San Francisco-based company Community Marketing released yesterday the results of their 16th annual Gay & Lesbian Tourism Study. Despite a difficult economy, GLBT travel has increased slightly over 2010.

The annual Gay & Lesbian Tourism Study included over 10,000 GLBT participants who were asked a variety of questions about their travel habits and preferences.

New York City was named the top city for GLBT tourism. Other popular destinations include Key West, Las Vegas, London, Miami, New Orleans, Palm Springs, Provincetown and San Francisco.

Key results for North American GLBT travelers

  • Overall, the GLBT community has increased their travel in the last year, compared to the year before. Most destinations surveyed increased LGBT travel by 1 to 3% in the past year. This is in contrast to the last two years, which saw a decrease in GLBT travel due to the global economic recession.
  • New York City scored #1 in all three key indicators; actual visits to the destination in past 12 months, most gay-friendly destination in the world and personal favorite destination. Las Vegas, San Francisco and London also scored well in all three indicators.
  • Considering their size and number of hotel rooms, Provincetown, Key West and Palm Springs scored extremely well in all three indicators. If you would analyze the data by number of hotel rooms in a destination, these three destinations would be the most popular in the United States.
  • The GLBT economy/budget market is larger than many people assume. More GLBT travelers consider themselves to be “economy/budget travelers” than “luxury travelers,” indicating an opportunity for every tier of travel marketers.
  • Results indicate that gay men and lesbians are more likely to avoid a destination because of recent GLBT violence than anti-GLBT laws.
  • 71% of gay men and 62% of lesbians own a smart phone, and 60%of GLBT smartphone owners use their smartphones during their trips to finds local tourism resources.

Founded in 1992, CMI is the global leader in gay and lesbian market research, strategies and communications. CMI initiated the annual practice of collecting and analyzing data on gay and lesbian consumers in 1994 through online surveys, focus groups, field, telephone and customer satisfaction studies, as well as advisory boards.

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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