Hotels Target Gay Market

As society generally becomes more tolerant of gay and lesbian lifestyles, hotels are coming out of the closet to attract this large and lucrative market. A recent study by Harris Interactive and Witeck-Combs Communications showed that in these tough economic times gay and lesbian adults are less likely to cancel their vacations than are their heterosexual counterparts.

“Though gay consumers are not more affluent than others, they appear to consistently budget more discretionary dollars toward travel, even during downturns in the economy,” says Bob Witeck, CEO of Witeck-Combs.

Several hotel companies recognize the value in marketing to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LBGT) market and offer special packages and other promotions:

  • The Hotel Monaco Denver, a Kimpton Hotel, promotes a Mile High Package aimed at the LGBT community. The $229 per night package includes room, a bottle of wine, $50 certificate to a local gay-friendly restaurant and a guide to LGBT hotspots. The hotel donates five percent of the room rate to the Human Rights Campaign. On a corporate level, Kimpton Hotels is promoting its second annual Summer of Pride campaign that offers discounted rooms in conjunction with LGBT events in cities where it has hotels.

  • Similarly, Hyatt Hotels, in conjunction with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), offers Hyatt GLAAD Packages at 25 Hyatts across the country. As part of the two-night package, the guest receives a GLAAD membership and a subscription to the organization's seasonal newsletter.

Hyatt has also partnered with PlanetOut to host three Pride Rocks parties during Pride Weekends this summer in Philadelphia, Boston and San Francisco.

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