Gay travelers expected to drop $200 billion in 2014

A new report projects that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered market will spend a whopping $200 billion in travel-related expenses by 2014.

According to the number crunching of a leading LGBT market research study presented at the World Travel Market in London this week, the top 20 gay and lesbian markets will be worth $202 billion next year.

Leading the charge is the US, with LGBT travelers expected to spend $56.5 billion, followed by Brazil at $25.3 billion, says the LGBT2020 report.

With France and the state of California passing landmark decisions to legalize gay marriage this year, hotels and tourism offices are also capitalizing on the emerging and affluent demographic: gay newlyweds.

The findings of the LGBT2020 report echo the survey results of Community Marketing Inc. out of the US, which likewise found that LGBT travelers spend an average of 57 percent more during their vacation compared to their heterosexual counterparts.

Part of the reasoning offered by the market research group is the “plain” fact that gay men and lesbians travel more, own more homes and cars, spend more on electronics and have the largest amount of disposable income of any niche market.

In related trends, the term LGBT may soon see one more letter added to the acronym to recognize the Intersex community, says Ian Johnson, CEO of Out Now, which produced the LGBT2020 study.

The Intersex Society of North America defines the term ‘intersex’ as people born with sexual organs that fail to fit “the typical definitions of female or male” gender. "Intersex people are becoming more visible and their unique issues are slowly becoming better understood," Johnson said.