LGBTQ2 Travellers to Explore Canada in 2020-21 Creating $12 Billion Hospitality Opportunity

New national survey by Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce and Tourism HR Canada identifies Canadian hospitality sector opportunity amidst international travel uncertainty

Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC), dedicated to the growth of LGBTQ2 businesses, and Tourism HR Canada, a national organization dedicated to building a world-leading tourism workforce, announced the results of a new national survey uncovering the economic opportunity of Canadian LGBTQ2 travellers as they set their sights domestically during the  COVID-19 pandemic. Data collected from 1,455 respondents in March 2020 shows that 90 percent of Canadian LGBTQ2 travellers will look to destinations in the country amidst international travel uncertainty, representing a $12 billion market opportunity.

“COVID-19 is an opportunity for the Canadian hospitality sector to think differently and find new ways to attract domestic travellers, especially those who spend more than average and typically go abroad,” said Darrell Schuurman, Co-Founder and CEO of the CGLCC. “This survey makes clear that Canadian LGBTQ2 travellers are part of the recovery, but atop of meeting their discerning food, arts and culture and shopping preferences – Canadian destinations must have a LGBT+-friendly reputation and good deals.”

Other studies have indicated more eagerness by the LGBTQ2 community to return to travelling underscoring the importance of creating conditions to harness their economic impact.

Key Survey Findings

  • LGBTQ2 travellers spend an average of about $1800 per trip, substantially higher than the Canadian average of $265 per Statistics Canada’s 2018 National Travel Survey.
  • 34 percent of the LGBTQ2 travellers indicated that they expect to travel less in 2020. Of these travellers, 51 percent cited COVID-19 concerns as key detriment to their travel plans this year.
  • Over 90 percent of the respondents indicated that they plan to take at least one leisure trip within Canada in 2020.
  • Ontario is the most popular destination choice for 60 percent of the respondents, followed by Quebec at 50 percent and British Columbia at 46 percent.

The 2020 LGBTQ2 Travel Study survey was generously supported through the Canadian Experiences Fund, delivered by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

“The tourism industry in Canada has been hit hard by COVID-19,” says the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages. “Many Canadians, including LGBTQ2 travellers, will seek to stay closer to home and avoid international travel in 2020. The survey developed by Tourism HR Canada and Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce shows that there is an economic opportunity for the hospitality industry to re-focus marketing efforts and attract more domestic visitors, as part of recovery efforts. We know road ahead will not be easy. We are here for you and we will continue to support our tourism industry, as it adapts and embarks moving forward.”

 2020 Digital LGBT+ Business Summit

Running June 8 – 12, 2020, the CGLCC’s annual business summit connects, supports, and grows Canada’s LGBTQ2 business community. The survey informed the LGBTQ2 Tourism Program informational session, which included Philip Mondor, President and CEO of Tourism HR Canada, and Meena Aier, Senior Data Scientist with Crestview Strategy, with remarks from the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages.

“Creating the right conditions for LGBT+ Canadians is not just the right thing to do – it can be part of the solution during these unprecedented times,” said Philip Mondor, President and CEO of Tourism HR Canada. “Anyone who wants to learn more should access our expert panel discussion and hear from leaders who understand the community firsthand.”

The survey results have also been shared by Travel Pulse Canada and Breakfast Television Toronto.

The full feedback from the study will help reshape a series of Travel Market Seminars and supporting diversity and inclusion learning materials offered by CGLCC and Tourism HR Canada. The resources will help tourism businesses and communities develop a lucrative and fast-growing LGBTQ2 market. To learn more about opportunities to participate, please visit CGLCC’s website.

Survey Methodology

This study was conducted by Crestview Strategy in collaboration with Leger – a leading market research and analytics company. The survey was fielded in English and French to an online panel over the course of two weeks in early March. The survey gathered a total of 1,455 complete and valid responses. Given that COVID-19 was not declared as a pandemic until the 11th of March, the impact of COVID-19 on travel might have been underestimated by respondents.

Funded by the Government of Canada