OUT AND ABOUT
Traveling safely as LGBTQ+
According to the U.S. Travel Association CEO, LGBTQ+ travelers will lead the way in tourism recovery. LGBTQ+ communities tend to be intense brand loyalists who "travel and spend more when they travel,” often providing a “halo effect” around the brands that support them. This halo effect is particularly important for Gen Zs and Millennials, like Gloria, 33, from North Carolina, who, like many others in her cohort, isn’t “giving any dollars'' to brands that don’t align with her personal values. Today, we highlight three brands helping LGBTQ+ spend their travel bucks safely at inclusive businesses.
Launched by the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) and inspired by the Green Book, Lavender Book is a crowd-sourced, web-based app that spreads the word about safe spaces for Black LGBTQ+/SGL. Twenty-twenty was the deadliest year on record for Black and Latinx transgender women, so Lavender Book has leaned into technology to help reduce the burden within the community to identify and locate both destination and local businesses where Black LGBTQ+ can feel safe and welcomed. Gen Zs and Millennials have been demanding rapid change within society, but when brands cannot adapt quickly enough, they rely on tech to ensure they spend money at businesses taking action today, not tomorrow.
OUTbound partners with local LGBTQ+ tour operations to reveal the secret LGBTQ+ locales' way of life. Founded by Jonathan Bennett (everyone's “Mean Girls” crush) and his partner, TV host Jaymes Vaughan, who are passionate about increasing LGBTQ+ visibility and were the first same-sex couple on The Knot wedding magazine cover. Focusing on giving guests the chance to be themselves and see the world, excursions include locations like the Greek Isles and Berlin and are welcoming to this marginalized group.
Geosure is a travel app that combines country, city, and neighborhood crime statistics with real-time data reports and tourist ratings. With eight safety categories that include LGBTQ+ safety, Geosure focuses on making travel safe down to the minute. Geosure has been recognized as one of the most innovative data science companies in 2021 by Fast Company, applauded for their ability to accurately predict Covid hot spots as early as January 2020. LGBTQ+ safety is difficult to pin down due to a lack of widely available and reported information, but Geosure's focus on transparency (a big plus for Gen Zs and Millennials) proves the strength of data aggregation as a tool for safety.