Jane Larcombe Communications

November 14, 2005 04:10 ET

Gay Honeymoon Boom As Partnerships Become Law

LONDON, ENGLAND--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 14, 2005) -

But Travel Industry not Ready for Surge

Next year will see a massive boom in honeymoons - and the travel industry must vow to take it more seriously, according to a major new study of the gay and lesbian market.

As the new Civil Partnership Bill for gays and lesbians becomes law on 5 December, the report reveals that there will be an explosion of happy couples fleeing to some romantic spot in the world.

"Travel companies need to recognise that this is a big step forward for the gay community in this country and is a fast growing, unstoppable development", said Fiona Jeffery, Group Exhibition Director of World Travel Market, where the report is being launched today (Monday) at ExCeL London. World Travel Market is the largest global business event for the travel and tourism industry with 202 representative countries and regions participating.

"Unlike the big banks and the technology companies, for example, the travel industry simply has not planned ahead for the implementation of this bill. There's no doubt that this will trigger a new and completely different demand for tour operators and despite famous partnerships planning to take the plunge such as Elton John and David Furnish, the industry has not even got off the starting blocks."

The report by Out Now Consulting, a marketing agency specialising in developing marketing strategies and analysis of the lesbian and gay market, was undertaken following independent research with more than 1,000 readers of the highest circulation UK titles in this market, Diva and Gay Times magazines.

"There are nearly three million lesbians and gays in the UK and more than half of them are in committed relationships, with a large number intending to register their Civil Partnerships with municipal authorities", said Ian Johnson, director of Out Now and author of the report. "A total of 274,000 couples in the UK are expected to quickly get hitched which means that gay honeymoons are going to be booming."

"The honeymoon market for heterosexuals is huge but, based on these results, my gut instinct is that the travel industry has to do much more if it is to capitalise on the new development with new products, new targeted marketing campaigns and more training for their staff."

Out Now Consulting has been relied upon for more than 15 years to develop the gay market for leading travel companies like Qantas, Visit Britain, German National Tourist Office and South African Tourism as well as other brands such as IBM, Toyota, Zurich, Orange and Citibank.

Many of those questioned travel regularly with France and Spain being top favourites for lesbians and gays. But long haul honeymoons are also on the cards with Australia and South Africa being frequently mentioned.

The report says that's the average age of respondents from Gay Times were between 25 and 44. Average income was GBP28,481 with 18% of those questioned earning more than GBP40,000. The average age of lesbians who took part in the research was 34, with an average income of GBP24,783 A total of 9% of those questioned were earning more than GBP40,000.

Of those questioned, there was a high degree of education with just under half holding a qualification or university degree.

Kim Watson Head of Publishing for both Gay Times and Diva adds "As well as showing income and education levels for our readers being above the UK national average, the 2005 reader surveys show that a significant proportion of readers intend to register their partnership, marry and/or take a honeymoon too. This can only be good news for travel companies who adapt fast or are already known to be gay/lesbian friendly service providers."
Barclays are well prepared for the new custom that civil partnerships might bring and have produced a guide to help gay couples who want to start up a joint bank account. "'We recognise that there are around 2.5 million lesbian and gay adults in Britain, most of whom have bank accounts", said Jim Hytner, UK Marketing Director of Barclays. 'We want all of them to know they can be comfortable banking with Barclays and if any gay couples want to open joint accounts, we're delighted to do that for them too."

-ends-

Notes to editors: Civil partnership offers the same range of benefits as marriage for straight people. Couples can register their intent to become civil partners from 5 December and the first registrations will take place 15 days later on 21 December 2005.

World Travel Market takes place at London ExCeL 14-17 November 2005.
For information about the event please visit www.wtmlondon.com

The Moscow Committee for Tourism is World Travel Market's Premier Partner for 2005

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. Reed Travel Exhibitions is part of Reed Exhibitions Ltd. who organise over 420 events in 32 countries, serving 49 different industries in 18 key sectors, attracting over 90,000 exhibiting companies and more than 5.5 million visitors every year.

2. As a member of the Reed Elsevier plc group, the world-leading business and information provider, Reed Exhibitions is unique in offering integrated market access programmes covering exhibitions, trade publications, direct marketing and the Internet. Reed Elsevier's business titles are closely linked with Reed's exhibition activities across both geographic and industrial markets. It also has a growing portfolio of electronic publishing and information services, including LEXIS-NEXIS, the world's leading provider of on-line information services and management tools.

3. Reed Travel Exhibitions organise 14 events worldwide, including World Travel Market, Arabian Travel Market, C.I.S. Travel Market, EIBTM, British Travel Trade Fair, Asia Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME), International Golf Travel Market, Top Resa, Mediterranean Travel Fair, ICCA Exhibition, in association with the ICCA Congress, International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM), La Cumbre, City Break and Latin American & Caribbean Incentive & Meetings Exhibition (LACIME).

4. For further press information, please visit the Reed Travel Exhibitions' website on www.reedtravelexhibitions.com

Contact Information

  • World Travel Market
    Jane Larcombe
    07770 306683
    or
    Out Now Consulting
    Ian Johnson
    +32-2-514 6443
    or UK mobile: 07906 553 990
    or
    telephone hotline
    World Travel Market Press Centre
    020 7069 6032 / 6069