According to Booking.com’s research involving 3,052 LGBTQ+ travelers, it was found that 65% think about their safety and wellbeing as LGBTQ+ people when picking where to go. Also, 58% feel that being LGBTQ+ means that some destinations are off-limits. This statistic proves the growing demand for inclusive and safe spaces in the travel industry.
If you rent out a vacation home, making it a place where these travelers feel welcome can make your rental stand out. This article will help you make your rental a place where LGBTQ+ guests feel really comfortable and valued. We’ll talk about different ways to make sure every guest, no matter who they are or who they love, feels at home and respected.
What does LGBTQ+ mean?
LGBTQ+ includes people who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning. It also covers other identities like non-binary and pansexual.
There are more terms, but this is a basic idea to help you welcome different kinds of guests in your vacation rental.
Many in the LGBTQ+ community still face or worry about discrimination while traveling. As a host, you can really help make their holiday better and have a positive impact on their lives.
Why is it important to welcome LGBTQ+ guests?
Everyone deserves to feel safe and welcome when they travel. Welcoming LGBTQ+ guests is not just about avoiding discrimination, but it also has many positive effects.
Firstly, it’s about supporting equality and human rights. Showing that you’re inclusive tells everyone that you don’t tolerate discrimination and that you care about all guests, no matter who they are. Your welcoming attitude can help make society more tolerant and accepting.
Also, having LGBTQ+ guests makes your rental community more diverse. This lets people share and learn from different life experiences, creating a place where everyone feels included.
Plus, by being a gay-friendly host, you set an example for others in the tourism industry, gradually making it more inclusive for everyone.
Finally, by welcoming LGBTQ+ travelers, you open your doors to a wider group of potential guests. Studies show that the LGBTQ+ travel market is worth billions and is growing faster than other areas. An inclusive space attracts guests who value such environments. Happy LGBTQ+ guests often leave good reviews, come back again, and tell others about their experience. This can be great for your business.
How to make your rental more LGBTQ+ friendly?
1. Educate yourself and your staff
To make your rental more LGBTQ+ friendly, start by educating yourself and your team about the community’s issues and challenges. Learn about various sexual orientations and gender identities to foster empathy and understanding.
Next, actively train your staff in appropriate language and responses to potential issues, ensuring a respectful atmosphere for all guests.
Finally, diversify your team. Hiring people from different backgrounds – not just in terms of gender or sexuality, but also age, race, religion, and abilities – is crucial for making everyone feel welcome.
2. Review your house rules
Check and update your house rules to make sure they’re fair and considerate of everyone. Make sure your rental is a safe place where no one is treated badly because of who they are or who they love. In your rules, clearly say that you stand for equality and welcoming everyone.
3. Use gender-neutral words in your communication
Gender-neutral pronouns like ‘they/them’ don’t specify a gender and are helpful for people who don’t fit into the traditional ‘male’ or ‘female’ categories.
When talking to guests or describing your rental, try to use language that doesn’t assume someone’s gender. For example, use ‘partner’ instead of ‘husband’ or ‘wife.’ This helps create a welcoming space.
If a guest tells you their preferred pronouns, remember to use them in all your conversations. You can also ask guests about their preferred pronouns to show respect for their identity.
4. List your short let on gay-friendly OTAs
To reach LGBTQ+ travelers, consider listing your rental on gay-friendly online travel agencies (OTAs). Misterb&b is known as ‘the Airbnb for the LGBTQ+ community’ and is the largest of its kind, with over 1 million listings in 200 countries. This includes everything from private rooms and apartments to LGBTQ+ friendly hotels, increasing your rental’s visibility to a wide audience.
Another platform is Fabstayzs, which aims to provide a comfortable and welcoming environment for travelers who seek a fabulous vacation without worries about acceptance.
Additionally, these platforms often offer resources like master classes to help hosts understand the challenges LGBTQ+ travelers face and how to accommodate diverse guests.
5. Gender-neutral amenities
Enhance your rental with gender-neutral amenities to better serve LGBTQ+ guests. Consider providing unisex options like aprons, toiletries, or even bathrooms.
Providing these amenities shows that you’re thoughtful about the diverse needs of your guests and helps create a comfortable and inclusive environment for everyone.
6. Create a guide of LGBTQ+ friendly places
Research and list welcoming restaurants, bars, shops, clubs, and gyms. Include these in a welcome book, on your website, or in a blog post.
Also, add contact information for supportive organizations, including local police, for safety. This shows your guests that you understand their concerns about discrimination or potential harm, and that you care about their well-being during their stay.
7. Always ask for feedback
Encourage them to give reviews and ideas for making your rental more inclusive. Listen to what they say and make changes based on their suggestions. Doing this shows you’re dedicated to getting better and builds trust with your LGBTQ+ guests.
8. Display LGBTQ+ symbols
Think about adding LGBTQ+ symbols, like rainbow flags or equality stickers, in your rental in a subtle way. These symbols can show guests that your place is open and friendly. Just be sure to do this honestly and not just as a way to attract more guests.
Also, use photos on your website and in your ads that include everyone. This will let your guests know that they will be treated with respect in your rental. Remember, being true and sincere is very important.
9. Treat every guest with respect
To be an excellent host, it’s crucial to treat every guest with respect. However, because discrimination still happens, your LGBTQ+ guests will especially value feeling welcome and safe in your home. Making an extra effort to ensure they feel comfortable shows your commitment to being a thoughtful and inclusive host.
Making your vacation rental LGBTQ+ friendly is more than just offering a nice place to stay. It’s about creating a space that values diversity, is welcoming to all, and respects the specific needs of LGBTQ+ guests. By implementing these practices, you contribute to a world where everyone, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity, feels safe, respected, and at home.
If you need more tips on how to make you short let a welcoming space, take a look at some of our other guides! Or, if you feel ready to outsource your property management to an expert, check out our services!