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Younger travelers are more likely to choose accommodations with inclusive policies

June 29, 2021

New research from Expedia Group reveals the influence of inclusion and diversity on booking decisions  

Seattle – June 29 – As the world begins to reopen, many people around the globe are eager to hit the road, take in new sights, and reconnect with friends and family. However, don’t expect travelers to have the same mindsets they did prior to 2020. Today, Expedia Group released new research showing that travelers, especially those under the age of 40, are placing high importance on values-driven travel experiences.1

Overall, nearly two-thirds of travelers (65%) say they are more willing to book accommodations that have policies focused on diversity and inclusion.2 This includes accommodations owned by women and/or people of color, as well as accommodations that are welcoming to the LGBTQIA community and people with disabilities. However, according to the research, there is a significant generational gap when it comes to how much booking choices are influenced by whether or not accommodations have inclusive policies: 57% of respondents over the age of 40 say they are likely to book inclusive accommodations, while 77% of those under the age of 40 say that they are likely to do the same.3 This indicates that younger generations are more likely to make values-based decisions, which is an important consideration for travel businesses as the under-40 demographic will only become more consequential as their purchasing power increases in the next decade. 

“Social injustices of last year put a spotlight on equity and inclusion, and the ongoing discourse changed people’s ideas, behaviors, and expectations when it comes to travel,” said Melissa Maher, senior vice president, Marketing & Industry Engagement, Expedia Group. “More than ever before, people are viewing travel as a reflection of their personal views, and they are speaking with their dollars.”

Booking decisions based on inclusive policies and practices is a global trend. Respondents in all surveyed markets, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States, are more likely to consider inclusive policies before hitting the confirm button. Leading the way are Mexico and Germany, with 82% of respondents and 71% of respondents, respectively, being likely to select accommodations with inclusion and diversity (I&D) policies.4 The desire to choose accommodations based on inclusive policies is similar across genders, including 62% of men and 67% of women.5

Many organizations are realizing this is an opportunity to connect with potential guests on shared values and have updated their policies, highlighting their enhanced efforts and increased transparency around the subject. Orbitz, an Expedia Group company, recently introduced a new capability that improves access to lodging partners that have signed an Inclusivity Pledge against discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual identity. More than 35,000 independent, boutique and name-brand hotels have opted in, making it a powerful search tool for LGBTQIA travelers. At a minimum, hotels that have signed on agree to enforce a zero-tolerance policy for discriminatory behavior, while some properties have taken it a step further, such as training staff on gender identities and use of gender-neutral language.

“The data paints a clear picture that travelers are increasingly seeking out accommodations that have clear I&D policies and practices. Travel opens minds and drives better understanding between people from different cultures and identities, so it’s no surprise that travelers want those same values reflected in the places they choose to stay, cruise, drive, and fly,” continued Maher. “Businesses that demonstrate a genuine effort to be inclusive and welcoming to all travelers are going to come out on top.”

Hoteliers can read more on how to be welcoming to LGBTQIA community members and indicate their property as “LGBTQIA” friendly in search results.


1 Sample findings from upcoming research titled What Travelers Value in 2021; full research will be released in July 2021  

2 What Travelers Value in 2021, Expedia Group

3 What Travelers Value in 2021, Expedia Group

4 What Travelers Value in 2021, Expedia Group

5 What Travelers Value in 2021, Expedia Group

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