Nearly half of LGBTQ+ travellers have experienced discrimination while travelling, according to the results of a global survey conducted by booking.com.
Analysing feedback from 5,514 LGBTQ+ travellers across 25 countries, the online travel agency found 71% had experienced “less than welcoming, or uncomfortable” experiences when on holiday, while 46% had faced discrimination.
Just over half (54%) said being part of the LGBTQ+ community impacts the decisions they make when planning, 61% reported they have to consider their safety and wellbeing as LGBTQ+, and nearly two thirds (62%) revealed they were more likely to book with brands that are making an effort to support the community.
Booking.com encouraged operators to increase the personalisation of trips to respond to an LGBTQ+ traveller’s needs, as 31% of those surveyed said they would like more tailored recommendations for their preferences and interests.
The agency also urged its accommodation partners to complete its 75-minute Proud Hospitality training programme, which “helps industry professionals understand the challenges and barriers that the LGBTQ+ community faces while travelling” and provides hospitality professionals with “practical skills and techniques they can immediately put into practice at their property”.
Upon completion of the free course, partners receive a Travel Proud badge on their property page.
Arjan Dijk, chief marketing officer and senior vice-president at booking.com, said: “At booking.com we believe the industry is uniquely placed to support everyone in experiencing the world as themselves, always.
“From searching and booking accommodation, to planning trips and looking to support local LCBTQ+ owned or supportive businesses, there’s an opportunity for the industry to enable, inform and support the LGBTQ+ community to travel the world and experience different cultures. The potential is largely untapped.
“As a gay traveller myself, I’ve faced barriers to travel and discrimination, but have also witnessed progressive change over the years.
“By taking action to pave the way for a more inclusive industry, we hope to set the stage for wider change that will up the standard of travel for everyone.”