by Ray Hayes

Hawaii is home to fresh and floral air, tranquil waters, and natural beauty. It has been a travel destination of choice for years for many generations.  With its vacation allure and the growth of the LGBT community, the state is looking to reach out to LGBT peoples in an effort to attract more travelers.  Daniel Nahoopii, Director of HTA’s Tourism Research, spoke about the lack of interest among younger generations and their new direction. “Hawaii is not on their wish list of preferred travel destinations and the attributes of the Islands are not as well known to them as they are to LGBT Baby Boomers. Increasing awareness about Hawaii’s range of offerings is key to elevating interest from this younger generation of travelers.”

The HTA commissioned four research studies to provide insight into what LGBT travelers are looking for and how they can attract them. The overall goal of the studies were to, “understand the niche market.” Here are some of the finding from the report:

  • LGBT travelers would be highly likely to visit Hawaii for an LBGT multi-island cruise or outdoor adventure week
  • LGBT travelers prefer nightclubs and bars catering to Hawaii’s LGBT community
  • LGBT travel to Hawaii can be up to 6 percent of total visitors from both Japan and Canada, up to 7 percent of total visitors from the U.S. West and up to 9 percent of total visitors from the U.S. East
  • 70 percent of those surveyed from the Mainland consider Hawaii an LGBT-friendly destination, but only 27 percent expressed interest in making a trip to the Islands in the next two years.
  • 50 percent from Canada gave Hawaii a positive rating as an LGBT-friendly destination