Booking the perfect accommodation for a holiday can be stressful as you try and master the balance of location and luxury versus cost and so on.
But for members of the LGBTIQ+ community, there's usually an extra layer of stress when booking a hotel, whether it be as a couple or on your own.
New research released by Booking.com has found the travel and accommodation industry needs to become inclusive in more areas than just the bill and has launched a way for merchants to prove they're welcoming of LGBTIQ+ customers.
The study looked at the challenges facing LGBTIQ+ travellers, including where they travel and who they travel with, as well as how authentic they're comfortable being while away from home.
While progress has been made, it's not uncommon for a queer couple checking into a hotel together to be given a judgemental look from staff, or in some cases having to awkwardly explain their situation.
The research is released in conjunction with 'Postcards from Pride', a local fundraising campaign that brings the research to life through the sharing of stories from those in rainbow communities. It was due to be launched at Winter Pride in Queenstown, which had to be cancelled due to the recent COVID-19 Delta variant outbreak in New Zealand.
'Postcards' features the work of Kiwi photographer Becki Moss with stories from LGBTIQ+ travellers across Aotearoa. Both digital and printed versions of the postcards are available through the Postcards website.
All proceeds from the campaign will be donated in support of OutLine Aotearoa, which provides a nationwide, free and confidential 0800 support line for the rainbow community.
One of the postcards features the winner of Ru Paul's Drag Race Downunder, Kita Mean.
Booking.com's LGBTIQ+ travel research findings:
- 58 percent of LGBTIQ+ Kiwi travellers say they have to consider their safety and wellbeing when picking a destination
- 60 percent also believe that traveling as part of the LGBTIQ+ community means that some destinations are off limits. These extra considerations for LGBTIQ+ people extend across the entire planning and travel journey for those surveyed
- 51 percent believe being LGBTIQ+ impacts the decisions they make when planning a trip, 44 percent say that it has affected their destination bucket list
- 54 percent report that being LGBTIQ+ impacts who they choose to travel with
- 53 percent indicate that traveling as an LGBTIQ+ person impacts how they behave with their significant other when traveling together
- 55 percent believe being LGBTIQ+ impacts how they present themselves during their trip, including things such as clothing, fashion and makeup choices.
The company says the survey was independently conducted among a sample of 3052 LGBTIQ+ global travellers and did not indicate what margin of error it had.
While these figures are proof the travel industry has some way to go, 88 percent of LGBTIQ+ travellers surveyed reported most of the experiences they've had have been welcoming.
Booking.com is launching a new Travel Proud programme across Australia and New Zealand which allows accommodation providers to become Proud Certified by undertaking online training sessions with HospitableMe.
Once certified, the property's listing on Booking.com will display a Travel Proud badge to show potential guests that they can expect to be warmly welcomed and accepted when they arrive at their destination.