Pride Biz Forschungspreis 2022

Josue Steele Aizpurua Alvarado: Decoding the Rainbow with Machine Learning: Discovering LGBTQ+ travel preferences and needs through Instagram Influencers’ pictures

The prominence of the LGBTQ+ community in society is growing, as is acceptance of their lifestyle. The LGBTQ+ community’s financial strength is growing, with earnings 19% greater than heterosexual households, putting more value on the “pink dollars” and increasing their demand for leisure travel. LGBTQ+ travel motivations, needs, patterns and expectations are under researched. This study aims to determine which picture and travel attributes are more appealing to LGBTQ+ travelers by decoding the user-generated content of LGBTQ+ Instagram travel influencers using machine learning methods and comparing the results to the engagement rate of followers with the content. The results of this study reveal that LGBTQ+ individuals have different travel needs and feel attracted for different photography destination attributes, even though they are part of the same community. Selfies, gay couple pictures and natural landscapes in pictures, seem to be highly attractive for gay men, while lesbians appreciate beach images showcasing romantic couples and signs of affection. The findings of this study help to address a research gap in the field of LGBTQ+ tourism studies by providing relevant data that can be used strategically to build tailored marketing efforts for LGBTQ+ travelers and improve their travel intention.

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