As people mull traveling in the face of COVID-19, new insights reveal that LGBTQ travelers will be the first back on the road – and they’ll be looking for LGBTQ-friendly places to stay.
According to Community Marketing & Insights, nearly 70% of LGBTQ travelers – who spent a record
$218 billion on travel and tourism in 2018 – say they tend to stay at hotels they know are LGBTQ-welcoming.
To that end, Orbitz has launched a new microsite that lists hotels that are hospitable to the LGBTQ community.
The hotels featured on Orbitz.com/Pride are properties that meet a higher inclusivity standard, and they must meet criteria including staff training on sexual orientations and gender identities or inclusion of LGBTQ-friendly activities and recommendations
Additionally, the site will include travel guides and advice from diverse travel experts and queer influencers; Orbitz says further enhancements will roll out later this year and into 2021.
"As a brand, we're rededicating ourselves to making a more inclusive travel experience, and that starts with our travel partners and extends to how we use our data, travel reviews and more to serve up recommendations and advice," says Orbitz brand director
Carey Malloy. "This is another first step for our brand of many more to come.”
In June, Booking.com began piloting its new “Travel Proud” program, which allows its accommodation partners
to become “Proud Certified” through an online training.
Partners that complete the training – which aims to help people see things from a different perspective and to provide practical skills and techniques that partners can immediately put into practice – will be recognized with a Proud Certificate badge
on their Booking.com listings.
Booking.com says the pilot, which started with accommodation partners in Amsterdam, Berlin and Manchester, has gathered “lots of valuable and positive feedback from select partners who have participated thus far." The online travel agency plans to extend
the program to additional properties in the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom.
For Expedia Group-owned Orbitz, the travel provider originally launched an LGBTQ microsite, GayOrbitz.com, in 2002. The brand also created the first mainstream TV ad featuring an unambiguously gay couple and was the first travel company to hire a drag
spokesperson, Miss Richfield 1981.