Increasing numbers of young people are more likely to identify as LGBTQ than ever before – making it crucial that travel firms are appealing to the LGBTQ community.
That was the message from Ellen Stewart, head of content at Pink News, speaking at this year’s Proud Experiences in New York.
In a session focused on centennials – people born from 1995 onwards – Stewart highlighted data which showed that while 28% of adults defined themselves as “non-straight” in 2015, 32.5% of adults defined themselves as “non-straight” in 2018.
“Centennials are more likely to be queer or questioning than any generation before them,” she added.
She also pointed out: “The Office of National Statistics suggest that 2% of the UK population identify as LGBT+ but if you look at YouGov surveys, around 25% identify as LGBT+ which is around 16.5 million people [in the UK].”
Despite this, Stewart noted there was still a lack of representation of LGBT+ people in the media and advertising. She highlighted statistics which showed that 54% of the LGBT+ community agreed they “might have come out sooner if brands had shown LGBT+ people when they were growing up”.
The same stats showed 66% of LGBT+ people said they believed there aren’t enough LGBT+ people shown in advertising campaigns.
Stewart also pointed out the value of the LGBT+ market, insisting firms can’t afford not to appeal to the community, with an average $14.7 billion spent on travel by younger LGBT+ people annually.
She urged delegates to ensure they were connecting with Generation Z on social media and through their mobile phones, and to ensure that all content is personalised. “Be strategic,” she added, “remember, this generation has never known a world without the internet.”