Marriott International has compiled research into LGBTQ+ community attitudes, behaviors, and preferences when it comes to travel. This unique study, conducted online in August/September 2023, sampled adults who self-identified as LGBTQ+ as well as the general population within five markets in the Caribbean and Latin America.

Travel Trends Snapshot

  • LGBTQ+ consumers tend to travel more frequently than others. For LGBTQ+ travelers, a sense of inclusion is the most influential factor when selecting a destination.
  • While cost-conscious, LGBTQ+ CALA travelers strongly weigh positive reviews and recommendations, as well as the variety of activities and attractions, when booking travel.

Frequency and Duration of Travel

Of all adults surveyed, respondents who identified as LGBTQ+ report traveling more frequently.

  • 61% of LGBTQ+ respondents traveled in their own country in the last year (versus 54% of the general population), and 40% did so internationally (versus 32% for the general population). 
  • 43% of LGBTQ+ travelers take flights withing their own country occasionally, up to three or four times a year.
  • Most LGBTQ+ individuals (55%) report they fly internationally at least once a year.
  • Two out of five take national trips that last less than a week, while almost half (49%) take international trips that last over a week and a half.
  • LGBTQ+ Baby Boomers are 68% more likely to take international trips lasting more than two weeks, with 52% stating they usually travel for this length (versus 31% across all LGBTQ+ age groups).

A Sense of Inclusion Strongly Influences LGBTQ+ Travel

When choosing a destination within the Caribbean and Latin America, LGBTQ+ travelers surveyed pointed to inclusion as the top deciding factor (47%). For the purposes of this study, recognizing a destination’s inclusion was defined by these factors: a sense of inclusivity and acceptance, availability of LGBTQ+ friendly establishments, and safety and security for LGBTQ+ visitors and residents.

  • Other components of the decision-making process include availability of beaches and opportunities to relax (36%), and cultural and sightseeing attractions (31%). 

Nonetheless LGBTQ+ travelers report that they still face additional concerns when traveling. 

  • Those surveyed expressed safety and security as their top concern (54%) when traveling within the Caribbean and Latin America. 
  • Other concerns expressed by LGBTQ+ travelers include perceptions of discrimination and prejudice (41%), language barriers (37%) and lack of LGBTQ+ friendly establishments (31%).

When it comes to consulting information sources prior to booking, while the general public relies more on online travel websites, the LGBTQ+ community favors word-of-mouth and privileges recommendations from friends or family. 

Travel Companions

When asked about their preferred travel companion for a trip to the Caribbean and Latin America, interesting distinctions arise between the general population and the LGBTQ+ community. 

  • For instance, traveling with friends comes in second place for the LBTQ+ travelers (while it comes in at 4th for the general population), and traveling with a pet (11%) or alone (9%) are also slightly more prominent with LGBTQ+ travelers than the rest of adults surveyed (who scored 7% and 6%, respectively).

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.