The majority of business travel programs fail to take LGBTQ+ travelers into account, according to research.
Research from the Business Travel Show Europe reveals that 66% of travel programs do not give any particular consideration to the segment compared to 26% of programs that do and the remaining 8% that are planning to this year.
The study, which polled 229 European travel managers, goes on to reveal that LGBTQ+ community is the least well provided for compared to solo women travelers, marginalized communities and those with accessibility issues.
BTS Europe points to a study from Asher & Lyric Fergusson, which recently created the Travel Safety Index rating the best and worst countries for LGBTQ+ travelers in 2022. Destinations in Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean were among the worst, but perhaps surprisingly, the United States ranked only 24th in the index.
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Further research reveals that 95% of business travelers conceal their sexual orientation when traveling to protect their safety.
Louis Magliaro, group executive vice president of the BTN Group, says: “This is why it’s so important that any company with travelers among the LGBTQ+ community is proactively protecting them and ensuring their duty of care for every second they are traveling under their watch.”
BTS Europe, which is being held at London’s ExCeL from June 29 to 30, is running a masterclass titled “Making diversity, equity and inclusion a reality in business travel” during the show.
The session is hosted by Carol Fergus, director of global travel, events and ground transportation at Fidelity International, and Steve Geneux, general manager and vice president account management and operations at BCD Travel.
At the Global Business Travel Association conference in Berlin earlier this year, Fergus urged travel managers and buyers to begin taking action on diversity and inclusion policies rather than waiting for data to prove there's a gap.