Travel Proud

Travel Proud: How we're expanding our inclusivity program

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There’s still a lot that the tourism industry can do to make travel more supportive for the LGBTQ+ community. Here’s how we’re expanding our Travel Proud program to make it easier than ever for partners to level up their commitment to inclusivity

Everyone should feel comfortable and relaxed when traveling, but our research has shown that 82% of LGBTQ+ travelers report less-than-welcoming or uncomfortable experiences when traveling.

While most partners would never do anything to intentionally offend guests, there are many small things—from outdated forms to incorrect assumptions—that can cause even the most well-meaning hosts to stumble.

That’s why we launched our Travel Proud program to help partners provide even more welcoming experiences to LGBTQ+ travelers.

Making it easier for everyone to experience the world

Our Travel Proud program is designed to help you meet the specific needs and preferences of LGBTQ+ travelers. 

The program features a free online training and a toolkit of resources—including a workbook, templates, and social media assets—to help you offer guests the most comfortable and welcoming environment possible.

“At, we believe everyone should be able to experience the world as themselves, always,” says Arjan Dijk, CMO and Senior Vice President at “Travelers from the LGBTQ+ community ultimately want the same as everyone else, and the industry needs to make welcoming experiences the norm for everyone. As a gay traveler myself, I’ve faced barriers to travel and discrimination but have also witnessed progressive change over the years. By taking action to pave the way for a more inclusive industry, we hope to set the stage for wider change that will raise the standard of travel for everyone.”

Travel Proud event


Initially rolled out in cities across the Netherlands, Germany, and the UK, the program has since expanded to partners in the United States, Canada, France, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, and Spanish-speaking Latin America. 

Previously only available in English (and English with French subtitles), we’re pleased to be expanding our training even further, with the addition of Spanish and German versions – and even more languages to come later this year. 

We wanted to celebrate this expansion, and when we were looking for a suitable destination there was one clear choice – Spain.

Our Travel Proud event in Madrid

Spain is obviously an important destination in tourism, but what may be less known is how much the country tries to actively support the LGBTQ+ community. In fact, Madrid is home to one of the largest Pride events in Europe.

That meant we had overwhelming support from the wider tourism industry while organizing the launch event. Many important attendees joined us, including the President of Paradores, the Director General of TourSpain, the CEO of Ilunion Hotels, and the Director of Innovation, Education, and Investment Programs at the UN World Tourism Organization.

We also went even further and signed an official Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Tourism, demonstrating a clear intent from both sides to work together to create welcoming environments for LGBTQ+ travelers.

“We're closing this virtuous circle by means of leadership and ambition," says Reyes Maroto, Minister of Tourism. "Tourism provides life-changing experiences, but it should also act as a beacon. Our goal is that this initiative by and TourSpain not only creates waves within this room, but also beyond popular destinations like Madrid and Barcelona—which know about this already—to reach world tourism destinations in general."

Travel Proud event


Also speaking at the event, Natalia Bayona, Director of Innovation, Education, and Investments at UNWTO, pointed out that “LGBTQ+ tourism is one of the fastest-growing segments since 2020 at 10% inter-annual rate worth $165 billion in expenses. But the best of it is that it is disrupting the sector through innovation and entrepreneurship with hundreds of startups offering novel services.” 

Of course, all the attendees recognized that supporting LGBTQ+ travelers goes well beyond the economic figures. It’s about helping to create more open and inclusive societies, where everyone feels safe to travel and explore new places while feeling comfortable enough to be themselves.

That’s why we also heard the story of Ángela Ponce, the first transgender woman to become Miss Universe Spain in 2018, who shared why inclusive hospitality is so important. 

Want to become Proud certified? It’s just three steps

We’re expanding Travel Proud to make it as easy as possible for more partners to offer LGBTQ+ travelers the same level of care as they would to any other guest. 

We know that so many of you already welcome and accept all guests. But travelers don’t know that, unless you tell them. The Travel Proud certification is a declaration of who you are, which tells guests it’s safe to be who they are.

It’s free to sign up, offers your accommodation another way to stand out, and is simple, too, with just three steps:

  1. Have at least one team member complete the Proud Hospitality training and be your property’s Proud Certified representative
  2. Commit to putting what you learn into practice and identifying ways to help your team deliver an inclusive experience
  3. Make the Travel Proud Customer Toolkit available to all customer-facing team members at your property to support them in answering questions from LGBTQ+ guests

After you complete the training and sign the declaration form, your commitment to inclusive hospitality will be showcased as a special banner on your property page. This tells LGBTQ+ travelers that your door is open to them and that they can be sure of a welcoming, comfortable, and safe stay.


Proud flag
More inclusive travel for everyone

Complete our Proud Hospitality training to help you and your staff understand and connect with LGBTQ+ travelers.

Find out more

What do you think of this page?

  • 82% of LGBTQ+ travelers report less-than-welcoming or uncomfortable experiences when traveling
  • Travel Proud is our free, industry-leading program to help partners offer a warm, welcoming experience for all travelers
  • The program has expanded to now include training in Spanish, with additional languages coming soon