Inclusive tourism: 8 tips for a LGBTQIA+ friendly vacation home

Inclusive tourism: 8 tips for a LGBTQIA+ friendly vacation home

Short-term rental hosts should strive to provide a safe, welcoming, and pleasant travel experience for guests, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. To do so, they must ensure that they avoid any discriminatory behavior, even on an unconscious level. In celebration of Pride Month, or LGBTQIA+ Community Pride Month, we have compiled a series of tips for making your vacation rental more inclusive and attracting all visitors, whether lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, discovering, or straight.

What is meant by inclusive tourism?

Inclusive tourism is, literally, tourism that does not exclude. It refers to those tourism services that take into account not only accessibility, which is essential for guests with disabilities, but also the needs of LGBTQIA+ travelers, women, and people from ethnic minorities.

For example, an accommodation (vacation home, guesthouse, Bed&Breakfast, etc.) that does not have accessibility enhancements such as a ramp or elevator will exclude travelers in wheelchairs.

Why should you open your vacation rental to the LGBTQIA+ community?

Whether you’re a member of the LGBTQIA+ community or an ally, creating a safe, accessible, and inclusive travel experience for your guests will bring some benefits to your short-stay rental business.

Help create safe spaces for all

In the developed world the situation has improved for gay, lesbian, trans, queer, and travelers that don’t identify themselves in the gender binary. Yet, there is still a long way to go. Vacation rentals and other accommodations that openly welcome LGBTQ+ people are few.

It is important for short rental owners who offer an inclusive vacation experience that is open to all to say so loud and clear. It takes many small actions like yours to help the tourism industry become more open, inclusive, and respectful of individual realities. And who knows, maybe you’ll even be able to influence other hosts around you.

Open the door to a new target audience

If moral considerations weren’t enough, there are also economic incentives in opening your vacation rental to potential LGBTQIA+ guests.

Indeed, this is a target audience that would be added to those you already host. Of course, this type of guest may not necessarily choose to book only openly inclusive accommodations. Nonetheless, for those who do not want to risk discrimination during their vacation, your property will be a safe place where they can have fun and relax.

8 tips for an LGBTQIA+ friendly vacation rental

To provide an inclusive, LGBTQIA+ friendly, and unforgettable experience for your guests, waving a rainbow flag during Pride Month won’t be enough! So here are our 8 tips.

1. Take diversity training classes

To welcome LGBTQ+ guests, you must first understand their needs. What are the elements that push them or, conversely, hold them back from booking accommodations? What fears might they have and what can you, as a vacation rental manager, do to create a safe environment?

If you have not experienced gender discrimination personally or indirectly through friends or family, you may not have answers to these questions.

The solution is simple: get help from specialists. Attend diversity and inclusion training. If you work with other people, invite them to join you. Promote open discussion, where everyone can share their concerns and ideas. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to talk about these topics, the important thing is that you want to learn.

2. Use inclusive language

Using the right words is essential to make sure that your vacation rental guests always feel comfortable. 

Take a look at your automated messages and follow these steps to make them more inclusive:

  • Make sure you change all the “he/she” with “they”.
  • Same for all other gender pronouns: him/her and his/her – use the plural form to keep it inclusive.
  • Be consistent: do not alternate between different styles of writing. Otherwise, the text will come across as confusing and unreliable.
  • Avoid assuming the sexual orientation and gender identity of your hosts. For example, use the term “partner” rather than “wife/husband.”
  • Similarly, avoid making statements based on gender. For example, do not assume that your female guests want to go shopping.

Finally, you might ask your guests what pronouns they want to be called by. This is a nice way to show that you want us to make them feel comfortable.

3. Modify your listings

After adopting inclusive language in your automated messages, do the same with your vacation rental listings and your direct booking website.

Also, think about the images you use to show your accommodations to prospective guests. For example, if your rental cabin website shows a heterosexual Caucasian family having a nice evening around the fireplace, also add a picture of a gay couple or travelers of different ethnicities.

Also, you can clearly state in your lodging description that all LGBTQIA+ travelers are welcome.

4. Update your digital Guest Guide

Your digital Guest Guide is the ideal tool for sharing important information and helpful tips with your guests.

Here you can note all the LGBTQIA+-friendly restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and stores your area has to offer. Also share major attractions, popular clubs, and other tourist activities all gender-fluid tourists want to frequent only gender-fluid places when they’re on vacation!

Add emergency contacts: both your phone number and that of the police and, if available, the number of local or regional LGTQIA+ associations. This precaution will make your guests feel safer and more prepared should an attack or some other form of discrimination occur.

5. Promote your LGBTQIA+ friendly accommodations on dedicated sites

In addition to the most popular booking platforms, such as and Airbnb, other sites cater specifically to travelers from the LGBTQ+ community. For example:

  • MisterB&B – the leading gay travel platform with 200,000 hosts in more than 135 countries, has in recent years opened up to all members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
  • FabStayz – for all member or ally hosts who are committed to offering a “Fabulous” travel experience! To promote your accommodations on FabStayz, you must have at least 7 months of experience on another vacation rental site.
  • Gay Sejour – has been suggesting not only vacation rentals and bed & breakfasts to its users since 2001, but also bars, restaurants, saunas, and other fun and inclusive activities.
  • Purple Roofs – this site represents an authority in the field of LGBTQIA+ travel, being one of the first on the market. More than a booking platform, it is an intermediary site between guests and hosts. To book, interested travelers will need to contact the hosts directly.

6. Show your commitment to inclusivity on social media

Your vacation rental’s social accounts (Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook) can be a winning tool for increasing online visibility.

Share short videos or posts about your values and your commitment as a member or ally to the LGBTQIA+ community. Also show what your accommodation has to offer, share local events and anything that makes your property unique.

Learn more: check out our comprehensive guide “Promote your vacation rental on social media.”

7. Offer discounts and promotions during Pride month

In many major cities all around the world, June (and sometimes also July and August) is celebrated with parades, processions, events, performances, and more. But smaller cities and towns could also take advantage of this month to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and clamor for equal rights for all.

The choice of June as LGBTQIA+ Pride Month is to commemorate of the Stonewall Riots in June 1969, a series of violent uprisings following the police raid on the Stonewall Inn in Greenwhich Village, New York. This event marks the beginning of the gay equal right movement, which began in the U.S. and later spread throughout the world.

To invite travelers to visit your vacation rental during Pride Month and participate in these parades, offer special dedicated promotions and discounts. You might also consider a “Pride travel package” in which, in addition to lodging, you can offer tickets to LGBTQIA+ friendly events, themed merch, and discounts to queer stores.

8. Ask your guests for feedback

Here we come to the most important tip. Asking for feedback at the end of your stay will help you improve your offerings. Also, most of your LGBTQ+ guests will appreciate the effort. You may get some positive reviews in return and maybe even regular guests.

Ask them if they have ever felt uncomfortable and what you could do to improve. Be kind, and understanding, and don’t expect everyone to want to confide in you: after all, it’s not their role to educate you.

Conclusion: your LGBTQIA+ friendly vacation rental

With your vacation rental, you have the opportunity to create a safe space for all guests, regardless of the gender they identify with or their sexual orientation. With a few simple steps, you will help fight prejudice and build a more inclusive tourism industry.

To create LGBTQIA+ friendly vacation rental, take a diversity training course, use inclusive language, clearly state your beliefs in your ads, and celebrate Pride Month with Smoobu, the short-stay rental management software.

14-day free trial