Why do we travel? To satisfy our hunger for adventure? To meet and befriend people from different cultures and backgrounds? To create positive experiences and memories we’ll cherish forever? All our reasons differ, but an underlining and inevitable motivation lingers - we want to enjoy it.
Yet for many Kiwi LGBTIQ+ travellers, the reality of travelling can often go down a very different road. With more than half of the rainbow community experiencing less than welcoming experiences on their journeys, Booking.com is here to change the stats and create an inclusive travel experience for all.
With borders opening up and international travel now resuming (finally), a new study conducted amongst LGBTIQ+ travellers across 25 countries including Aotearoa revealed that a destination’s acceptance of the rainbow community sits at the heart of many LGBTIQ+ travel decisions.
Destinations such as Queenstown, which has been celebrating LGBTIQ+ pride for over a decade with its annual Winter Pride festivities, offers a place for rainbow travellers to be their authentic selves. This is important for the three in five Kiwi LGBTIQ+ travellers, who say they are more likely to travel to a destination that celebrates its local LGBTIQ+ communities and history. What’s more, more than half of LGBTIQ+ travellers are more likely to seek out attractions or activities that are tailored to rainbow communities.
With this in mind, Booking.com is shedding light on the power of community and acceptance by returning to Winter Pride this year with ‘Proud Portraits’. Popping up at two events, the Pride Colour Run and Propoganda Snowball, award-winning queer photographer Becki Moss will capture travellers celebrating their most authentic selves at custom Winter Pride photo stations.
“At Booking.com, we believe everyone should be able to experience the world as themselves, always. That’s why we’re pleased to once again partner with Winter Pride in celebration and recognition of LGBTIQ+ travellers and to be working together to create experiences where all are welcome.” says Arjan Dijk, CMO and Senior Vice President at Booking.com.
“From taking the time to unwind to experiencing different cultures, travellers from LGBTIQ+ communities ultimately want the same as everyone else when it comes to travelling and the industry needs to make welcoming experiences the norm for everyone - no matter who they love, how they identify or where they come from. We hope to lead a more inclusive industry and drive wider change that will create more welcoming experiences for everyone,” says Dijk.