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07 Jun 2023

Business Travel Show Europe data shows seemingly huge increase in travel programmes providing for the LGBTQIA+ community and other marginalised groups

Business Travel Show Europe data shows seemingly huge increase in travel programmes providing for the LGBTQIA+ community and other marginalised groups

As we enter Pride Month 2023, new data from a poll of 262 European travel and procurement managers conducted by Business Travel Show Europe has revealed what looks like a sharp increase in travel programmes that now provide special consideration for LGBTQIA+ travellers when compared to last year’s research.

43 per cent of programmes (compared to 26 per cent last year) make provision for the LGBTQIA+ community and a further 23 per cent (8 per cent in 2022) plan to before the year is out.

When compared to other historically underrepresented groups, the data implies that only neurodiverse people are less well provided for than the LGBTQIA+ community.

Table LBTQ+

The Office for National Statistics estimated 3.1% of British people over 16 identified as LGB in 2022, compared to 2.2% in 2019. New Census data showed that a further 250,000 people in England and Wales are transgender. One in five British LGB people have experienced a hate crime in the last year and two in five trans people. (Stonewall).

“We’re glad to see a big increase in European travel programmes making changes to their policies to provide consideration for their LGBTQIA+ travellers, as well as younger and older travellers, those with accessibility needs, and people from communities marginalised by race and religion,” said BTN Group Executive President Louis Magliaro

“We hope this trend toward supporting the diverse needs of all individual travelers will continue, and our conference content can help travel managers to learn about best practices to enhance inclusion and equity.”

Scott Davies, CEO, ITM: “It is encouraging to see the growing trend in travel programmes making provision for the diverse needs of individual travellers. Indeed, the results of this poll by Business Travel Show Europe echo the recent findings from a Pulse Check of ITM’s buyer members in which 50% of respondents said that their travel policy now caters for travellers with accessibility needs.

“At ITM we are also very aware of the need to support travellers and event attendees who have neurodiverse and mental health needs. We have stepped up our commitment in this area since the start of this year following a wellness survey among our members to gauge their level of comfort, enjoyment or anxiety when attending and meeting new people at events. This has led to several ITM initiatives to support the needs of neurodivergent people and provide practical strategies for travel managers."

Donna Joines, General Manager, Corporate Traveller UK: “All Corporate Traveller’s customers’ needs are important to us, and we do acknowledge social injustice exists. We encourage our business travellers to be as open with their consultant as early as possible with any concerns regarding their destination and travel programme. As soon as we’re made aware, our team of experts can share their cultural knowledge of the destination and advise/book accordingly.

“Being aware that we must adapt and consider things that we may not have to consider in the UK is very important for our customers’ peace of mind. For example, if a traveller identifies as LGBTQ+ and needs to travel to a country where the local laws are different to the UK, we can ensure they’re booked into accommodation where they will be respected and supported with all the facilities our customer would need throughout their visit to reassure them of their safety.”

Business Travel Show Europe is hosting an open Fundamentals session called Safety and security – a best practice guide for beginners – on Wednesday 28 June with Stuart Birkin, General Manager Scotland - CTM and Beth Sarmiento, Associate Procurement & Travel Director - Global Payments.

Business Travel Show Europe takes place between 28-29 June 2023 at ExCeL London with complimentary entry, conference programme and networking opportunities to qualified travel managers, buyers and bookers. The hosted buyer programme is also accepting applications.