Europe Sees a 27.9% Growth in the LGBTQ+ Travel Market, Generating $59 Billion in 2023

The post Europe Sees a 27.9% Growth in the LGBTQ+ Travel Market, Generating $59 Billion in 2023 appeared first on TD (Travel Daily Media) Travel Daily Media.

The LGBTQ+ travel market is valued at an impressive $200 billion globally. With over 10% of travelers identifying as LGBTQ+, this community seeks welcoming and affirming travel experiences. According to the European LGBTQ+ Travel Alliance (ELTA), Europe is one of the largest beneficiaries, welcoming 67 million LGBTQ+ tourist arrivals in 2023. This represents an economic value of $59 billion and a 27.9 % growth over the previous year.

ELTA, which offers an annual platform for industry leaders and institutions to discuss inclusive travel in Europe, held its recent meeting in Brussels, Belgium under the high patronage of the European Parliament. Focusing on the general state of LGBTQ+ tourism, participants included major players such as AccorHotels, Best Western, EasyJet, European Travel Commission, Sojern, ENIT, Visit Malta, Visit Brussels, and ECTAA (European Travel Agency & Tour Operator Association).

AI-Powered Travel Index
Among the company’s addressing this powerful segment of the travel market is international travel and hospitality provider Sonders & Beach. In partnership with The Data Appeal Company, it recently introduced an LGBTQ+ Travel Index powered by artificial intelligence (AI) that analyzes online contents, comments, and user reviews for destinations, hotels, and operators to provide real-time ratings based on gender and LGBTQ+ inclusivity.

Sonders & Beach’s LGBTQ+ Travel Index strengthens the company’s existing QueerVadis LGBTQ+ Certification Program. By offering data-driven insights on inclusivity, the Index allows members to identify areas for improvement and tailor their offerings to better serve their customers.

Minimizing ‘Pink Washing’
Speaking at ELTA, Alessio Virgili, CEO of Sonders & Beach and president of ELTA, emphasized the importance of businesses providing genuine inclusivity. He urged companies to move beyond mere marketing tactics — often called “pink washing” — and adopt genuine measures that ensure a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ travelers.

“The growing power of the LGBTQ+ consumer in travel offers a valuable opportunity for companies to adopt inclusive policies through more dedicated training and internationally recognized certifications,” he said. “Destinations must take concrete actions that guarantee a safe and inclusive environment for the LGBTQ+ community beyond merely referencing them for marketing purposes.”

Competitive Advantage and Sustainability
The unique, third-party verified QueerVadis certification is increasingly valuable in the tourism industry. It aligns with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria and can benefit various organizations, including publicly traded companies and those pursuing UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The program is gaining traction, with members including hospitality giants like UNA Hotels Group and Leonardo Hotels, as well as tourism agencies and municipalities.

“It should not be underestimated that OTAs, such as, are finally starting to consider only third-party certifications as ‘valid’ for identifying a truly sustainable businesses,” said Virgili.

More information on the LGBTQ+ Travel Index is available on the website.

The post Europe Sees a 27.9% Growth in the LGBTQ+ Travel Market, Generating $59 Billion in 2023 appeared first on Travel Daily Media.


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