Gay Market

From “Ask Kit!”:

Q: One niche we want to cater to is the large gay market that has been underserved and not marketed to. What can you share about that?

A: Are you speaking of the gay market in general or the southern gay market? These days the gay market is attracting more attention as a viable market to reach to.

I had clients years ago who made the same statements you are making, but, they wanted to market exclusively to the gay community. The would call me with concern that they weren’t making any more money than they were and I’d advise them to not be quite that narrow in their focus. I felt there weren’t enough gays going to their city who would pay that kind of money for a room. They were concerned that straight folk would be distressed watching gay couples make out on the sofa. I counseled them that everyone is uncomfortable watching any couple make out — that’s what the bedrooms are for. I further suggested that mixing gay and straight guests, say at the breakfast table, wouldn’t be a problem either.

Fortunately the “country club set” discovered them during a Christmas tour and the innkeepers realized that the well-traveled and well-heeled traveler was their niche. They did slowly attract lots of gay travelers, but they had others enjoying their beautiful B&B in the meantime. I suspect you’d have a bit more luck just because it’s a more recognized niche today and the gay traveler knows to seek gay-friendly inns, unlike when my clients opened their B&B in the early 90s.