Booking.com Reveals The Contrasting World of Caution And Confidence For LGBTQIA+ Travellers in 2023
- Booking.com reveals a majority of LGBTQIA+ Kiwi travellers (85%) feel they must consider their personal safety and wellbeing when travelling
- The platinum partner of Winter Pride launches ‘Ride with Pride’ – a bookable mountain transfer service at the Queenstown festival with proceeds going to OutLine Aotearoa
- 2,500 accommodations across Australia and New Zealand are now being recognised for their inclusive hospitality efforts with a Travel Proud badge on Booking.com
NEW ZEALAND, 17 AUGUST 2023: New research released today by Booking.com reveals that more than four in five (85%) LGBTQIA+ Kiwi travellers feel they must consider their personal safety and wellbeing when picking a destination, a significant increase from 58% in 2022.
Booking.com’s most extensive LGBTQIA+ travel research to date, conducted amongst rainbow travellers from 27 countries including Aotearoa, spotlights the steady progress, as well as the recent setbacks, for these communities when it comes to travel.
The study reveals that, for three quarters (76%), controversy in the media around attitudes, discrimination and violence towards people who identify as LGBTQIA+ has had a big impact on their choice of destination.
Personal safety is now an increased point of discussion for the LGBTQIA+ community when planning travel, with 70% saying that some destinations are completely off-limits. Even after booking trips, travellers remain vigilant, with more than half (56%) having cancelled a trip in the past year after seeing a destination not supporting those who identify as LGBTQIA+.
However, the travel industry is playing a part in shifting attitudes and perceptions with the majority (84%) of respondents feeling more comfortable travelling due to the increased inclusivity of the travel industry - with 74% more likely to seek out attractions and activities that are tailored to people identifying as LGBTQIA+.
Destinations such as Queenstown, which have been celebrating pride for over twenty years with its annual Winter Pride festivities, offer a place for rainbow travellers to safely experience the world as their authentic selves.
Booking.com’s ‘Ride with Pride’
Booking.com is returning as a Queenstown Winter Pride platinum partner for its third consecutive year launching ‘Ride with Pride’: an exclusive SUV transfer service, offering festival-goers an inclusive and safe means of getting to key on-mountain events in style. Booking.com is much more than just accommodations and ‘Ride with Pride’ is just one example of the wide range of travel services available to book without ever having to leave the platform or app.
Further research** has shown people can often find the intimate environment of car road trips conducive to providing a moment for open and safe conversations. ‘Ride with Pride’ has been created so passengers can travel proud as their most authentic selves. Proceeds from the ‘Ride with Pride’ bookings and during the course of Winter Pride will be donated to OutLine Aotearoa to assist in continuing the positive impact its work contributes to LGBTQIA+ communities across New Zealand. This includes a $10,000 donation from Booking.com, now in its third year of working with OutLine Aotearoa.
A limited number of seats are available for this exclusive one-off experience and can be booked here from Monday 21 August at 12pm NZT on a first come-first-serve basis for one of the following three events on the festival calendar. The ‘Ride with Pride’ is an exclusive transfer available for only one booking each day - for your group to be picked up in the morning at your specified time, taken up to the slopes and then returned in the afternoon.
- Pride Colour Run - Monday 28th August - 9am to 4pm / The Remarkables Ski Area
- Charity Fun Run - Wednesday 30th August - 9am to 4pm / The Remarkables Ski Area
- Pride Night Ski - Friday 1st September - 4pm to 9pm / The Coronet Peak Ski Area
Transforming caution into confidence
Positive travel experiences are proving more common too though, no doubt increasing the confidence of LGBTQIA+ communities. Almost all (93%) Kiwi LGBTQIA+ travellers say they have experienced some form of positive interaction, specifically when it comes to those with places to stay:
- 50% have had friendly and informative correspondence with the accommodation ahead of arrival (up from 37% in 2022)
- 53% of travellers say they have had great first impressions on arrival such as welcome drinks and friendly staff (up from 49% in 2022)
“At Booking.com, we believe that everyone should be able to experience the world as themselves, always. While visibility, understanding and acceptance of LGBTQIA+ people has come a long way in recent years, we can’t take that progress for granted,” says Todd Lacey, Regional Manager Oceania at Booking.com.
“In a world of increasing contradictions and instability, it’s no surprise that the LGBTQIA+ travellers of today are simultaneously more cautious and more confident. Through supporting local events such as Winter Pride tailored to our rainbow communities, Booking.com strives to foster inclusion and environments where everyone can flourish and thrive, whether exploring closer to home or travelling to the other side of the world.”
Whether it’s a trip to one of Winter Pride’s incredible rainbow events or getting immersed in the Kiwi snow season, Booking.com makes it easier for everyone to experience the world, regardless of who they love or how they identify.
Recognising the important role properties play in providing a more inclusive experience, Booking.com began paving the way for everyone to Travel Proud with the launch of its free Proud Hospitality training programme in August 2021. More than 15,000 accommodations, including over 2,500 across Australia and New Zealand are now being recognised for their inclusive hospitality efforts with a Travel Proud badge on Booking.com.
About OutLine Aotearoa:
OutLine Aotearoa is the only national, all-ages Rainbow-specific mental health organisation in the country. We’ve been operating since the 70’s in various forms and currently provide a free Chat Support Service, peer support Phoneline, Trans Peer Support Service for trans and non-binary people in Auckland, as well as specialist face-to-face and Skype counselling for Rainbow people across Aotearoa.
You can call us on 0800 OUTLINE (0800 688 5463) or visit outline.org.nz/chat any evening between 6pm and 9pm and speak with one of over 50 trained OutLine volunteers from Rainbow communities throughout Aotearoa. Rainbow people, their friends and whānau get in touch to talk about family relationships, loneliness and isolation, sexuality and gender identity, sexual health, navigating gender-affirming healthcare and meeting people. You can also refer yourself to our specialist counselling service by heading to outline.org.nz/counselling.
OutLine Aotearoa is led, run, and operated by Rainbow people, for Rainbow people (and their friends and whānau!) This makes OutLine uniquely important to Rainbow communities in providing specialist support that understands, values, and holds space for our experiences as Rainbow people.
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 11,555 LGBTQIA+ travellers from 27 countries and territories including 209 from New Zealand. LGBTQIA+ respondents self-identified across demographics of sex, gender, and sexual orientation. To participate in this survey, respondents also had to be planning a trip in the next 12 months. The survey was taken online in March and April 2023.
Part of Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), Booking.com’s mission is to make it easier for everyone to experience the world. By investing in the technology that helps take the friction out of travel, Booking.com’s marketplace seamlessly connects millions of travellers with memorable experiences every day. For more information, follow @bookingcom on social media or visit globalnews.booking.com.