Gay Community Embraces Online Travel

    April 12, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Gays and lesbians are more likely than heterosexuals to make travel arrangements online, according to a new poll by Harris Interactive. What’s more, the gay community is several times more likely to cite fair treatment in their top three most important considerations for choosing hotels.

The survey revealed that 79 percent of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender (GBLT) respondents say they most often book hotel accommodations for personal travel, compared to 54 percent of heterosexual respondents.

By nearly a three to one margin, 22 percent of gays and lesbians chose “fair treatment of guests like me” as a top consideration for choosing a hotel for pleasure travel. When traveling for business, 16 percent chose this consideration compared to just four percent of heterosexual respondents.

The survey, done in conjunction with Witeck-Combs Communications, a firm with “special expertise” in the GLBT market, was conducted via a national online survey of 2,581 adults aged 18 and over.

“These results may further provide evidence of the love affair between gay travelers and the Internet,” says John Butler, Senior Communications and Marketing Strategist for Witeck-Combs. “The survey results also show us that many factors, not just price and location, go into hotel choices, and that’s no surprise for any consumer.”

One of the more important of these factors seems to be a hotel or travel company’s reputation for fairness to marginalized communities.

“What also stands out again is the reputation that a hotel property signals by treating all customers, including gays and lesbians, with fairness, said Butler.

“For most, that simply may mean welcoming with equal respect, which experience shows us actually differentiates one hotel brand from another in terms of true hospitality.”

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