Why itâs good to be good to the gays
Gay people earn more, travel more, and spend more while travelling. Now that's a market you want to target...
Welcoming gay travellers is good for your company in so many ways. Ok, so you get to meet such fabulous people. Thatâs a given. But thereâs much more than that.
Research in American by Community Marketing showed that 80% of gay people have incomes above the national average with 40% earning more than $100,000 per year.
Gay travellers are a really valuable group of people for the travel industry. Talk about the value of the pink pound, pink euro and pink dollar is an overused clichĂ©. You need to look in more detail to understand why the gay market is courted so much by smarter companies.
They have more to spend
Hereâs the truth. Compared with their straight friends, gay people tend to have more disposable income and spend more of this on holidays. That can only be good if you are making a living out of tourism.
Itâs quiet easy to see why this is so. There is one overriding factor. Most gay people donât have children. Just think what a difference this makes. Firstly, they have no children-related outgoings â school fees, university costs, clothes, food, games, pastimes. Gays may be great uncles and aunts but they donât have to bear the day-to-day costs that parents do.
Secondly, gays have no real need to put money aside for their childrensâ inheritance. Again, a few lucky nephews and nieces might get an unexpected windfall later in life, but generally gay people arenât planning to leave huge amounts for their nonexistent children. Most of what they earn gets spent while they are alive.
Having no children also helps with their careers. More gay couples than straight fit into the âdual-income-no-kidsâ group that marketers know are so valuable. Both partners can have successful and lucrative careers without taking breaks to have children. Research in America by Community Marketing showed that 80% of gay people have incomes above the national average, with 40% earning more than $100,000 per year.
Research by GETA, the Gay European Tourism Association, estimates that gay Europeans spend around 50 billion Euros on travel each year. Community Marketingâs annual survey of gay Americans puts their annual travel spending at $64 billion.
They travel more
And gay people spend more when on holiday. After a successful marketing campaign to attract gay visitors, the Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporationâs research showed that âgay overnight visitors spend nearly double that of our general overnight visitors.â
But itâs not just the money. Itâs also the extra time. If you are a parent, just imagine how much spare time you would have if you didnât have kids. Itâs going to be a huge amount.
Research by GETA, the Gay European Tourism Association, estimates that gay Europeans spend around 50 billion Euros on travel each year.
So, here we have a group of people with more money and more time than the average person. And what do they do with it? They take holidays. A recent Ipso-Mori poll of gay men in the UK showed that they take on average four holidays a year, twice as many as their heterosexual counterparts. Community Marketingâs survey showed that 97% of American gays took a vacation in the past 12 months, compared with the national average of 64%. And 84% of American gay people surveyed held a passport, compared with a national average of just 24%.
For the travel industry the lack of children has an additional, unexpected bonus. Gay travellers are not tied to school holidays. Those 'dead period's during school term-time, when itâs difficult to fill aircraft seats or hotel rooms, are perfect for gay travellers who can travel whenever they like.
Easy to target
Another important thing to remember about gay travellers is that they are relatively easy to target and communicate with. The number of gay publications and websites is relatively small, and their advertising rates are very reasonable. You just need to know where to look and what to say. Marketing to gays is far easier and more cost-effective than trying to reach the general public. (A good start would be to check out GETA's Gay Media Directory, which lists all the major gay and lesbian publications throughout the world on one web page.)
A recent Ipso-Mori poll of gay men in the UK showed that they take on average four holidays a year, twice as many as their straight counterparts.
One other benefit of welcoming gay people is that it positions your company as open-minded and 'cool'. For example, the huge hotel and casino chain Harrahâs in Las Vegas has a strong tradition of not only welcoming gay people, but of supporting gay rights. The majority of their guests are straight, but they've found that being gay-friendly says something to their clientele about the type of forward-thinking, cool hotels that they are. And people appreciate that.
So smart companies welcome gay people. They're the perfect customers, earning more and spending more. It makes perfect business sense, and it can say something positive about your company. Oh, and you get to meet some fabulous people too...