Canadian Gay Travel Market $9.4 Billion Annually



    83% of gay Canadians believe Canada "goes out of its way" for gay
    travelers

    TORONTO, June 22 /CNW/ - The Canadian Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
announced today the findings of Canada's first lesbian, gay, bisexual,
trans-identified (LGBT) travel study showing a market size of $9.4 billion
annually. An estimated market of 1.8 million gay, bisexual, lesbian and
transgender travelers spent on average $1,166 per trip last year. The study
determined the size of the Canadian gay travel market at $5.4 billion in
Canada; $2.4 billion traveling in the US and $1.7 billion elsewhere.
    The study also found that 83% of gay travelers believe Canada to be a
place that goes out of its way to welcome gay travelers. Canada was ranked
highly along with Netherlands, Australia, Great Britain and France.

    The study, conducted by the Bay Charles Consulting Company, surveyed
Canadian LGBT travelers through early 2007. When compared to the general
travel market the following was found:

    
    -  LGBT travelers spend nearly twice as much per trip ($1,166 vs. $627)
       as their straight counterparts.

    -  LGBT travelers are almost twice as likely to go on vacation or leisure
       trips than the general public.

    -  LGBT travelers are more likely to travel in the winter (23% of trips
       occurring during this time frame compared to 14% of the general
       public.
    

    Laurence Bernstein, the Managing Partner of Bay Charles Consulting
Company says "This study confirms that there is a pent-up demand for increased
travel within Canada among the gay community. This business could help to
compensate for the loss of business coming to Canada from the US."
    "The domestic LGBT market is an important one for Canada," said Bruce
McDonald of the Canadian Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. "Gay travellers
travel more frequently, spend more per trip and are more likely to travel in
the off-season than the mainstream market," he added.
    The Chamber's research substantiates other research that has been
conducted on gay travel, an important market identified by federal, provincial
and regional tourism stakeholders. However, for McDonald the critical findings
are the domestic market's size.
    "For much of the Canadian tourism market, the gay market is still
undeveloped and an untapped market. This research demonstrates that the
domestic gay market is a force in itself," said McDonald. "At $5.4 billion
dollars in Canada, gay travelers have significant impact. Certainly when we
include gay travelers from the US and other countries, the market size becomes
even more significant."
    McDonald views the fact that gay travelers perceive Canada as a place
that goes out of its way for gay travelers as an opportunity for the tourism
sector.
    "Now is the time for businesses and destinations to invest in marketing
initiatives and product development targeting gay travelers" he added.




For further information:

For further information: Chris Dabrowski, OEB Enterprise, (905)
682-7203; Bruce McDonald, Co-Founder, Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of
Commerce, (416) 761-5151; Laurence Bernstein, Bay Charles Consulting Company,
(416) 967-3337

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CANADIAN GAY & LESBIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

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