Travel Designers target LGBT community

Travel Designers target LGBT community

A south London agency which is setting up its own LGBT brand says it will be one of the first to actively offer gay-friendly holidays in-store.

Balham-based Travel Designers will launch Escapes By Travel Designers next month.

Director Nick Harding‑McKay and colleague James Whitaker- Sheppard will share their personal experiences of LGBT‑friendly destinations and will tailor holidays to suit travellers looking for safe and welcoming environments.

“We understand people from that sector require different things from their holiday and don’t want to be scared asking for a double bed,” Harding-McKay said. “We can highlight areas that are safe to travel to and I can give first-hand experience of suitable destinations.”

Harding-McKay said the brand would target LGBT travellers who had “settled down” and were looking for some luxury, not those who want the “party scene”.

Escapes will work with the agency’s existing operator partners such as Kuoni, Club Med and Classic Collection and will handpick LGBT-friendly holidays. The agency is also in talks with hoteliers and operators to include new product.

The brand will be promoted in the shop window and Whitaker-Sheppard will be the dedicated agent in-store selling the brand.

The agency is also recruiting for a business development manager who will be tasked with marketing Escapes out in the community.

Harding-McKay said: “The days of being a general agent on the high street aren’t looking too good and you have to go out there and look at a niche product to stay relevant.”

He added that the location of Travel Designers was ideally placed to launch Escapes, with offical statistics suggesting the borough of Lambeth, where the agency is based, has one of the largest gay populations in the UK.


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