The Way Forward

WTM London celebrated its 40th anniversary in November and for the 16th consecutive year, specialist-consulting firm Out Now delivered expert insights on the LGBT travel market.

Out Now presentations to advance delegates’ showcased and explained important data and innovations for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) travel market.

LGBT travel is now valued at more than US$218 billion annual spending each year (source: Out Now Global LGBT2030 Study).

At WTM London, Out Now set the scene for LGBT travel into the 2020s, launching new innovations in technology to connect with and benefit the LGBT market – and also invited industry leaders to share expert insights, including online curated travel marketplace Evaneos; US marketing organisation Discover Puerto Rico; and UK media specialist, Susann Jerry.

Chief Executive Officer of Out Now, Ian Johnson, premiered two new technology advances at WTM London – each with significant power to benefit LGBT travel initiatives across the world.

Johnson showed new content from the online education platform and introduced a new global LGBT inclusion platform called – a new customised global networking platform to allow LGBT people, their ‘allies’ and businesses to network and to connect.

And he also announced new hotels trained in online training and now certified into the OutNowCertified program for 2020, in conjunction with Switzerland Tourism.

“It is entirely apt we launch the new and platforms at WTM London,” Johnson said.

He continued, “Out Now and WTM London have been partners in leadership for many years to pioneer and advance key developments in LGBT travel. We are pleased to launch HOW – providing this powerful new channel for global businesses large and small to connect with LGBT people – which, importantly, is part of Out Now’s multi-decade commitment to advancing better insights, respect and outcomes for LGBT people.”

Johnson noted that, “Our corporate motto is ‘LGBT spells people’ – and both and sit perfectly within that. We are also pleased to confirm the first OutNowCertified hotels for 2020, whose staff during 2019 participated in the training program. WTM has long been known as the most innovative trade show in the world for the travel industry so Out Now is delighted to launch these new initiatives with them, to provide these powerful new platforms into this new decade of the 2020s.”

Out Now also released the findings of the latest LGBT2030 research data including the following:

  • 77% of LGBT respondents would like to stay in accommodation where staff or hosts are well-trained on how to welcome LGBT guests.
  • 83% of LGBT respondents say the legal situation faced by local LGBT+ people influences which location they choose to visit.
  • 86% of LGBT parents with children living at home say they are concerned how hotel staff will react to their family.
  • 93% of LGBT parents with children living at home say they are concerned how other travellers will react to their family.

Simon Press, WTM London’s senior exhibition director confirmed the organization’s long-standing commitment to innovation and LGBT inclusion for the global travel industry, observing, “For 40 years WTM has advanced due to its unceasing commitment to driving insights and leading innovation in the global tourism industry.”

Press added: “Our multi-year collaboration with Out Now has been successful because of our shared commitment to always exploring ‘what’s next’ when it comes to innovation that benefits both LGBT people and the global tourism industry.”