Mintel Predicts More Travel DM Targeted at Gay, Lesbian Travel Market

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More travel-related direct mail campaigns and advertisements that target the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Gay and Lesbian Travel Market are also predicted to surface, according to Mintel Comperemedia, a competitive intelligence service that analyzes direct mail and print media.

According to the Chicago-based company, the GLBT market is growing, with more than $76.5 billion in expenditures. It is also a booming travel market, predicted to increase by more than $20 billion over the next five years.

Mintel said it has seen several DM-related campaigns emerge lately that focus on GLBT travel outings, such as the ROmanCE Voyages, a cruise line that works with American Express Travel Services representatives.

Travel giants Orbitz and Travelocity also have created dedicated microsites for GLBT-friendly travel packages and destinations. Starwood's W Hotel chain has committed resources to attract GLBT consumers, recently promoting a "Queer Eye" package across a variety of gay media channels. In addition, MBNA has launched a co-branded credit card with Olivia, one of the world's largest lesbian lifestyle companies.

The GLBT audience is seen as more willing to travel in general. According to Mintel's research, more than 80 percent of GLBT travelers had current passports, compared to roughly 20 percent of mainstream consumers. The audience also is spending more money on traveling, with more than half of respondents who used online travel agents spending from $1,000 to $5,000 planning trips. Because fewer GLBTs have children relative to the mainstream, they are able to travel at more off-peak times, Mintel said.

In general, GLBT travelers present a new avenue for companies to tap into, and more companies are starting to put bigger dollars against marketing efforts in the GLBT community, Mintel said. The company also said that companies willing to invest the resources have a great chance of seeing a strong return on their investment with this audience.

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