The number of LGBTQIA+ Kiwi travellers who consider personal safety when choosing a holiday destination has increased almost 50 per cent in the last year, according to a recent study.
New research from Booking.com reveals that, when picking a place to holiday, 85 per cent of LGBTQIA+ Kiwi travellers felt they had to consider whether they would be safe there.
This was a marked increase from 58 per cent in 2022.
Results come from what Booking.com described as its “most extensive LGBTQIA+ travel research to date”. Data was gathered from travellers in the rainbow community across 27 countries, including Aotearoa.
According to respondents, what they read in the news had a large influence on their holiday planning.
“For three quarters (76 per cent), controversy in the media around attitudes, discrimination and violence towards people who identify as LGBTQIA+ has had a big impact on their choice of destination,” read a statement from Booking.com.
Most travellers surveyed (70 per cent) said there were certain countries they would never visit due to how they may be treated. More than half (56 per cent) told Booking.com they had cancelled a trip they had booked due to concerns.
According to the online travel agency, the travel agency had been a force for good. Most respondents (84 per cent) said the travel industry’s increased inclusivity made them feel more comfortable travelling.
Queenstown Pride offers safe place to party
An example of this inclusivity will certainly be on show this weekend as Queenstown Winter Pride kicks off.
Run from August 25 to September 3, the Queenstown event claims to be “the biggest Pride Party in the snow in the Southern Hemisphere”.
There will be 50 official events, including Pride Night Ski at Coronet Peak, the Pride Colour Run in the Remarkables and Ride with Pride, an exclusive SUV transfer service to key on-mountain events.
An event organised by Booking.com, Ride with Pride will provide festival-goers an “inclusive and safe” way to get to certain events.
Bookings for the service opened on Monday, August 21 on a first-come, first-served basis.
Proceeds from the luxe transfer service will go to OutLine Aotearoa, an organisation that works with LGBTQIA+ communities across New Zealand, as well as a $10,000 donation from booking.com.
Booking.com regional manager for Oceania, Todd Lacey, said supporting events such as Queenstown Winter Pride was an important way to support LGBTQIA+ travellers who are “simultaneously more cautious and more confident”.
While progress had been made, Lacey said there was still work to be done.
“Everyone should be able to experience the world as themselves, always. While visibility, understanding and acceptance of LGBTQIA+ people has come a long way in recent years, we can’t take that progress for granted,” he said.