The LGBTQ+ community is finally being noticed in big ways. Not only are there Pride events scheduled globally, but major corporations are beginning to recognize the power of LGBTQ+ consumers. This is particularly true in the travel industry, in which LGBT tourism and travelers are known to spend more on travel than others.

As a result, travel industry leaders in Australia and New Zealand are very excited about the WorldPride event that will be held in Sydney, Australia in 2023. WorldPride is an event that is designed to promote the visibility of the LGBTQ+ community. It aims to raise awareness about issues that are close to the community’s heart.

For more than 20 years, WorldPride has been uniting the LGBTQ+ community and celebrating diversity on the international stage. WorldPride 2023 will take place in Sydney from 17 February to 5 March 2023. This coincides with Mardi Gras and will usher in a celebration that the likes of Sydney have never seen before.

LGBT tourism: by the numbers

It’s only been in recent decades that the LGBTQ+ community has been recognized as a vital and vibrant demographic. One that is worth courting to earn the respect and devotion of their powerful consumer base. However, over the past several years, the experiences industry has begun to realize the importance of LGBT tourism. In fact, a name has even been given for the amount of money that they spend – the pink dollar.

World pride

These are some important data points for travel and tourism professionals to consider about the LGBTQ+ travel community:

  • $3.9 Trillion — The annual purchasing power of the LGTBQ+ community
  • $6.9 Billion — The value of the LGBTQ+ travel market in Australia alone
  • 39% — The amount of LGBTQ+ travelers who search for LGBTQ+-specific travel experiences
  • 60% — The amount of LGBTQ+ tourists who value destinations that celebrate the LGTBQ+ community
  • 54% — The number of LGBTQ+ travelers who prioritize learning about LGBTQ+ inclusivity and visibility in a given destination
  • 65% — The amount of LGBTQ+ travelers who prioritize safety and well-being while traveling
  • 85% — The number of LGBTQ+ travelers who feel that their past travel experiences have been welcoming and comfortable

The reality of the matter is that LGBTQ+ travelers take more trips, more often than the rest of the general population, making them a prime target audience for tour and activity operators. This is particularly important to keep in mind, given the fact that many LGBTQ+ travelers base their travel arrangements around Pride events. Similar to travelers within the general population, LGBTQ+ travelers are craving authentic and immersive experiences that allow them to better understand the culture of the destination they are visiting — and they are often seeking out tour and activity operators who offer diverse, engaging experiences that are exclusive to that area.

With WorldPride 2023 on the horizon, now is the best time for operators to recognize the needs of LGBTQ+ travelers. Creating personalized products that will appeal to this group will motivate them to book your services.

Challenges faced by LGBTQ+ travelers

Mardi gras

While the world has made great strides in recognizing the LGBTQ+ community, travelers within this demographic sadly still face a series of challenges when traveling.

Some of the most common challenges faced by LGBTQ+ travelers include:

  • The majority of LGBTQ+ travelers have experienced discrimination while abroad. The scope and experience of that discrimination can vary based on the destination and the local acceptance of the LGTBQ+ community, but it is painful in all of its forms
  • More than 30% of LGTBQ+ travelers have felt that they were stereotyped while traveling abroad. Another 19% have been laughed at or verbally abused by other travelers. An additional 19% experienced that same verbal abuse from local residents in their destination
  • 82% of LGBTQ+ travelers have had uncomfortable and unwelcoming experiences while traveling. This has caused some hesitation when booking a trip to that destination
  • More than half of LGBTQ+ travelers have adjusted their must-visit destinations because they are part of the LGBTQ+ community. This is because they don’t want to visit destinations where they might receive a negative experience
  • 55% of LGBTQ+ travelers say that being a part of the LGBTQ+ community impacts the types of experiences they book. They want to make sure they will have an inclusive and welcoming experience

By being aware of these challenges and actively working to address them within their own businesses, tour and activity operators can attract the attention of the LGTBQ+ community and allow these travelers to confidently book their experiences. In addition, tour operators can work with travel industry professionals in the community at large to create a local culture that is inclusive, accepting and willing to welcome any type of traveler to their corner of the world.

How tour operators can extend the Sydney WorldPride celebration

Tour operators in Australia and New Zealand can take advantage of the excitement surrounding WorldPride 2023 and the influx of travelers who will be arriving in the region in several ways.

Sydney World Pride

Photo credit: Daniel Boud

Optimizing your booking experience

First and foremost, tour and activity operators need to begin by updating their booking software and optimizing their administrative processes so that they can accept as many bookings as possible. Now is the best time to set up an online booking software. This will promote your LGBTQ+ friendly experiences to travelers who are beginning to do their research online. As you begin to import your tours and activities for the WorldPride event, consider these tips:

  • Create a detailed description for each tour and activity. Be sure to use inclusive language specifying that this is an LGBTQ+-friendly experience. Nearly 70% of LGBTQ+ travelers focus their online searches on inclusive and visible experiences
  • Promote your non-discrimination policies on your online booking software. This will provide all travelers with confidence that you have a zero-tolerance policy in place for your employees and for other travelers on your experiences

By utilizing an online booking system, you’ll be able to customize and promote your LGBTQ+ friendly experiences to the right audience. Furthermore, an online booking system will be able to handle the increase in the volume of your online bookings, allowing you to generate more revenue during Sydney WorldPride.

Creating an in-destination plan

Once you start utilizing a booking software, you can begin developing your in-destination plan for WorldPride 2023. In the months leading up to WorldPride 2023, you should begin contacting other local travel businesses in the area, such as local hotel operators and restaurant owners, to create partnerships in which you cross-promote each other’s services. This will allow you to increase your reach in the local community and better support the local economy during this special event.

Before the WorldPride celebration begins, you should also take time to develop a relationship with any local LGTBQ+ associations. This will show that your business supports the LGBTQ+ community – both during WorldPride and in the years to come.



With Sydney WorldPride just a few months away, it’s time to prepare your business for the influx of travelers. By being aware of the top LGBT tourism trends and recognizing the types of products these travelers are searching for, you can curate customized experiences that will appeal to this market the most.

To manage the influx in inquiries and bookings during WorldPride 2023, you will need to have an online booking system in place that is designed specifically for tour and activity operators. Rezdy is the leading online booking and channel management system for tour and activity operators. Its software is designed to simplify the booking process and expand your distribution network. Thus, ultimately increasing your sales.

Curious to see how Rezdy can fit within your tour and activity business? Start your FREE 21-day trial or book a demo today.

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