OTT hosts seminar to help travel partners market LGBT products to agents
OTT will be hosting a free breakfast seminar outlining strategies and case studies for selling to the LGBT community with confidence.
‘Introducing the OTT LGBT Sector’ will take place in London on Tuesday September 18 and will explore how some of the biggest brands in travel are successfully marketing themselves to more than 160,000 travel professionals around the world.
OTT will be launching a new LGBT Sector within the platform this September, highlighting travel partners who specialise in offering products to this community. The OTT LGBT Sector will bring together information on destinations, tour operators, cruises, airlines and travel chains, all of whom support or have their own LGBT-focused travel offering.
According to a report by Netherlands-based CBI, Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries*, LGBT travellers are high spending customers: British gay men travel twice as often as heterosexual men and Brazil, a popular LGBT destination, reports that LGBT travellers spend 30 per cent more than other travellers.
The LGBT Sector project was spearheaded by International Business Development Manager Kenny Smith, who was nominated as a TTG Travel Pride Champion for 2018. Kenny says there is still a lack of confidence within the travel agent community on how to give the best customer service to this growing market, despite the ‘Pink Pound’ becoming one of the fastest-growing market sectors within the travel trade, estimated by the CBI as having a global value of around €178 billion.
Kenny, who has undertaken his own mystery shopper research into LGBT-friendly destinations, said: “Unfortunately many agents are really missing out on selling to the LGBT community, simply because they are scared of what to say and how to say it. At present, there is no single online space for travel agents to access content and advice on LGBT travel product offerings so they can offer a better customer experience to these travellers.”
He added: “We know from the CBI’s research that 86 per cent of LGBT travellers prefer to book genuinely LGBT welcoming hotels and that staff training is key to this welcome - 72 per cent of LGBT customers say well-trained staff can influence what they buy.”
“By investing in the OTT LGBT Sector and course, we will be addressing this need, providing travel agents with guidance on how best to cater for the LGBT traveller and helping them make sales to this fast growing sector. The industry is calling out to get agents trained in this area and it was a hot topic at this year’s TTG Travel Pride Conference.”
The agenda kicks off with a networking breakfast at 9am, followed by the seminar which will be presented by the OTT team and guest speakers. A networking coffee will take place before the event concludes at 11am.
The seminar takes place at etc.venues, 8th Floor Tenter House, 45 Moorfields, London,
* Source, CBI Ministry of Foreign Affairs: What are the opportunities for LGBT travel from Europe? https://www.cbi.eu/market-information/tourism/lgbt-travel/