LGBT Among First to get Back To Travel

Not surprising to observe, most American adults express reservations and go-slow attitudes towards reviving their leisure and business travel habits. Acknowledging serious public health concerns as well as new limits promoting safe travel and accommodations practices, even the most frequent travelers cite caution in making their next plans in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

In many ways, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) adults appear to mirror their non-LGBT counterparts, yet depart in key ways including their past frequency of travel. LGBT adults, for example, reported taking an average of 3.6 leisure trips in the past year (compared to 2.3 leisure trips for non-LGBT adults) as well as 2.1 business trips, on average, compared to 1.2 trips by non-LGBT adults.

Other key differences also surfaced in this study:

  • LGBT Adults are twice as likely to plan travel over Memorial Day weekend vs. non-LGBT adults (8% vs. 4%).
  • Asked when they anticipate their next leisure trip, 28% of LGBT adults responded it would take place in the next four months (May-August) when contrasted with 21% of non-LGBT adults.  Just over half (51%) of LGBT adults vs. 46% of non-LGBT adults expect to travel for vacation in 2020.
  • 46% of LGBT adults (when compared with 37% of non-LGBT counterparts) expect the pandemic situation will be resolved before this year’s summer travel season.

Whether traveling or not in the near-term, LGBT respondents reported feeling more comfortable than others making these specific travel choices today:

  • Traveling to a US destination: 64% LGBT vs. 58% non-LGBT adults.
  • Staying in a hotel: 59% LGBT vs. 50% non-LGBT adults.
  • Staying at an Airbnb: 43% LGBT vs. 35% non-LGBT adults.
  • Flying commercial aircraft: 43% LGBT vs. 35% non-LGBT adults.
  • Traveling to Europe: 35% LGBT vs. 28% non-LGBT adults.
  • Attending a crowded event, concert, theme park or beach: 33% LGBT vs. 25% non-LGBT.
  • Taking a cruise: 31% LGBT vs. 23% non-LGBT.

Finally, when asked what conditions or arguments will have the greatest impact on their personal decisions favoring leisure travel in 2020, LGBT travelers disproportionately favored several:

  • Significantly reduced public health risks: 60% LGBT vs. 54% non-LGBT.
  • Strong need for travel/change of scenery: 54% LGBT vs. 43% non-LGBT.
  • Compelling travel bargains and promotions: 47% LGBT vs. 36% non-LGBT.
  • Personal desire to support a destination and local economy: 48% LGBT vs. 33% non-LGBT.

Note on Methodology
Of 2,508 U.S. adults ages 18+ surveyed online between May 6 and 8, 2020, 284 adult respondents self-identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGBT) including an oversample.