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Survey shows how resorts and hotels can tap into potential of LGBTQIA+ travellers
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 02, 2023
Operators of resorts and hotels should cater to the needs of LGBTQIA+ communities who are known to be big spenders and like to travel either with friends or alone, according to the results of a recent survey.
The advice came from SCB Economic Intelligence Centre (SCB EIC), the research arm of Siam Commercial Bank.
The EIC conducted a consumer survey from July 8 to 22 last year on the tastes of LGBTQIA+ communities when they want to take a vacation.
Kamonmarn Jaenglom, a senior analyst of SCB EIC, said on Wednesday that the survey had uncovered several interesting aspects of LGBTQIA+ travellers that could help resort and hotel operators gain more worthy customers if they learn to adapt to this group’s travel lifestyle and demands.
Among other things, LGBTQIA+ tourists love lifestyle, convenience and foods as well as special services that can be customised for them, according to the senior analyst.
Kamonmarn said in his analysis that LGBTQIA+ travellers are “unique” and they have been adding new colour and diversity to the tourism business.
The survey found that more than 30% of LGBTQIA+ respondents make more than five trips a year. Hence, paying attention to this group and understanding its needs could create new business opportunities for the tourism sector in the future, the research said.
The study found that LGBTQIA+ tourists like to travel with friends or with their life partners. The survey found that 32% of communities prefer to travel with friends and 28% with spouses. They like to make short trips of two or three days at a time but they can travel frequently.
Kamonmarn said 26% of the respondents like to travel alone and about 40 per cent of these lone travellers like to make long trips of more than four days each time.
He said three key factors that affect the choice of destinations of LGBTQIA+ travellers are: convenient transportation, chic and lifestyle hotels or resorts, and special promotional deals.
LGBTQIA+ travellers love rooms that are decorated in style and hotels and resorts that offer discounts. They also choose accommodations near chic cafes.
They pay more attention to safety and hygiene standards of the places they visit more than general tourists, the analysis added.
The survey found that more than 80% of LGBTQIA tourists like to visit places like retreats, and relax. They also love to hang out at beautiful cafes or like to look for delicious meals at restaurants in their destinations. Many of them also love to combine work and travel and hence sought facilities that would allow them to work from hotels.
Kamonmarn said 56% of the group who travel with friends like to seek blessings and pay their respects to famous sacred things at temples, while most lone travellers like to make cultural trips to study the way of life of local people.
Interesting resorts and hotels for LGBTQIA+ travellers must be close to nature but must have modern communication facilities and must be decorated in style, the analysis added.
Kamonmarn said more than 44% of the respondents attached importance to having modern communication facilities and 40% focus on the decorations of their rooms, especially those who travel with spouses.
The survey found that most who travel alone or with families preferred staying near shopping sites or in the heart of towns for convenience.
Moreover, more than 40% would select 4-5 star hotels and 74% of the respondents would book their accommodations via online booking platforms.
The analysis also offered three strategies for operators of hotels and resorts or tour operators to woo LGBTQIA+ travellers.
Tour operators should offer exclusive packages to those who like to travel with friends, and the packages should cover chic rooms in a quiet atmosphere at retreats with special meals and parties at night. Special and attractive deals could also draw the attention of this group.
The hotels and resorts should have advanced communication facilities to allow LGBTQIA+ travellers to work in line with the “work from anywhere” trend.
The survey found that LGBTQIA+ respondents pay attention to “work from hotel” facility more than general tourists by two times.
Resorts and hotels operators should also decorate their places to look unique and memorable. They should also offer services that can be customised to each traveller of this diversified community and they should promote customisable services via several communication channels to reach the LGBTQIA+ communities, the survey said.