WorldPride is coming to Sydney in 2023

With WorldPride coming to Sydney next year, Expedia Group, Account Management Director, Jamie Griego, shares the many ways that hoteliers can create authentic connections with LGBTQ+ travellers and communicate their position as trusted accommodation providers.  

The LGBTQ+ community, like any population segment, loves to travel and is fast becoming a high growth market and valued audience for the hospitality industry, predicted to include 180 million travellers by 2030. 

However, a 2021 survey from Orbitz revealed that travelling is one of the top situations in which LGBTQ+ respondents feel the need to downplay their identity. Of the 2,000 people surveyed, one in five said they always research a destination to see if it is LGBTQ+ friendly before planning a trip, and, six in every 10 revealed they had previously cancelled a trip due to feeling unsafe. 

Reaching out to LGBTQ+ travellers in an informed and authentic way is essential, and hoteliers need to be able attract these guests and let the LGBTQ+ community know they will be welcomed. With a growing number of filtering tools being made available to help travellers make informed decisions, there are several steps hoteliers can take to make sure they stand out as welcoming and inclusive destinations.

As a first step, hoteliers should look to incorporate photography in any marketing materials that includes a diverse range of guests, including same-sex couples and transgender travellers, to demonstrate their openness. They can also look to include a separate website page or section devoted to the LGBTQ+ community with events, guest reviews, photos, nearby attractions, special packages, and rates.

Finally, hoteliers should support the LGBTQ+ community publicly by emphasising the risks and worries of not knowing if your identity is accepted to all non-LGBTQ+ people, creating a safe and welcoming environment for all. 

Take a firm stance on any discriminatory behaviour and have a zero-tolerance policy on anything that does not align with your inclusive values. This can be done by taking Expedia Group’s Pledge of Inclusion, agreeing to welcome all travellers, and becoming an ally to the community. Travel is a force for good, helping to broaden our horizons and improve our understanding of different cultures and identities – something the world needs today like never before. Inclusiveness is, and should always be, at the heart of the hospitality industry and hoteliers are uniquely placed to foster an environment that is welcoming to all traveller demographics