Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Honourable Charles Lapointe Recipient of Travel Gay Canada LGBT Tourism Leadership Award

Travel Gay Canada (TGC), Canada’s national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) tourism industry association, announced that The Honourable Charles Lapointe has been selected as the recipient of the 2011 LGBT Tourism Leadership Award.

The LGBT Tourism Leadership Award is presented to an individual that has made significant contributions to LGBT tourism within Canada.  This TGC Hall of Fame Award will be presented on Friday, November 18th, 2011 at the 2nd Annual Travel Gay Canada LGBT Tourism Conference.

“The choice for our first award was unanimous,” said Darrell Schuurman, Chair, Travel Gay Canada.  “Mr. Lapointe has been a leader in the industry for several years, and has been instrumental in developing the LGBT travel market for Montréal, for Québec, and for Canada.”

The theme for TGC’s 2nd Annual LGBT Tourism Conference is Create, Imagine, Innovate.  The conference will be held at The Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Montréal, Québec, on November 18th, 2011.  The Award will be presented to The Honourable Charles Lapointe during the luncheon.

Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation (OTMPC) is the 2011 sponsor of the TGC Hall of Fame Awards.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Travel Gay Canada’s Annual Conference – November 17th & 18th in Montreal, Quebec

Travel Gay Canada’s Annual Conference – November 17th & 18th in Montreal, Quebec

As the President of Travel Gay Canada, I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to participate in our Annual Conference. This year, the inspiring and picturesque landscape of Montreal, Quebec will be the backdrop of this must-attend event!

The theme for 2011 is Create, Imagine, Innovate. Our theme captures the spirit and essence of both our Conference and our Association. The program at our conference this year challenges delegates to step outside of their usual way of thinking and open their minds to welcome a series of creative and innovative methods of attracting the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community to their businesses and destinations.

Whether you have just begun to target the LGBT market or you’ve been doing it for years, this conference will assist you in finding the ideas that will take your LGBT marketing plan to the next level. 

While we’re confident you’ll discover the solutions you need by participating in our unparalleled educational program, we know that gathering tourism professionals over two days will provide you with a unique opportunity to engage your peers in conversation.

Conference sessions include:
·        Innovation and Customer Touch Points with Toni Newman
·        Introduction to the LGBT Market… with a TGC Spin
·        Social Media: Are you Market Ready?
·        Success of Partnerships: A Destination Case Study
·        Creating Connections: the importance of Authentic LGBT Advertising
·        Straight to Gay: Making the Transition
·        Media Relations: Giving personality to your Company
I look forward to seeing you in Montreal in November! Register today and take advantage our special early-bird rate.  You can register online here http://www.tgcconference.com/.

Sincerely,Darrell Schuurman, President

Friday, August 26, 2011

Canadian Gay Travel Market - $7 Billion Annually

(Toronto, ON) August 26 – Travel Gay Canada (TGC) announced today, the findings of their second research study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-identified (LGBT) travelers, showing a market size of $7 billion annually.  An estimated market of 1.8 million gay, bisexual, lesbian and transgender travelers spent on average $1,131 per trip last year.

The gay and lesbian travel market has remained relatively untapped by many of Canada’s destinations and tourism-related businesses, and therefore represents a lucrative opportunity.  As more and more destinations outside of Canada begin to actively target this market, Canadian businesses and destinations need to act now to ensure it captures and maintains market share.

Although the actual size of the population that identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-identified (LGBT) is unknown, it is estimated that in North America it’s close to 30 million people (6-8% of total population).  The total value of spending by the LGBT North American consumer market is estimated at 750 billion dollars, with tourism spending estimated to be more than 70 billion dollars. 

The study, conducted by the Protean Strategies, surveyed Canadian LGBT travelers in the Fall of 2010. When compared to the general travel market the following was found:

·        LGBT travelers spend nearly twice as much per trip as their straight counterparts ($1,131 vs. $597).

·        LGBT travelers are almost twice as likely to go on vacation or leisure trips as the general public.

·        LGBT travelers are more likely to travel frequently; on average those who travelled took 4.6 trips.

·        On average Canadian LGBT travelers spent $3,400 on travel in the previous twelve months (October 2009 to October 2010) and 40% intend to spend more in the next twelve months.

Laurence Bernstein the Managing Partner of Protean Strategies says “This study confirms that there is a pent-up demand for increased travel within Canada among the gay community. This business could help to compensate for the loss of business coming to Canada from the US.”

“The domestic LGBT market is an important one for Canada,” said Darrell Schuurman of Travel Gay Canada. “Gay travellers’ travel more frequently, spend more per trip and are more likely to travel in the off-season than the mainstream market,” he added.

Travel Gay Canada’s research substantiates other research that has been conducted on gay travel, an important market identified by federal, provincial and regional tourism stakeholders.  However, the critical findings are the domestic market’s size.

“For much of the Canadian tourism market, the gay market is still undeveloped and an untapped market.  This research demonstrates that the domestic gay market is a force in itself,” said Schuurman. “At $7 billion dollars in Canada, gay travelers have significant impact.  Certainly when we include gay travelers from the US and other countries, the market size becomes even more significant.” 

Not all LGBT travelers are the same – there are sub segments, defined by gender, region and age/life stage. As with any other market segment, marketers must understand which sub segment they are targeting and specifically how to meet the experiential needs of these differing groups.  Marketers planning on connecting with Canadian LGBT travelers must find specific, differentiated attributes of their product that promise enhanced experiences. 

The findings of this research study are available for purchase and will help you to not only understand the LGBT travel market but allow you to position yourself to tap into its potential.  Order your copy of An Intimate Look at Canadian LGBT Travelers 2011 now.

About Travel Gay Canada (TGC)
TGC is Canada’s only LGBT tourism industry association.  It is a membership based, not for profit association of tourism related businesses providing visibility and opportunities to its members for increased revenues and profitability in the LGBT market through research, training, product development and promotion.

By promoting LGBT travel to and within Canada, Travel Gay Canada works to increase the number of visitors for its members and to develop a sustainable network of tourism products and services to meet the demands and expectations of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) travel market.  Travel Gay Canada has been able to successfully assist destinations and businesses to target and reach the lucrative LGBT travel market through its various initiatives.

For Canada to continue to increase its market share within the LGBT travel market, tourism businesses need to work together to develop and deliver the product and create greater awareness of Canada as a preferred destination.


Darrell Schuurman
Travel Gay Canada
(416) 761-5151

Laurence Bernstein
Protean Strategies
(416) 967-3337

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Welcome to our new Travel Gay Canada site

We are pleased to announce our new Travel Gay Canada website, launched today (Cinco de Mayo seems like a great day to select!) and designed to bring together the world of LGBT travel to Canada with social media and Web 2.0 technologies completely integrated into the site.

With a clean front-page interface, online viewers can:

  • quickly locate Travel Gay Canada member listings by using the keyword search or clicking on the interactive map of Canada
  • find and connect with other Travel Gay Canada members
  • view the latest social media updates from members, including blog postings, photos, YouTube videos and more
  • quickly find LGBT events going on in Canada, as well as upcoming Travel Gay Canada events

As more and more members integrate their social media outreach on this site, it should quickly become one of the top resources online for LGBT travelers coming to Canada and beyond.

LINK: www.travelgaycanada.com