With 92% of Indian LGBTQ+ travelers having experienced discrimination while travelling, Booking.com is taking steps to pave the way for everyone to travel with pride.
India – The term “travel” and its connotations should refer to positive experiences, adventure and fun. Yet for many LGBTQ+ travelers around the world, the reality of travel can often paint a very different picture. The most in-depth LGBTQ+ travel research to date from leading digital travel platform Booking.com sheds light on travel attitudes, concerns and preferences, as well as past stay experiences, current realities and hopes for a more inclusive travel future. Conducted among LGBTQ+ travelers in 25 countries around the world, the study shows that negative experiences are most common when travelers are on the road in public, with LGBTQ+ travelers from India followed by Denmark and Mexico indicating that they experience this most frequently.
The reality of LGBTQ+ travel today
With over 92% of Indian LGBTQ+ travelers having experienced discrimination while traveling, being subjected to stereotypes (41%) being stared at, teased or verbally abused by other travelers (27%) and/or It’s no surprise that LGBTQ+ travelers face the added complexity of navigating a trip, from selecting a destination to the activities they participate in. 67% of Indian LGBTQ+ travelers say being part of the community impacts the decisions they make when planning. For example, when selecting a destination, 70% of Indian LGBTQ+ travelers say they need to consider their safety and well-being as an LGBTQ+ traveler. 63% of Indian LGBTQ+ travelers believe that the destinations on their “to do list” have been affected by their membership in the community, while 71% of Indian LGBTQ+ travelers believe that being a member of the LGBTQ+ community has an impact about the people they choose to travel with. 73% say it has an impact on the activities they participate in when they are away.
Promising signs of progress and positivity
While there are many barriers to inclusive travel for those who identify as LGBTQ+, there are still important areas where travelers have positive interactions and experiences. Refreshingly, over 72% of Indian travelers say being part of the LGBTQ+ community makes them more confident as travelers, with 77% of Indian travelers saying they have the confidence to explore the destinations they wish to visit.
Community connection is key
Booking.com’s research also reveals that a destination’s LGBTQ+ community is at the heart of many LGBTQ+ traveler decisions, and a passion to discover all that this community has to offer prevails among the findings where 70% of India’s LGBTQ+ travelers are more likely to travel to a destination that celebrates its local LGBTQ+ community and history. 73% of Indian travelers are more likely to choose a trip that allows them to learn more about the historical aspects of the LGBTQ+ community in their destination of choice. While LGBTQ+ travelers want to connect with the LGBTQ+ community to enrich their travel experiences, they also look to brands to support and recognize the community as well, with 73% of Indian LGBTQ+ travelers being more likely to seek out attractions or activities adapted to the LGBTQ+ community. .
A more inclusive travel experience for everyone
While LGBTQ+ travelers want a connection with the LGBTQ+ community to enrich their travel experiences, they also look to brands to support and recognize the community as well, with 73% of Indian LGBTQ+ travelers more likely to seek out attractions or activities LGBTQ+ friendly. community. 72% of Indian LGBTQ+ travelers also research accommodations, brands and experiences before booking to understand the role they play in supporting the LGBTQ+ community, and this research leads to 75% of Indian LGBTQ+ travelers being more likely to book with brands that make an effort to do so.
Booking.com recognizes the important role properties play in providing a more inclusive experience and is taking steps to pave the way for everyone to travel with pride. Launched in August 2021, Booking.com’s Proud Hospitality training program is available in English and French, for its accommodation partners worldwide. There are now also more than 10,000 Proud Certified establishments in 95 countries and territories on its platform. Available free of charge to all Booking.com property partners worldwide, the aim of the training session is to help hospitality professionals understand the challenges and barriers the LGBTQ+ community faces when traveling , providing them with practical skills and techniques they can immediately put into practice. practice on their property.
“At Booking.com, we believe everyone should be able to experience the world as themselves, always,” says Arjan Dijk, CMO and Senior Vice President of Booking.com. “Whether it’s taking time out to relax or experiencing different cultures, LGBTQ+ travelers ultimately want the same things as everyone else when it comes to travel and the industry needs to experiment welcoming the norm for everyone – no matter who they like, how they identify or where they are from.As a gay traveler myself, I have faced barriers to travel and discrimination, but I I’ve also witnessed incremental changes over the years. By taking steps to pave the way for a more inclusive industry, we hope to pave the way for broader change that will improve the standard of travel for all.