Back in June (Pride Month) we wrote about LGBTQ travelers in terms of numbers, marketing, policies, and attitudes in the Caribbean and we did it clinically, as we would for any other market segment.
This month, after watching Trekk Soft’s webinar on the LGBT traveler with Meg Cale – blogger and travel influencer, we’d like to pass along a few of the top tips we felt applied most to the Caribbean tourism and hospitality market that will help your LGBTQ guests have a more positive experience on your island than has been traditionally reported in the Caribbean. It’s important to remember that just one (innocent or not) misunderstanding from a staff member can negatively color the entire experience for a LGBTQ traveler.
- Look for ways to truly be ‘all-inclusive.’ For example, when a same sex couple comes to the spa, in addition to other treatments, also offer them the couples treatments.
- Be mindful of the diversity amongst your staff. Having people from within the LGBTQ community can help you make informed decisions at both the macro and micro levels.
- Do your research! If you’re implementing a change, consider how it will impact LGBTQ travelers.
- Educate your staff. Having a knowledgeable staff who can answer traveler’s questions about safety and your country’s limitations goes a long way towards helping travelers make informed decisions and letting them know that they’re thought of, thus giving them peace of mind.
- Be consistent in your marketing and messaging. For example, advertising a Pride Month special during Pride Month is great and all, but how about advertising to the LGBTQ traveler during other times of the year?
- Related to the above tip, and one that is true of any demographic and target market is to be authentic. Take real steps be more ‘all inclusive’ instead of just running one targeted add to one target market during one month a year.
- When you do advertise to the LGBTQ community, take a look at your marketing imagery / messaging and think about who you’re advertising to; there’s 5 letters in LGBTQ! Also, adding a rainbow to an image doesn’t suddenly ‘make it work.’
- Consider partnering with the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA)
- Make equality in respect to all a part of your resort’s credence. This goes for races, sexes, ages, etc. Post it on your website and include it in everyday training.
Don’t forget – a little bit of effort goes a long way!