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LGBT Travel Studies for Japan, Taiwan Markets Released

December 27, 2017, 12:46 PM HST (Updated December 29, 2017, 7:34 AM) · 4 Comments
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The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority today released results of two research studies that provide insight on the profiles, preferences and opinions of LGBT travelers from Japan and Taiwan, as it relates to visiting the Hawaiian Islands.

Commissioned by HTA’s Tourism Research Division, the studies were conducted by Community Marketing & Insights, a San Francisco-based firm specializing in LGBT consumer research. The two new studies complete a set of six studies that are the first ever done analyzing LGBT travel to the Hawaiian Islands by the State of Hawaiʻi.

Jennifer Chun, HTA Director of Tourism Research, said the studies on Japan and Taiwan provide valuable information from survey respondents in each country that Hawaiʻi tourism industry partners can utilize to attract more LGBT travelers from these two markets.

“The studies’ findings reveal there is potential in Japan and Taiwan to reach a larger percentage of LGBT travelers from both markets,” said Chun. “Hawaiʻi tourism partners can customize their marketing programs to make a vacation in the islands a more enticing option compared to other destinations in Asia that are currently drawing the bulk of LGBT travelers from Japan and Taiwan.

“Hawaiʻi’s attributes are well-known to LGBT travelers from Japan, but the research indicates that special offers targeting this particular segment would be well-received and help allay concerns about Hawaiʻi being a good value.

“Taiwan appears to be a budding LGBT travel market for Hawaiʻi that can be developed through increased awareness about the offerings of the islands beyond our beautiful beaches. For example, Taiwan’s LGBT travelers enjoy excellence in cuisine and touring historic sites and landmarks, but they don’t yet associate these attributes with Hawaiʻi.

“Furthermore, Taiwan’s survey respondents do not view Hawaiʻi as an LGBT-friendly destination, which is not the case and a perception that can be changed by educating travelers about our longstanding legacy of diversity and acceptance of all people worldwide, regardless of their ethnicity, religious beliefs or sexual orientation.”

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Noteworthy findings from the LGBT travel studies about Japan and Taiwan include the following:

Japan

  • Survey respondents averaged 3.3 leisure trips outside Japan’s mainland in the past three years, with gay and bisexual men taking more trips (3.6 trips) than lesbian and bisexual women (2.9 trips).
  • Among destinations visited in the past three years, Hawaiʻi ranks sixth among survey respondents at 14%. The top five destinations were Taiwan (47%), Thailand (33%), Okinawa (32%), Korea (22%) and Hong Kong (19%).
  • Of the survey respondents, 43% have visited Hawaiʻi since adulthood and, within that group, 33% have visited Hawaiʻi in the past three years. Oʻahu has been visited by 77% of respondents followed by the island of Hawaiʻi at 32% and Maui at 10%.
  • The top three reasons for Japan LGBT travelers not visiting Hawaiʻi since adulthood or within the past three years were “financial reasons/travel costs” (31%), “better value at another destination” (27%), and “not enough time to travel” (25%). LGBT-related reasons were not a factor.

Taiwan

  • Within Asia, Taiwan is considered to be very progressive in regard to LGBT rights. On May 24, 2017, Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled that the definition of marriage as being only between a man and a woman as unconstitutional. The ruling paves the way for Taiwan to become the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.
  • Survey respondents took an average of three vacations outside Taiwan within the past three years. The most popular destination for both LGBT men and women is Japan at 71%, with the visitation rate being similar to the general population. Bali, the Maldives and Guam are all more favorable as travel destinations than Hawaiʻi.
  • Only 8% of survey respondents have visited Hawaiʻi. The most common reasons for not visiting Hawaiʻi were “financial reasons/travel costs” (42%), “not enough time to travel” (36%), and “not familiar with what there is to see and do in Hawaiʻi” (35%).

Earlier this year, four studies were issued evaluating LGBT travelers from the United StatesCanada, Australia and China.

All six LGBT travel studies are posted online in the Reports Section under Target Lifestyle Segments of HTA’s website at www.HawaiiTourismAuthority.org.

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