Why It's Important to Consider and Understand the LGBT Travel Market

By Darrell Schuurman Co-Founder, Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce | August 17, 2014

Competition is continually growing. But we're not only competing with the new hotel down the street; we're competing on a global scale with properties in destinations that are actively and aggressively trying to capture a larger share of the travel market.

Hotel operators need to constantly be looking at opportunities to drive new business and increase the number of room nights sold. Often these opportunities are focused geographically. For example, many local CVBs and DMOs are working with the hotel industry to invest resources and energies into the emerging markets, such as China and Brazil.

But new markets are not restricted to geography. We know that segmentation can happen by a variety of demographic and psycho-graphic methods. We need to look outside of the typical market segments to find new ways to grow business.

Why Consider the LGBT Market?

The LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) market is one segment that several hotel operators have begun to look at for a variety of reasons. Research has shown that the LGBT market has a host of qualities that make it an extremely appealing customer base:

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.