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Marriage Equality Decision Likely to Cause 9% Increase In LGBT Tourism to USA

02/07/2015 17:14 BST | Updated 02/07/2016 10:59 BST

Seven key LGBT markets are likely to add at least $4billion additional tourism income to the US economy during the next three years.

The US Supreme Court Decision to legalise gay marriage is set to see the American economy benefit from an influx of 1.3 million LGBT tourists spending USD$4.25 billion over the next three years, reveals analysis of the world's largest LGBT market research data set - Out Now Global LGBT2030 Study.

The current dynamic nature of this sector has motivated Out Now and World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry, to launch a new study - measuring, for the first time, the global tourism industry's attitudes to LGBT travel. The Global LGBT Travel Industry Survey is now underway at the website www.Welcome.LGBT and is open for all people working in the travel industry globally.

The US Supreme Court's decision to legalise marriage for gay and lesbian people across America can be expected to increase LGBT tourism by a minimum of 9% over the next three years, adding at least USD$4.25billion to the total income generated by international LGBT tourism visitors into the USA.

Latest LGBT2030 research asked respondents the following question:

"When you choose where to travel, to what extent can the legal situation for local LGBT people affect where you decide to go to spend your holiday/vacation?"

Out Now has analysed US inbound travel results for seven key countries and limited its assessment to only those respondents who indicated that the local legal situation affects their travel plans "to a great extent" and who also indicated an intention to visit the USA during the coming three years. Results were then discounted further to allow for the 37 US states which already had marriage equivalence, prior to last week's Supreme Court decision. The resulting figures are therefore somewhat conservative, as well as being substantial.

Key findings are as follows:

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Data source: Out Now Global LGBT2030 Study  

I was asked earlier to give a quote about what this data means. Here is that quote: Ian Johnson, CEO of Out Now said -

"LGBT people have been increasingly voting with their wallets when it comes to global tourism. In measuring the likely impacts of last week's Supreme Court decision, we have been conservative with these calculations, so this data represents a minimum estimate of the economic benefits that will likely flow into the US economy. In each of the seven countries we measured, there was a resulting increase in total likely LGBT visitors of between 9% - 11%.

"We only counted those respondents stating that a destination's local legal situation affects their travel plans "to a great extent". There are almost as many respondents again who indicate a "moderate" effect on their travel plans. This new data being reported today - which is conservative in analysis as well as being substantial in scale - shows that giving LGBT people full equality is not only a social issue, it can have substantial economic benefits as well.

"There are a lot of new US tourism jobs that are going to be created in the next three years as a direct result of the US Supreme Court's decision. No matter where people stand on the issue of marriage equality, the simple fact is that this is definitely a strong boost for jobs and for the US economy. We expect at least 1.3 million additional LGBT visitors to choose to vacation in the US over the coming three years as a direct result of the equalisation of this legal situation for local LGBT people - and these tourists will spend at least USD$4.25billion during that period. The court's decision is one that the US tourism industry should be very thankful for."

World Travel Market, Senior Director, Simon Press, said:

"The study's findings that more than 1.3m extra tourists will be spending at least $4.25 billion over the next three years demonstrates the benefit of a destination being LGBT-friendly.

"World Travel Market has had a focus on the LGBT tourism market for the past decade, with educational seminars and a dedicated region on the exhibition floor.

"I look forward to the first-ever Global LGBT Travel Industry Survey being unveiled at World Travel Market 2015. We are gathering data over the next few weeks and ask travel industry professionals to please take just a few minutes to complete this important survey. The findings of the survey could shape LGBT travel for the next 10 years."

To participate in the new Global LGBT Travel Industry Survey, visit Welcome.LGBT  

Out Now's LGBT2030 study is the world's largest global LGBT research initiative. Over five years the study has tracked the opinions and responses of more than 100,000 people, using 14 different languages, living in 24 countries around the world.