CHICAGO—Orbitz is introducing a new search capability that improves access to lodging partners that have signed an inclusivity pledge against LGBTQIA+ 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.
Guests can explore LGBTQIA+ welcoming hotels via the dedicated search engine or check the LGBTQIA+ welcoming hotel filter during their search on the Orbitz web and mobile sites. Hotels that sign the pledge against LGBTQIA+ discrimination agree at a minimum to enforce a zero-tolerance policy for discriminatory behavior. Some LGBTQIA+ welcoming hotels have adopted additional measures, such as training staff on gender identities and the use of gender-neutral language.
A recent OnePoll survey commissioned by Orbitz finds that 58 percent of LGBTQIA+ U.S. travelers agree that they spend more time researching travel destinations and accommodations than cisgender or heterosexual travelers. And six in 10 respondents said they’ve canceled a trip or changed their travel plans due to feeling unsafe as a result of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
“Most of us plan a trip with the fundamental expectation that we’ll find a place to stay where we can be ourselves, but that’s not a reality for all travelers today,” says Carey Malloy, Orbitz brand director. “More than a quarter of respondents in our survey said that they feel the need to downplay their LGBTQIA identity while traveling. Today, we’re helping them start their trip search with a place where they’ll feel welcomed.”
Orbitz is offering two limited-time incentives encouraging travelers to support LGBTQIA+ welcoming hotels and queer-owned businesses in exchange for up to $150 in free travel money from the site. Celebrities Jonathan Bennett and Stacy London are collaborating with Orbitz to spotlight their favorite queer-owned shops and restaurants, including Chicken Ranch in Palm Springs and Blue Stocking Bookstore in NYC. The offer is capped at the first 500 people.
Nearly half of OnePoll survey respondents said they are planning to participate in Pride this year, and of those, 66 percent said their first big, post-COVID trip will be something to help them celebrate. In conjunction with Pride month and its limited-time offers, Orbitz is sharing top places to shop and stay in cities celebrating Pride across the United States this summer and fall. Orbitz is also donating to five LGBTQIA+ non-profits this month, including It Gets Better, IGLTA Foundation, Trans Lifeline, Stonewall Community Foundation, and National Center for Transgender Equality.