Supporting LGBTQ+ Travelers All Year
Written by: KHM Staff on June 09, 2022
By: Carolyn Sekerak, Director of Marketing Strategy and Community Engagement
As a small business owner, you have an incredible influence your clients, your community, and even other small business owners.
You also have the power to show acceptance, educate your clients, and advocate for others. As we celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month in June, here are a few questions you should consider for your travel business:
- Are you a people-first business? Are you concerned about the people you serve and are you putting their needs first?
- Are you ready, willing, and able to support the LGBTQ+ traveling community? If not, what can you do to educate yourself?
- Does your advertising feature the community year-round or just during Pride Month?
- Marketing during Pride Month is a great starting point, but how can you honor Pride all year in more impactful ways?
Watch our recent “Expanding the Lens” segment on KHM Today or the latest Travel Agent Tips video to learn about marketing to LGBTQ+ travelers.
As a travel agent, one of your most important duties is understanding your clients’ needs. LGBTQ+ travelers want to feel welcome and safe where they are going and, like any other traveler, want to enjoy their time away from home! In addition to making those needs a top priority, we recommend these tips to ensure you’re providing the best customer service:
- Use inclusive language. Ask what pronouns your clients prefer. Use terms like “wedding couple” instead of “bride and groom,” or “parents” instead of “mom and dad.”
- Be open-minded. Don’t assume where your clients want to go or the experiences they want to have solely based on if they are in the LGBTQ+ community. You still need to qualify them like any other client to ensure they have their desired vacation experience.
- Show your support. Email signatures are an easy marketing tool to use and update throughout the year. Can you include a Pride version of your logo or a short statement of support during June–or better yet, all year? On your qualifying forms or questionnaires, do you allow for a non-binary option in addition to male and female?
Education is a critical piece to understand the unique travel needs of the LGBTQ+ community. And there’s no better time to start learning than now. Consider completing a LGBTQ+ focused webinar or research which suppliers cater to LGBTQ+ travelers. We recommend checking out the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA) to view their events and resources for both travelers and advisors. The U.S. Department of State’s website also lists safety alerts by country.
While June is the month of LGBTQ+ Pride, a little awareness and acceptance can help you serve your clients all year long.