Pride Month is perhaps one of the biggest celebrations around the world for the travel industry, with such a huge community of LGBTQ+ folx working in the industry itself, and so many exciting festivals and celebrations to travel to. But LGBTQ+ pride is a year-long celebration for specialist travel businesses like Huben Travel, a luxury travel agent that takes clients to LGBTQ+ safe destinations around the world, so they can have complete peace of mind on their holiday.
In the results of a global survey conducted and released for 2022 Pride Month, it was found that 71% of the 5,514 LGBTQ+ travellers across 25 countries had “less than welcoming, or uncomfortable” experiences on their holidays, while 46% had faced discrimination abroad. Knowing about LGBTQ+ safe destinations and how to avoid these situations has become a core necessity for many in the LGBTQ+ community, with 54% of survey participants stating that being a part of the LGBTQ+ community had an impact on their decisions while planning a holiday. 61% also reported the necessity of considering their safety and wellbeing abroad, and 62% stated that they were more likely to book with a brand that made efforts to support the community.
With so much more awareness of the LGBTQ+ community in travel over the course of the past decade, Ben and Hugh Eddon-Carruthers, the founders of Huben Travel, noticed a huge gap in the travel market to help travellers find LGBTQ+ safe destinations to visit.
“Hugh and I tried to book our honeymoon, and we went to some big companies,” Ben said in an interview with Virgin Radio, stating that many of these big companies said they could travel to certain destinations, but the companies could not 100% guarantee they would not receive severe discrimination.
“We didn’t want to put our faith in that, so we ended up doing a road trip in New England which was great,” he continued. It was because of their experience with the uncertainty surrounding LGBTQ+ safe destinations for their honeymoon that Hugh and Ben took notice of the huge gap in the travel market for LGBTQ+ travellers.
“There’s a massive gap in the market here for us to travel to places that we know are slightly dodgy on paper, and go and see how it is,” Ben said. “The Middle East is a bit of a no-go zone. But having said that, you can still go anywhere in the world, but it’s a company like ours that will provide the advice to say, ‘don’t do this and don’t do that but you can absolutely do this and as long as you stay in a five-star hotel that’s owned by this brand, you’ll be fine,’ and all those kinds of things.”
At the beginning of the Covid pandemic in 2020, Huben Travel was created with the goal to build supplier relationships around the world, visit destinations, and provide luxury, tailormade holidays for UK travellers to fantastic destinations that they could recommend with the confidence that their clients would be able to enjoy their holiday, safe from discrimination.
Huben Travel provides advice for many destinations to their clients, from the safest destinations to some destinations that travellers may be uncertain of. For “countries that are kind of on the borderline as to whether it’s okay or not, [Huben] always say, ‘just be wary when you’re in the street with locals’,” and help their clients to find a holiday they can still enjoy, even in these ‘borderline’ countries.
Being able to feel safe abroad can make or break a holiday for many LGBTQ+ travellers, and Huben Travel goes above and beyond to ensure they work with friendly suppliers, forming close relationships with the hotels they send their clients to so they can provide the most accepting and comfortable holiday possible.
“As soon as I’ve got a same-sex couple going to a hotel, I drop them an email or give them a call,” Ben said. “There’s nothing worse than arriving at reception and they’re asking, ‘it’s a double bed is that okay?’ Of course, it’s okay. And we also make sure there are two male bathrooms in the room, and if it’s a honeymoon specifically, we’ll call the hotel and say, ‘it’s going to be a same-sex couple so please don’t be coming with a bouquet of flowers and then a gift for the guy because that’s super awkward for you and it’s super awkward for my clients’. And they’re usually really, really grateful for that information because it means that they can impress you as well.”
Huben Travel provides many fantastic destinations that they have personally approved of, giving their clients complete trust in their booking. Asked for some recommended LGBTQ+ safe destinations to visit in 2022, Ben said, “Tel Aviv is really good. Israel is really forward-thinking, and Tel Aviv’s got a really good scene, but places like Berlin and Mykonos and Grand Canaries, which is just north of Barcelona, they’ve all got a really good reputation.”
He also went on to recommend some LGBTQ+ welcoming cruises, that are getting better at “catering to our market” over the course of the last couple of years.
Whatever kind of luxury destination it is you’re looking for; Huben Travel offers a unique luxury service so that you can have a spectacular holiday without having to worry about a thing. From cruises to hosted tours, honeymoons and family getaways, or an excellent Pride-focused holiday, you can rest assured that you’re travelling to a safe destination when you book with Huben Travel.
So, if you’re looking forward to your next holiday, don’t wait, book now with a travel business registered with PTS like Huben Travel for 100% financial protection through trust. Or, if you’d like assistance choosing one of the lovely PTS members to book with, you can contact PTS directly at 0207 190 9988.
And if you’d like to learn more about your financial protection with PTS or how the Package Travel Regulations protect your holiday booking, check out our pages and Travel Advice.