When hundreds of thousands of visitors descend on Toronto for WorldPride celebrations next month, Travel Gay Canada wants to ensure those travellers extend their stays and experience the unique and LGBT-friendly tourism offerings of Ontario.
To achieve this, Travel Gay Canada is conducting an LGBT tourism development initiative in four destinations within Ontario, with funding support from the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. The destinations include St. Catharines, Kingston, Prince Edward County and Sault Ste. Marie/Algoma.
The initiative is enabling the destinations to successfully prepare for and serve the LGBT travel market through market-readiness assessments, diversity training, awareness programs, and targeted marketing and promotions.
“These destinations are well positioned to attract the LGBT market,” says Darrell Schuurman, executive director of Travel Gay Canada. “Building on the destinations’ strengths, we presented each region with recommendations on how the communities and local businesses can further attract and welcome LGBT visitors.”
The North American LGBT travel market spends over $70 billion on travel annually. This market provides a huge economic opportunity for the Ontario tourism industry, but without full understanding and preparedness of this market, destinations will not be able to adequately meet their expectations.
Travel Gay Canada developed the “LGBT Travel Market Guide & Development Toolkit” to assist destinations in identifying the value and opportunity for their region and businesses in targeting the LGBT market. It assists these destinations in becoming market ready by becoming more familiar with the market and providing valuable resources that they will be able to implement and use.