Recognizing the buying power of gay travelers, Expedia has launched a mini-site devoted to GLBT travel. The site, which was launched in association with the International Gay & Lesbian Tourism Association, allows visitors to search from about 500 GLBT-friendly hotels worldwide as well as events, festivals, and nightclubs. You can tour the site here.
While I commend Expedia for reaching out to the GLBT community, it perplexes me that it took so long to do so. Orbitz.com has wooed its gay clientele since the company’s inception and has been a corporate model for support of the GLBT community. Orbitz’ gay website is more user-friendly, and you can click through to it from the Orbitz.com homepage. On the other hand, Expedia’s gay section is buried within Expedia.com. Here’s a challenge: start at the Expedia homepage and try to find the GLBT site. It took me about 20 minutes to get there.
Despite Expedia’s belatedness, I’m happy to see the company putting forth an effort to accommodate gay travelers. It’s a smart move, because, as we all know, travel is hugely important to GLBT consumers, and even in difficult economic times, gays will continue to spend on recreational activities.