales. Especially Gay men, well known for being frequent travelers, bigger spenders and high quality travelers, are in the center of attention of many hotel sales & marketing departments.

Like in all cases, the most effective way to successfully reach a travel audience, is by understanding and respecting its specific characteristics and needs, raising at the same time the quality standards of your services and offering the optimum experience to the guests. Hotelier Academy, presents a comprehensive guide that will help hoteliers understand the LGBT Travel Audience better and achieve the most successful and effective targeting.


Tips to ensure high quality service for Gay Hotel Guests

Destsetters | Gay Rome

  • Make sure to provide equal services to all of your guests. For example, even if gay marriage is not allowed in your country, you can always offer symbolic wedding ceremonies or romantic wedding receptions for gay & lesbian couples.
  • Make sure your staff is adequately trained and educated regarding diversity matters, ensuring the high quality of service to all of your guests.
  • Don’t take for granted that all of your employees will have the expected behavior towards LGBT guests. With even a short educational session, you minimize the possibility for a discriminating incident in your hotel from a member of your staff.
  • Maintain a good & updated Concierge service, making sure that your Guest Relationship department is familiar with the gay scene of the area and is able to provide helpful information to the guests, if asked.
  • Work on a clever development of your Brand Identity. There are several smart ways to approach the gay audience through your general brand identity, without being provocative. Something like this would greatly increase the loyalty of the Gay audience.
  • Support the Gay community. A social responsibility action is always welcome and enforces the relationship with the audience.


Case studies hoteliers should be aware of

Destsetters | LGBT Rome

  • If two men or two women arrive at the hotel for check in and you realize that they are a couple, do not try hard to prove your Gay friendly mentality. Something like this would simply underline the concept of discrimination.
  • If a gay family comes to the hotel, do not be too excited or overwhelmed. What might seem strange to you could be something very natural in the guests’ home country.
  • If 2 men arrive at the reception, you should not assume that the reservation for a ‘double’ room is a mistake and offer them a twin room. This will just put your customers into an awkward and uncomfortable position. On the other hand, you should not assume that they are a couple either. In other words, just confirm the reservation as it has been made and continue with the rest of the procedure.
  • If a male guest arrives first at the reception desk, informing you that he is on his honeymoon trip, do not assume that he is expecting a lady. Gay marriage is becoming more and more common all around the world, therefore you may just ask for ‘the other guest’s name’.
  • A truck driver checks in at the hotel. After a couple of hours, his husband arrives. Conclusion: do not stick to stereotypes!
  • If a married gay couple address each other as ‘my husband’, it is always good to follow their lead.
  • If a lady presents to you her Passport with a male name, do not be surprised. As a Trans Gender woman, she is aware of the situation and you do not have to emphasize the fact. Most probably she will let you know her preferred name, which you can use to address her during her stay at the hotel.


Clever ideas for successfully targeting LGBT Travelers through your hotel brand identity

Destsetters | Gay man in Rome

  • The right Photo Shooting is the key!
  • Use people in your hotel photo shooting, in order to give a tone of experience.
  • Do not build your entire photography brand identity with heterosexual couples – this can be a statement.
  • It is not necessary to use gay couples (i.e. 2 men), for triggering the interest of the gay audience.
  • A photo with a single man in a picturesque spot of the hotel can be greatly effective to the gay audience.
  • If you want to present a couple, show two men or women in the same photo, sharing the same space, without necessarily having a direct contact (kissing, hugging etc).
  • Keep in mind that you should have a good balance, for covering all of your audiences.
  • You can create a special section in your website, with more appealing material to the gay audience (without necessarily mentioning terms like ‘gay friendly’).
  • Publish dedicated visual material (like banners with targeted photos) in related channels and lead the gay audience directly to that special section of your website.


Photo Credits: Christos Drazos & Destsetters™