Visit Helsinki, and Tourismus & Congress Frankfurt have become the first destination tourism offices to develop targeted training specifically for travel agents and tour operators aimed at increasing LGBT visitors to their cities.
The deals were struck at World Travel Market 2012.
Visit Helsinki was one of twelve companies that exhibited in the first-ever WTM LGBT Pavilion.
The new training modules will be built and managed by the world’s leading LGBT marketing firm Out Now Global, which organised the inaugural WTM LGBT Pavilion.
It is the first time a specific LGBT-focused training content has been available to mainstream travel agents.
The training modules will be launched in early 2013 in partnership with WTM exhibitor OTT, the world’s largest
provider of online training for travel agents; and TTG Knowledge, as part of their already comprehensive suite of
training modules and courses.
A general LGBT awareness training module is also being made available online - giving practical advice for agents to use when dealing with LGBT customers.
The new training content is informed by Out Now’ BT2020 research - the world’s largest global research into LGBT people’s lives.
That research reveals that a significant number of LGBT tourists are now booking travel through mainstream travel agents and tour operators.
Ian Johnson, chief executive and founder of Out Now was quick to point out the benefits for destinations who are investing in this new sales tool.
“This new initiative has the potential to expand the market reach for LGBT sales substantially,” Johnson said.
“Travel agents and tour operators now account for more than 30 per cent of all LGBT sales in most markets globally, so by providing specialist training and relevant LGBT product information we are able to give our partner destinations a much enhanced competitive edge.
“Thanks to OTT this new training resource is being made available to an extensive global network of more than 60,000 travel agents and tour operators.”
Research from the LGBT2020 study released at London World Travel Market in November 2012 revealed that the global LGBT tourism spend during 2013 will top USD$181 billion.