Concerns Rise for LGBTQ+ Travellers: Safety and Inclusivity Remain Major Issues

Despite progress, LGBTQ+ individuals feel apprehensive about travelling abroad, highlighting the lack of inclusivity.

Traveling is a cherished experience for many, offering opportunities to explore new cultures, cuisines, and communities while escaping everyday responsibilities. However, a significant number of LGBTQ+ individuals face limitations when it comes to travel. According to recent data from, almost 79% of LGBTQ+ travelers feel compelled to consider their safety and well-being when selecting a holiday destination.

What’s even more concerning is that this statistic has risen from 61% just a year ago.

Transgender individuals face the highest discrimination

Transgender individuals face the highest discrimination The study, conducted among nearly 12,000 LGBTQ+ travelers across 27 countries and territories worldwide, revealed shocking figures. It found that 78% of UK respondents reported that controversies in the news surrounding attitudes, discrimination, and violence against LGBTQ+ people significantly influenced their choice of destination.

Furthermore, LGBTQ+ travelers from Australia (84%), Hong Kong (82%), and the US (79%) expressed the highest levels of caution when it comes to traveling.

Alarmingly, but unfortunately unsurprisingly given the current climate of stigmatization around trans issues, the study revealed that 74% of transgender travelers experience a disproportionately higher rate of discrimination and violence globally.

Even after booking their holidays, 63% of transgender travellers have cancelled their plans upon learning that a destination does not support the LGBTQ+ community.

Once abroad, many LGBTQ+ individuals feel compelled to conceal their true selves. About 62% admitted that traveling has influenced how they present themselves in terms of clothing and makeup, while 75% of transgender travelers do not feel safe to express their authentic identity.

Transgender individuals often face additional challenges, such as their name, gender identity, or appearance not fully matching their passports.

The travel industry strives for LGBTQ+ inclusivity

Despite these disheartening statistics, the travel industry asserts its commitment to improving travel opportunities and conditions for LGBTQ+ individuals.

In fact, 82% of LGBTQ+ travellers from the UK reported feeling more comfortable travelling due to increased inclusivity within the UK travel industry. In more hopeful news, this figure rises to 87% for genderfluid and genderqueer travelers.

Nonetheless, there is still ample room for improvement. Only 15% of respondents have ever received LGBTQ+ guidance when booking holidays. However, 36% of respondents expressed a desire to receive information about the LGBTQ+ status of their destination, a figure that rises to 51% for transgender individuals.

LGBTQ+ status guidance may include:

  • Local laws
  • Religious sensitivities
  • Safe spaces to visit

Allyship takes various forms, and making individuals feel safe and comfortable when using your business, especially while traveling abroad, is crucial.

Approximately two-thirds (61%) of respondents stated that they research brands beforehand to understand their support for LGBTQ+ people. Additionally, 63% are more likely to travel with LGBTQ+ owned brands, and an astonishing 70% of respondents agreed that they prefer airlines and brands with inclusive policies, such as gender-neutral uniforms.

Arjan Dijk, CMO and Senior Vice President at, commented, “In a world of increasing contradictions and instability, it’s no surprise that today’s LGBTQ+ travellers are simultaneously more cautious and more confident. I understand the self-confidence that comes from growing up and learning to navigate the world as a gay man, as well as the extra thought and consideration for safety and well-being that we see LGBTQ+ travellers continuing to grapple with in this research.”

Top 10 LGBTQ+ Destinations

While the perception of LGBTQ+ travel destinations can vary depending on personal preferences and experiences, here are ten popular LGBTQ+ travel destinations known for their inclusivity and vibrant LGBTQ+ communities:

  1. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Known for its progressive and open-minded atmosphere, Amsterdam offers a thriving LGBTQ+ scene with numerous bars, clubs, and events.
  2. Berlin, Germany: Berlin is celebrated for its diverse and vibrant LGBTQ+ community, boasting a wide range of queer-friendly establishments, festivals, and nightlife.
  3. San Francisco, USA: Recognized as a historic hub of LGBTQ+ rights and activism, San Francisco hosts the iconic Pride Parade and offers a welcoming atmosphere throughout the city.
  4. Barcelona, Spain: Barcelona is renowned for its lively LGBTQ+ scene, including the popular gay neighbourhood of Eixample and an array of LGBTQ+-friendly venues.
  5. Mykonos, Greece: This picturesque Greek island is famous for its LGBTQ+-friendly beaches, stylish bars, and an exciting nightlife that attracts travelers from around the world.
  6. Sydney, Australia: Sydney is home to the vibrant LGBTQ+ neighbourhood of Darlinghurst, as well as the world-famous Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, making it a top choice for LGBTQ+ travelers.
  7. Provincetown, USA: Located on Cape Cod, Provincetown is a beloved LGBTQ+ summer destination known for its inclusive community, beautiful beaches, and lively events.
  8. Tel Aviv, Israel: Tel Aviv has a thriving LGBTQ+ scene, with an annual Pride Parade that draws thousands of visitors and a welcoming atmosphere throughout the city.
  9. Brighton, UK: Often referred to as the “gay capital of the UK,” Brighton boasts a vibrant LGBTQ+ community, a lively nightlife, and the popular Brighton Pride festival.
  10. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Rio de Janeiro offers a lively LGBTQ+ scene, particularly in the neighborhood of Ipanema, and hosts the vibrant Rio Carnival, which includes LGBTQ+ blocos (street parties).

These destinations are just a snapshot of the many LGBTQ+ inclusive travel options available around the world, and there are numerous other cities and regions that also welcome and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.