As we celebrate Pride Month, we invite you to ask yourself how your rental can be more inclusive and welcoming to all travelers, no matter how they identify or whom they love.
For members of the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning community), finding safe and inclusive spaces while traveling is crucial; therefore, we want to help vacation rental hosts to create an environment that embraces guests from all walks of life.
In this article, we will explore several ways to make your vacation rental home an LGBTQ+ friendly haven, ensuring that all guests feel comfortable, respected, and valued throughout their stay.
The term LGBTQ+ refers to everyone who identifies as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, or other terms (such as non-binary and pansexual) used to describe their personal experiences.
There are other acronyms, but this is a good starting point if you want to create a more inclusive vacation experience for diverse guests.
It is no secret that many members of this community still experience or fear discrimination and judgment when traveling, and as a host, you have the power to make a real difference in their vacation experience—and their lives.
Why should you welcome LGBTQ+ guests?
It goes without saying that everyone has the right to feel safe and welcome when traveling, but apart from showing your commitment to non-discrimination, there are many good reasons to open your hearts and doors to this community.
Supporting equality and human rights
Let’s start with the obvious. Your inclusive approach sends a powerful message that discrimination has no place in your vacation rental community. It shows that you respect and value all guests, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
By taking a stand for inclusivity, you contribute to a more tolerant and accepting society.
Help make your community and the tourism industry more inclusive
Welcoming LGBTQ+ guests adds a diverse perspective to your vacation rental community. By hosting guests from different backgrounds, you create an enriching environment where people can share their unique experiences and learn from one another. This fosters a sense of inclusivity that encourages future guests to choose your property as a safe and welcoming space.
Furthermore, as a gay-friendly Airbnb host or vacation rental host, you have the power to inspire other hosts to do the same, making the industry a more inclusive space. Step by step, host by host.
Attract loyal guests with spending power
Catering to LGBTQ+ travelers can significantly broaden your potential guest base. According to recent studies, the LGBTQ+ travel market is estimated to be worth billions of dollars globally, and its growth is outpacing other segments. By creating an inclusive space, you tap into this thriving market and attract a new set of guests who actively seek accommodations that align with their values.
By showing your LGBTQ+ guests a little love, you’re likely to gain positive guest reviews, secure return visits and word-of-mouth recommendations from happy customers.
How to be a more LGBTQ+ friendly vacation rental?
Educate yourself and your staff
The first step towards creating a gay-friendly vacation rental is to educate yourself about the issues and challenges faced by the community. Familiarize yourself with different sexual orientations, gender identities, and the specific needs and concerns of LGBTQ+ individuals. This knowledge will help you create a more empathetic and understanding environment for your guests.
This also applies to your staff. Educate them about appropriate language, behavior and how to handle any issues or concerns that may arise. This training will help maintain a respectful and welcoming atmosphere for all guests.
Appointing staff members from diverse groups – not only when it comes to gender or sexuality – but also age, race, religion, and ability must surely be one of the best ways to make all guests feel welcome.
Update your house rules
Review your existing house rules and ensure they are inclusive and respectful of all guests. Make it clear that your rental is a safe space where discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity will not be tolerated. Include a statement in your rules that explicitly states your commitment to equality and inclusivity.
Be inclusive in your communication and descriptions
A gender-neutral or gender-inclusive pronoun is a pronoun that does not associate a gender with the individual who is being discussed. In English, gender pronouns are gender identifiers for the third-person singular. In the past, gender pronouns were separated into masculine (he/him/his) and feminine (she/her/hers).
This separation of masculine and feminine is called ‘gender binary’ and only recognizes men and women; however, many people identify outside of the gender binary. Gender-neutral pronouns such as they/them allow individuals to choose the pronouns they feel fit their identities.
When communicating with potential guests or providing information about your rental, use gender-neutral language whenever possible. Avoid assuming the gender of your guests, and be inclusive in your communication. Small changes like using “partner” instead of “husband” or “wife” can make a significant difference in creating an inclusive atmosphere.
If a guest clearly states the pronouns he, she, or they want you to use when addressing them, take note of these and be sure to use these in all future communications.
You may also want to ask your guests which pronouns they would prefer.
List your rental on gay-friendly OTAs
Known as ‘the Airbnb for the LGBTQ+ community’, Misterb&b, is now the largest LGBTQ+ travel community in the world with over 1 million listings in 200 countries, from private rooms & apartments to LGBTQ+ friendly hotels. By listing your property on this site, you immediately increase the visibility of your rental to a whole new audience.
Fabstayzs is another vacation rental platform targeting the same community. We ❤️ their mission statement: “to be the comfort zone for all travelers who want to enjoy a fabulous vacation without the anxiety of disclosure and any concern for acceptance.”
And if you want to learn more, they even offer master classes for hosts and owners who really want to better understand the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ travelers and how to meet the needs of more diverse guests. Bravo!
Go the extra mile by offering amenities that cater to the needs of LGBTQ+ guests. These may include unisex aprons, toiletries, or bathrooms, contributing to a more inclusive experience for all guests.
Provide info on LGBTQ+ friendly attractions
Find out which restaurants, bars, shops, clubs, gyms etc., would welcome your LGBTQ+ guests and provide a useful guide or list of things to do near your rental. Include LGBTQ+ friendly ideas in your round-ups, welcome book, or in a blog post on your website.
Don’t forget to include details of any relevant support organizations, including the police, in case anything unfortunate should happen to your guests during their stay. This shows them that you care and are aware that they may be at risk of discrimination and even attacks.
Ask for feedback
Continuously seek feedback from your LGBTQ+ guests. Encourage them to provide reviews and suggestions on how you can improve the inclusivity of your rental. Take their feedback seriously and implement changes accordingly. This feedback loop will demonstrate your commitment to ongoing improvement and foster a sense of trust among your LGBTQ+ clientele.
Show your colors
Consider displaying LGBTQ+ symbols, such as rainbow flags or equality stickers, in subtle ways throughout your rental property. This visual representation will signal to your guests that your space is inclusive and welcoming. It’s important to note that this should be done genuinely and not as a marketing ploy, as authenticity is key.
In addition, try to use inclusive images on your website and in your listings. Your guests will immediately know that they will be treated with dignity.
Treat everyone with dignity and respect
At the end of the day, to be a truly great host, you have to treat every guest with the same level of respect, but as long as discrimination still exists in our society, your LGBTQ+ guests will appreciate it if you make them feel especially welcome and safe in your home.
Upcoming LGBTQ+ events to be aware of
Although we are just over halfway through Pride Month, there are an array of events during the year. Impress your guests by preparing for any relevant dates for your area.
Creating an LGBTQ+ friendly vacation rental home goes beyond just providing a beautiful space for guests. It is about fostering an environment that celebrates diversity, embraces inclusivity, and respects the unique needs and experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals. By following these steps, you can contribute to a world where everyone feels safe, valued, and at home, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
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