In a world that keeps shaping itself around Millennials, there is a younger generation that is proving to be yet again another game changer; meet Centennials, those who were born 1997 onward and are driving a transformational demographic shift that is set to change economy as we know it.
The second edition of PROUD Experiences, the international travel trade event dedicated to LGBTQ+, will be held in New York City, from 18 to 20 June 2019, and is set to help the travel industry build business with these generations and the wider community, understanding through specialist onsite education sessions, what that business looks like and how to win it.
31% of Centennials identify themselves as LGBTQ+, against 20% of their Millennial counterpart (source Kantar Consulting), and over half of them (56%) said that they knew someone who went by gender neutral pronouns such as "they" and "them, compared to 43% of people 28 to 34 – making Centennials the most tolerant and the most fluid generation so far, which is already contributing to give same-sex couples and numerous sexual identities a huge visibility platform within media and information.
This also means that, as Millennials move into their prime earning years and Centennials start entering the workforce, the US$200 billion estimated to be the annual spending power of the LGBTQ+ in travel alone (UNWTO) is a number that is only destined to grow even further.
Reed Travel Exhibitions’ Simon Mayle, Event Director of PROUD Experiences, talked about how the event is set to be the supporter for the industry internationally of LGBTQ+ travel matters. “Exhibitors joining this event will find that they have a whole new generation as well as those already spending more on travel than others with buyers who are focused on helping drive the LGBTQ+ travel sector next year from the biggest markets in North America, Northwest Europe and South America. Those brands who attended the first edition in London this year spoke out about how the experience has driven their businesses forward.”
Gabriel Doucet Donida, co-founder Atelier Voyage comments: “Finally, since last year, PROUD Experiences has made a clear statement to the b2b travel industry, indeed confirming the real market potential of the Queer Community within the Luxury Cruises, Hotel & Resort segment. Indeed, it is not only a matter of sheer financial power, but also of fierce lifestyle demands and world-travel savvy. This targeted socalled niche population is the “crème de la crème” of VIP clients, as they greatly embrace design, style, perfect service and know the art of savoir vivre.”
“I am beyond excited to be returning to PROUD Experiences in New York City! PROUD allows us to connect with the elite travel partners catering to the LGBTQ+ segment. We are proud to be a part of PROUD 2019!”, says Dennis Grunden, InterContinental Hotels Group.
Hosted at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, the second edition of PROUD Experiences will host more buyers from key regions in North America (45%), Europe (45%) and Latin America (10%) – a 25% growth over the 2018 pilot show. Suppliers are attending from brands that include some of the world’s leading hotels, concierge companies, destinations and travel services, all of whom will also be able to learn about the trends and strategies needed in this marketplace to build long term business.
Kicking it all off is The PROUD Gathering, the official opening event with His Royal Highness Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil – the first openly gay Prince in the world and face of the #FreeGayIndia movement –, who will be the Big Stage PROUD Interview.
A series of Masterclasses each day will be for everyone to attend, with hard talk topics such as emerging destinations and travel issues; the segments within the LGBTQ+ travel niche; growing revenues from this market and hands-on sensitivity training.
Networking and Parties are planned as an added opportunity to continue to meet up with friends and make new ones at venues around NYC.
PROUD Experiences will take place at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, New York City, from 18th to 20th June 2019. Buyers interested in attending should go to www.proudexperiences.com and apply