LGBT Travel & Tourism is a niche travel and tourism market catering to gay, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgener people. Frequently they are open about their sexual orientation and gender identity, but when traveling may be more or less open when they travel. In some cases, they may be closested at home or if they have come out, they may be much more selective and discreet in locations known for violence against the LGBT community.
Much of the LGBT tourism revolves around destinations, accommodations and travel services wishing to attract LGBT tourists. May LGBT people seek out LGBT-friendly destinations, as well as seeking other people wanting to travel with other LGBT people regardless of the destination. LGBT travelers are mainly concerned with cultural and safety issues when they travel.
The slang term gaycation has come to imply a version of a vacation that includes a predominant aspect of LGBT culture, either in the journey or the final destination. The LGBT tourism industry includes destinations, travel agent, accommodations and hotel groups, tour companies, cruise lines and travel advertising and promotions companies who market these destinations to the gay population. Along with the increased visibility of LGBT people, and an increase in family-friendly LGBT tourism has also emerged. Vacations may also include activities and entertainment geared towards couples including same-sex weddings. The first cruise for the LGBT community was aboard the Norwegian Cruise Lines's Norwegian Dawn with 1600 passengers, including 600 children.
Major companies in the travel industry have become aware of the substantial money (also known as the pink dollar or pink pound) generated by the LGBT marketing niche, and have made it a point to align themselves with the gay community and gay tourism campaigns. According to a 2000 Travel University report, 10% of international tourists were gay and lesbian accounting for more than 70 million arrivals worldwide. This market segment is expected to continue to grow as a result ongoing acceptance of LGBT people and changing attitudes towards sexual and gender minorities.
Gay tourism often coincide with special gay events such as annual gay pride marches or parades, gay neighborhood festivals and other festivals and concerts, gay square dance conventions, gay sports meets such as the Gay Games, World Outgames or EuroGames, along with other national and international gay organizations.
The LGBT tourism industry represents an estimated billion annually on gay travel in the USA alone, according to Community Marketing & Insights. The adult LGBT community has a total economic spending power of more than 0 billion per year, according to Wietck Combs. In a study for Philadelphia, Community Marketing & Insights found that for every one dollar invested in gay tourism marketing, 3 was returned in direct economic spending in shops, hotels, restaurants and attractions. They are has been a historic rise gay tourism marketing since 2002. Destinations such as Philadelphia, Dallas and Ft. Lauderdale have all engaged in gay tourism campaigns.