Queer Family Travel, Limelight Gaycations, Rainbow Rebellions and Polydays among travel trends revealed in new report from Globetrender
BY JENNY SOUTHAN, IMAGE BY GLOBETRENDER
Globetrender, the UK’s leading travel trend forecasting agency, has published The Future Of Queer Travel, a free forecast that identifies eight trends that will shape the future of tourism for the LGBTQIA market.
These include: Queer Family Travel, Limelight Gaycations, Rainbow Rebellions, Polydays and Pride Power. The report also includes case studies on new queer family travel agency Destination Rainbow and “X” gender marker passports.
Jenny Southan, editor, founder and CEO of Globetrender, says: “A big reason we chose Queer Family Travel as our number-one trend is because more and more rainbow families are emerging – in 2019 there were almost quarter of a million same-sex families in the UK, an increase of 40% since 2015.
“It was also because of the publication of an important milestone book last month – The Queer Parent: Everything You Need To Know From Gay To Ze – which was co-authored by my wife Lotte Jeffs and Stu Oakley. My wife and I have a young daughter and Stu is a gay married man with three adopted children.
“In this book they highlight some of the unique challenges we face when travelling as queer parents, such as how we are ‘outed’ all the time by cries of ‘Mummy, Mama’ or ‘Daddy, Papa’. What this means is that queer families need to be far more discerning and thoughtful about where they visit to ensure they won’t encounter homophobia.”
How is the LGBTQ+ travel market evolving? Southan says: “Over the past ten years, the queer travel market has grown enormously – when travel was at its peak before the pandemic, travel spending from queer people reached US$218 billion worldwide. By 2030, experts predict that travel spending by queer travellers could reach US$568.5 billion.
“Why? Firstly, queer travellers are more intrepid and hungry for travel than ever before. Secondly, in many cases they also have more disposable income. And thirdly, the population of people who identify as queer is increasing. In 2021, a landmark UK Census revealed that 6.9% of Gen Zs identified as LGB+ compared with 3.5% of Millennials, and 1.6% of Boomers.
“For the travel industry, this is a clear indication of distinct market opportunities (particularly among people under the age of 45). It is also an urgent call for better understanding and appreciation of this growing and richly varied consumer group.”
She adds: “In terms of progress for LGBTQ+ human rights, there are steps forward and steps backwards. Gay marriage is legal in 34 countries (up from just one in 2001) but homosexuality is still illegal in 67 countries. In 2023, the president of Uganda signed one of the world’s toughest anti-LGBTQ laws, but at the same time, Latvia welcomed the modern world’s first openly gay president.
“At Globetrender, we are optimists. We strongly believe in travel as the ultimate expression of freedom, and a unifying force that brings people closer together.”
David Lockhart, general manager of the Mondrian hotel, says: “I have been with my husband for 13 years, we have children and we travel a lot, but I have had more than one or two complicated eyebrow raises. So this is something I am very passionate about. It is something we should all be very passionate about.
“Service and hospitality are all about discretion and humility. And it should always be about inclusion. This event is something we thought we should definitely be a part of. You can programme for Pride but it’s some important that corporations do it with some style and some substance.”
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