The “pink” travel market is widely recognised as a vibrant and powerful one – a recent study in the UK showing that gays and lesbians earn more than their straight counterparts and are spending much of this on travel. Consider that the American gay and lesbian community alone represents a US $65 billion travel market!
Recently launched, the South African Gay and Lesbian Travel Alliance (SAGLTA) represents selected South African gay-friendly guest houses, bed and breakfasts, hotels, game lodges and various travel related products to the international gay and lesbian market.
While South Africa, and especially Cape Town, is making inroads as a growing travel destination for the international gay tourist, reaching this lucrative market is harder than it appears. To date, there has been no focused effort in South Africa to target the international gay and lesbian traveller. But that’s about to change, thanks to the efforts of SAGLTA.
SAGLTA’s CEO, Brendan Cunningham, says that there was an obvious need for this kind of marketing service:
“This is a relatively new niche tourist to approach and South Africa is way behind the rest of the world in looking at this potentially lucrative market. It’s about time we start targeting these tourists professionally and effectively,” Cunningham adds.
SAGLTA provides listings and information on gay-friendly travel services in South Africa on its directory website, as well as in a hard copy publication, which will be published annually. The website will be actively marketed in lesbian and gay publications and media, and in the annual SAGLTA publication.
The glossy SAGLTA guide will be distributed internationally to individuals, travel agents, tour operators, as well as other travel related organisations, such as overseas tourism offices. In addition, SAGLTA will also participate in around a dozen international gay and lesbian travel expos throughout the world, as well as the major local and international travel shows, including WTM, ITB and Indaba.
What this means is that international tourists will be able to easily source information about selected South African gay-and-lesbian-friendly travel services and establishments through a central online and printed listings database.
“It’s a powerful strategy which stands to reap real rewards for the country, gay-friendly businesses and tourists from around the world,” explains Cunningham.
Visit the SAGLTA directory website at www.saglta.com.