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Poll: Gays Not
Curtailing Travel Plans as Much as Straights

Poll: Gays Not
Curtailing Travel Plans as Much as Straights

According to a recent national survey conducted by Harris Interactive, 38% of gay and lesbian adults report they are absolutely certain or very likely to take their vacations as planned this year, compared with 34% of their heterosexual counterparts.

According to a recent national survey conducted by Harris Interactive, 38% of gay and lesbian adults report they are absolutely certain or very likely to take their vacations as planned this year, compared with 34% of their heterosexual counterparts.

However, when asked if they might decide to shorten their vacations, a slightly larger proportion of gays and lesbians, 18%, were absolutely certain or very likely to do so, while 15% of heterosexual adults answered similarly.

In addition, 25% of gays and lesbians said they were absolutely certain or very likely to take a vacation by air this year, while only 19% of heterosexuals would do so. Despite rising gasoline prices, when asked whether this year's vacation might be taken by car, 32% of gay and lesbian respondents were absolutely certain or very likely to take a car, while 28% of heterosexuals were absolutely certain or very likely to do so.

The new nationwide survey of 2,772 U.S. adults (ages 18 and over), of whom 275 self-identified as gay or lesbian, was conducted online May 5-12. The survey was administered by Harris Interactive, a global market research and consulting firm, in conjunction with Witeck-Combs Communications Inc., a strategic public relations and marketing communications firm with special expertise in the GLBT market.

"The strong appetite for travel often is highlighted among gays and lesbians," said Bob Witeck, CEO of Witeck-Combs Communications, "Though gay consumers are not more affluent than others, they appear to consistently budget more discretionary dollars toward travel, even during downturns in the economy such as we face now."

Witeck added that similar research conducted seven years ago also indicated that gays and lesbians were more likely than straights to begin traveling again after the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

"There are clear differentiators and market trends in gay travel that are especially important for destinations and travel suppliers to understand in the current economic cycle. This survey reinforces the resilience of lesbian and gay consumers when other travel spending is curtailed among other demographics," said Jim Quilty, vice president and senior consultant for Travel Tourism Research at Harris Interactive.

Quilty added that Harris Interactive and Witeck-Combs Communications are preparing to launch their second annual Gay and Lesbian Travel Survey, to build on their previous comparative findings in the first GLBT-heterosexual benchmark of leisure travel. More details on the upcoming survey may be found at www.harrisinteractive.com/services/glbt_travel.asp. (The Advocate)

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