LGBT tourism in Italy is growing higher

With interesting percentages of growth, LGBT is one of the most profitable segments of the Travel & Tourism industry in recent years, both for turnovers and for the average expense.

The reports presented at TTG Incontri in Rimini, elaborated by the Sonders & Beach group, in collaboration with the Italian Association for Gay and Lesbian Tourism (AITGL) and with the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), describe a dynamic segment in Italy.

Italy this year is the favourite destination of the Italian LGBT segment (51%), which generates a turnover of 2.7 billion euros. The following preferences go to Spain (26%), in particular to the city of Barcelona which is considered to be gay-friendly, and Greece with Mykonos (11%). Outside Europe, USA keep on being the favourite destination.

The Italian LGBT tourists have an elevated education level and higher income than the average. They spend an average of 800 euros for a 9-days holiday, and of 235 euros per person for a weekend. The length of their stay is usually longer than the Italian average, with a 67% of people who stay in a tourism destination for more than 5 days, if compared to a 42% of the Italian average.

The LGBT segment appears to be very social and attentive to new technologies, following the trends of the sharing economy” says Alessio Virgili, President of AITGL, to Twissen. For example, the 28% of LGBT tourists uses short-rentals platforms like Airbnb. To obtain information about long-length travels and holidays, the favourite channel is the Internet (67%), followed by specialised magazines and paper guides (16%). For short holidays, the 64% of them entrusts the advice of friends and relatives. Considering the purchase process, they choose the direct booking with the hotel (41%). For long holidays, they entrust travel agents and tour operators (16%) and booking websites (27%).

The main travel motivations are relax and wellness (41%), culture (32%), nature (25%) and fun (17%) which results to be more popular among the male tourists. The gay-friendly connotation of a destination influences the choice of a LGBT tourist. In fact, the keyword seems to be “welcome”, as also reported by Virgin Holidays, which affirms that the 63% of British LGBTs would refuse to travel to “unfriendly” destinations.

Madrid will be the hosting city of the World Pride 2017, and during the London WTM we will have the chance to get to know more opportunities visiting the LGBT Village.


The aim of the Italian association for gay and lesbian tourism (AITGL) is representing the Italian LGBT Travel & Tourism industry at an international level. It adheres to the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association, affiliate member of UNWTO.

Author: Martina Baldo
She graduated in Intercultural Development of Tourism Systems and she has a passion for foreign languages and cultures. Since 2016 she works as administration and tourism project manager at Twissen.

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