RealTime IT News

Expedia Taps into Gay and Lesbian Market

With Forrester research reporting that the homosexual community contributes nearly $3 billion to the online travel industry and books over 41 percent of their trips online, it's a wonder that mainstream travel sites have not already been heavily targeting this segment.

Expedia.com recently became the first major full-service online travel site to offer specific content for the gay and lesbian travel market, joining with Out & About, an online source for gay and lesbian travel information, to provide targeted content on their site.

"This is not only a smart business relationship for Expedia, but also a benefit to gay and lesbian travelers who have been searching for a full-service online travel site that meets their particular needs," said Erik Blachford, senior vice president of marketing and programming at Expedia, Inc.

While the company says they have always targeted this largely-untapped market segment, they are also aware that providing an often-overlooked community with appropriate content will position the site well.

"We have been very cognizant of the gay and lesbian travel market in the past," said Christina Kozloff, Product Manager from Expedia.com. "This is one extra step to make a bit of a difference and make the online booking experience a little more interesting."

Billy Kolber-Stuart, editor of Out & About, is well aware that this move has potential for building brand loyalty.

"Expedia.com is setting a new standard of online service for gay and lesbian travelers," said Billy Kolber-Stuart, editor of Out & About. "They recognize the advantage of reaching this underserved and loyal market. Coupling Expedia's full service travel offerings with Out & About's destination content is an enormous benefit for gay and lesbian travelers who can now explore the latest travel trends and advice, while making all of their travel plans on one Web site."

The content on Expedia is excerpted from Out & About's more extensive MasterFiles, which are sold online at a 20 percent discount for Expedia customers via the link at the bottom of each Out & About article on Expedia.com.