An Investigation into the Travel Motivations within the LGBT Community
Awareness of issues regarding the LGBT community is increasing, and as a result, there is now a rise in LGBT tourism. Regardless of this, the sector is under-researched, thus, more investigation needs to be done to understand and meet the needs of individuals. The aim of this study is to explore the motivations of travel within the LGBT community in Scotland, with a focus on their motivations and deterrents for destinations, as current research has not combined these issues. To meet this aim, several objectives have been set for this research; to determine if homophobic encounters have an impact on the choice of tourist destinations for LGBT individuals; to discover if Pride is a motivator to visit certain destinations for LGBT individuals; and to explore potential adaptations that can be made to enhance travel experiences for LGBT individuals. Through a qualitative research approach, a focus group and semi-structured interviews with LGBT individuals were conducted in Edinburgh. These methods allowed the researcher to obtain opinions and experiences, which are vital to this research. Despite limitations arising, the researcher was able to obtain sufficient data that benefitted the study. The results revealed that LGBT travellers have similar motivations to mainstream tourists, and it was also proven that LGBT travellers choose to avoid certain destinations due to the lack of LGBT awareness and friendliness. Moreover, it was identified that Pride is a significant event for LGBT individuals, as it commemorates the origins while celebrating what the community has achieved until now. Lastly, it was demonstrated that improvements are needed to enhance the travel experiences of LGBT individuals, and these were also identified. The aims and objectives have been met during the research process, and the study concludes with recommendations for future research within LGBT tourism to explore other challenges that they are facing in greater depth.