Global spend by LGBT on tourism tops US$218bn

The annual value of total spend on travel and tourism by lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) people exceeds US$218 billion. A new report details spend value by LGBT residents in the top 18 countries, with the highest spenders being USA, Brazil, Japan, Germany and the UK.

Research by LGBT consulting specialists Out Now shows the annual spend as at 2018 by LGBT residents of key countries. This includes spending on domestic and international travel and includes analysis of travel, accommodation, holiday dining, sightseeing and other tourism expenditure.

Position Country Total 2018 spending USD billion
1 USA 63.1
2 BRAZIL 26.8
3 JAPAN 20.7
4 GERMANY 13.8
6 FRANCE 11.4
7 MEXICO 11.4
8 ITALY 9.0
9 CANADA 7.1
10 SPAIN 7.0
12 TURKEY 6.6
14 POLAND 4.7
15 INDIA 4.7
18 ISRAEL 1.4

Source: Out Now LGBT2030 2018

Out Now has worked for 27 years to better understand and meet the needs of LGBT people globally. Their new global LGBT2030 research data reveals a market that is robust, diverse and growing.  The findings cover key markets based on a range of factors including size, potential and reach.

India, for example, is identified as a market with strong and growing potential. The recent removal of anti-gay laws sees this sector demonstrating the strongest annual growth rate in 2018 of more than 7% over the past twelve months.

It is important though that travel and medical tourism industry suppliers and destinations look past the headline values of this market, and make sure their products and services are well tailored to meet the specific LGBT needs. That includes training and education for customer-facing staff as a minimum.

The global travel trade now has a better understanding of the needs of the LGBT community. Society has become more accepting generally of LGBT people but there is still discrimination and prejudice in some countries, and the travel industry needs to be part of the drive to change entrenched views at all levels.