London, United Kingdom –(PR.com)– Gay and lesbian people living in the UK last year spent a total of £4.7 billion pounds on leisure travel.
This market also spent a total of £47.2 million pounds last year on gay honeymoons, with more than 8,700 couples entering into UK Civil Partnerships during 2007, and each couple spending, on average, more than £5,000 pounds on their honeymoon.
These figures are being revealed this week at London’s trade show for the global tourism industry – World Travel Market – during the ‘Out Now Gay Marketing Masterclass’ presented to visitors to WTM by Ian Johnson, CEO of Out Now.
The new gay travel market data is sourced from the most comprehensive gay market research study ever undertaken of the UK market – the ‘Out Now 2008 Millivres Gay Market Study’ – and analyses the travel and spending habits of gays and lesbians across the UK.
“Gays and lesbians are a lucrative market, that is now well understood,” Johnson says. “But what the travel industry needs to get a better grasp on is the fact that there is immense diversity within the gay consumer market for travel. Many operators are missing significant opportunities to maximise their profits by mistakenly attempting a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to their gay tourism marketing activities.”
Johnson said that communications was not the only area of concern when selling travel to gay consumers.
“Operators need to look at all elements of their marketing mix – including product differentiation, when targeting gay customers. Many gays and lesbians remain worried about how welcoming travel staff will be when they are on their vacations.”
In terms of product differentiation, Johnson unveiled Out Now’s latest gay consumer travel information site – GayComfort – letting consumers discover where they can stay with staff specially trained on meeting lesbian and gay travel concerns.
“GayComfort is all about training staff to deliver the best in customer service for gay customers, then letting consumers select those locations and properties with accredited GayComfort trained staff,” said Johnson. “The consumer gets to ‘know before they go’ that when they travel they can enjoy what mainstream consumers usually take for granted – being able to relax and be themselves.”
One of the biggest names in tourism – The Mark Travel Corporation – through their Fabugo.com gay travel brand, announced at WTM that they have entered into a partnership with GayComfort.
Fabugo.com is to deliver GayComfort accredited hotels to the gay consumer market via their extensive network of accommodation around the world. Fabugo is a leading supplier of accommodations to the lesbian and gay travel market and is owned by The Mark Travel Corporation. Fabugo.com features secure online booking of more than 25,000 hotels in hundreds of destinations worldwide.
Jason M Rhen, Managing Director of Fabugo, said his company’s partnering with the GayComfort program makes a lot of sense. “Fabugo listens to our customers and constantly strives to improve our product quality for gay and lesbian travelers,” says Mr Rhen. “By helping the industry train their staff to improve their service delivery on gay travel issues, GayComfort fits perfectly with what our customers are looking for from us in terms of well tailored product. This partnership delivers a great synergy for our business, and most importantly for our gay and lesbian customers.”