Despite the recent change in Prime Minister, new research by VisitBritain shows that Britain is the most popular European destination for Canadian LGBTQ holiday-makers, beating the seven other countries surveyed to the top rank. Britain also scored highly with Canadian LGBTQ travellers on welcome, with 95% agreeing that Britain is a “LGBTQ-welcoming place to travel.”

The ‘LGBTQ Leisure Travel to Britain’ research, carried out by Community Marketing & Insights, found that Britain’s historical and cultural attractions were found to be the top travel motivators overall for LGBTQ visitors with 76% sightseeing at famous buildings and monuments and 68% visiting castles, historic houses or historic attractions on their trip. The survey also found that Canadian LGBTQ visitors enjoyed the vibrancy of Britain’s cities with London, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester the top four cities for overnight visits.

VisitBritain Senior Vice President for the Americas Paul Gauger said: “It is no wonder Britain is such a popular destination for the LGBTQ community with our vibrant cities, unparalleled cultural offering, stunning countryside and world-class attractions.

“We also know that global competition for visitors is fierce and people have a lot of choice. We must continue to highlight the equality and openness of Britain while addressing barriers to travel, promoting our message of welcome and value and highlighting experiences that research shows appeal to LGBTQ visitors from Canada.

“Crucially these insights can help us link the motivations and inspirations for LGBTQ travel with the amazing destinations, activities and attractions that can only be experienced in Britain.

The survey also found that Britain’s countryside and outdoor activities appealed strongly to LGBTQ travellers. Two thirds were interested in exploring small towns or the countryside in Britain. Going to the theatre was also cited as an influencer particularly for gay male visitors and LGBTQ-themed theatre was considered a motivator for repeat visits to Britain. Younger LGBTQ visitors were also attracted to quirky and different attractions and experiences in Britain.

The research found that while summer is the most popular time of year for the LGTBQ community to travel to Britain for a vacation, spring and autumn also featured highly, demonstrating the potential to drive more seasonal tourism growth. However, Britain was seen as an expensive destination with the LGBTQ visitors surveyed, citing this as the top reason that might prevent them taking a vacation.

Mr Gauger said:“Britain’s accommodation and visitor attractions are continuing to offer good value for Canadian visitors right now and we are promoting a message of value across our activity in Canada to drive bookings. “The new eGate access for eligible travellers from Canada is boosting our competitive tourism offer and our message of welcome, building on the growth we have seen and inspiring even more visitors from Canada to book a trip to Britain right now.”

VisitBritain is boosting awareness of Britain internationally as a LGTBQ friendly and welcoming destination, promoting equality and diversity through its Love is GREAT Britain campaign, now in its fifth year. The recent UK presence at the Toronto Pride Parade was among Pride activities taking place across Canada that will include events in Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa and Montreal through August and into September.

Forward flight bookings from North America to the UK for arrivals from June to August this year are currently tracking ahead 4% compared to the same period last year. VisitBritain is expecting 893,000 visits overall from Canada in 2019, up 6% year-on-year, with Canadian visitors forecast to spend £730 million.

A full copy of the LGBTQ Leisure Travel to Britain research can be found here and for more information on VisitBritain’s Love is GREAT campaign and its LGBT events guide click here.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.