Specialise to cash in on gay travel market, agents told

Specialise to cash in on gay travel market, agents told

Travel agents hoping to cash in on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender market should advertise a specialisation.

Community Marketing, a gay and lesbian market research company, argues holidaymakers in the LGBT market are seasoned travellers with disposable income as they are not restricted by families and are in double-income relationships.

Community Marketing president Thomas Roth said while agents will be expected to have some sensitivity towards the gay market, for instance knowing which destinations are gay-friendly, it will be their own specialisations which act as the draw.

Roth said: "[LGBT customers] don't just sit in front of a travel agent and say: 'I want to take a holiday' they'll have some idea of what they want.

"The more specialist agents are, the more likely they are going to be successful with the LGBT market."

However, Roth said the LGBT community needs guidance on how package holidays have changed in recent years.

Roth said: "The market needs education. When we talk to our focus groups they feel that package holidays restrict them too much. They feel they are very seasoned travellers and they don't want to be put in a box and shipped off.

"What they don't realise is that the package market has changed an awful lot and offers customers more choice."

Roth advised agents to find out more about the LGBT market by reading the gay press and using Spartacus gay travel guides.

To find out more about the LGBT market, visit the European LGBT Tourism Symposium at the Cumberland Hotel in London on February 13. Go to communitymarketinginc.com for details.

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