Majority of LGBTQ+ travellers experience discrimination abroad

Majority of LGBTQ+ travellers experience discrimination abroad

Travel Proud research reveals challenges community faces internationally

Almost 70% of British LGBTQ+ travellers have admitted to experiencing discrimination abroad in the past 12 months, according to new research from

This number is up 15% on last year, with almost half (48%) of respondents cancelling a trip after realising that a destination was unsupportive of the LGBTQ+ community.

The annual Travel Proud survey canvassed 11,469 LGBTQ+ travellers from 27 countries and territories. Of these, 1007 were from the UK.

The data showed that LGBTQ+ travellers continue to face significant challenges. 

The survey showed that most (67%) British LGBTQ+ adventurers have experienced discrimination when travelling, rising to 68% of those who consider themselves an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and change. 

Nearly two thirds (64%) of those who have a partner said they faced these experiences over the past year.

LGBTQ+ travellers expect some form of discriminatory behaviour from both their fellow travellers (61%) and locals at their chosen destinations (62%).  

In parallel, 60% agree that being LGBTQ+ has made them more insecure and self-conscious when they are abroad. Despite this, LGBTQ+ travellers are taking ownership of their lived reality. 

From thoughtful destination decision-making to pre-booking plane seats and creating alter egos, LGBTQ+ travellers are taking control of their trips more than ever before to safely navigate different challenges and to find the best experiences. 

Nearly three in four (70%) LGBTQ+ travellers from the UK said that being able to be their authentic self on their trip is the most important factor when choosing a destination, higher than the global average (63%). 

Likely reflective of the current economic uncertainties affecting people across the country, accommodation that fits their budget is the second biggest concern (68%). Further factors are:

These concerns have had a clear influence on LGBTQ+ travellers’ perceptions and decision making, with nearly half (48%) of respondents cancelling a trip within the past year after seeing a destination being unsupportive of its LGBTQ+ residents. 

On the flip side, more than half (63%) of LGBTQ+ travellers have booked a trip in the past 12 months to a destination seen as supportive of residents who identify as LGBTQ+.

When presented with the choice, over half (60%) say they prefer to visit destinations where LGBTQ+ tourism is already well established, compared with 50% who would rather consider locations where their presence could contribute to broadening social awareness and acceptance. 

The zeitgeist is also playing a part in decision-making with three in four (71%) saying they are more likely to book travel experiences inspired by LGBTQ+ pop culture.

Perhaps surprisingly, LGBTQ+ travellers are actively adopting personas to protect themselves on their trips. 

Almost half (45%) of LGBTQ+ travellers say that they modify aspects of their appearance and behaviour to avoid potential discrimination or unwanted attention, while half have created an alter-ego to navigate different environments when travelling. 

The main reason for travellers in creating an alter-ego was to protect themselves and feel safe (43%), with one in three (31%) do so to adapt to cultural sensitivities that may exist at a destination.

“At, we passionately believe that everyone should be able to travel and experience the world in their own unique way," says Arjan Dijk, CMO and Senior Vice President at 

“As a gay man, I unfortunately know firsthand the challenges that persist in many parts of the world, including sadly with travel alerts already being issued ahead of Pride events this year. 

“Despite all this, I am incredibly inspired to see LGBTQ+ travellers resiliently embracing their lived experiences, both at home and during their trips. While real and tangible progress is being made, we must remain vigilant and do our part to make it truly easier for everyone to Travel Proud.”

Since launching in 2021,’s Travel Proud Program has been providing free inclusive hospitality training for accommodations to help them gain a better understanding of the specific challenges faced by LGBTQ+ travellers, as well as what can be done to make every guest feel more welcome, regardless of where they come from, who they love or how they identify. 

There are now more than 67,000 Travel Proud-certified properties globally on across 133 countries and territories and in 12,645 cities and destinations.