Gay tourism, LGBT tourism, gay travel, or LGBT travel is a form of niche tourism marketed to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. The slang term "gaycation" has come to imply a version of a vacation that includes a pronounced aspect of LGBT culture, either in the journey or destination.
According to a 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.
The adult LGBT community has a total economic spending power of more than $600 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, $153 was returned in direct economic spending in shops, hotels, restaurants and attractions.
According to Lonely Planet' the top friendly gay friendly destinations in the world are:
Gay Travel Resources:
GLTA - The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association is the world's leading global travel network dedicated to connecting and educating LGBT travelers and the businesses that welcome and support them along the way. IGLTA was founded in 1983 by gay and lesbian travel agents and now operates in 80+ countries on all six inhabited continents. They provide all members who join the IGLTA community the opportunity to customize their travel experience and share it with others through planning tools, trip ideas, events and travel deals from LGBT tourism-related businesses. Whether it's for individual, group, corporate, or student travel.
Expedia - Now offers a gay travel search option and a gay travel expedia page. On here is a list of the top and most popular LGBT friendly hotels, the most famous LGBT events, and top gay travel destinations including San Francisco, New Orleans, Curaçao, and Amsterdam. Each travel destination includes a blurb about, good places to stay, things to do, romantic places, nightlife, and “know before you go.”
R Family Cruises - In July 2004 Rosie O’Donnell launched “R Family Cruises” the first cruise that is specifically designed for and directed at LGBT parents with kids. They are also expanding to offer noncruise vacations as well.
Family Pride Coalition - The Washington DC based Family Pride Coalition organizes family events at places like gay friendly Provincetown, Mass.; Saugatuck, Mich.; and Disney World. Family Pride is now partnering with R Family to make Family Pride even bigger with activities like bonfires on the beach, picnics, dances, carnivals, a pirate dinner and a “R- aMAHzing Race.”
Gaycities - A unique travel website that uses the advantage of social networking. It is a LGBT tourism website where people can read and share their opinions on different places and suggest new places. You can search and follow people that have the same “tastes and interests” as you. You can also add photos and post questions on their discussion boards.
The original rainbow flag, called the Freedom Flag, was devised by Gilbert Baker in 1978. The design has undergone several revisions since its debut with 8 colored stripes, and today the most common variant consists of 6 stripes: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.
Picture of Gilbert Baker's original Freedom Flag showing the meaning of the 8 colors.
LGBT Awareness & Events
List of important LGBT awareness dates and coming sexual diversity events.