Transgender travelers' most important concern is safety, according to a recent study commissioned by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Seven hundred transgender people across 48 states were queried on their traveling habits; approximately 80 percent said a destination's perceived safety influences whether they visit or not. Fort Lauderdale did not score very highly on the respondents' safety score, with only about half seeing it as safe for transgender vacationers. New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Key West, Fla. were the top five safe destinations, according to the survey.
The survey also indicated trans travelers are budget-conscious and appreciate cultural and urban destinations. Luckily for Fort Lauderdale, trans respondents indicated they value warm weather and beautiful beaches.
"We know a lot about gay and lesbian travelers, but little if anything has been known about the transgender traveler, until now," Richard Gray, the bureau's managing director of the LGBT market, told the Sun-Sentinel. "Now is the time for the Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB to emphasize the importance of the T in LGBT. The forgotten T, I'm saddened to say."
The CVB hopes to utilize all the information they've gathered by encouraging tourism officials to participate in transgender sensitivity training.
Broward County, where Fort Lauderdale resides, scored a major coup with transgender business by booking the Southern Comfort Transgender Conference later this month, and for the next three events. One of the biggest trans conferences in the world, the conference will take place at the Bonaventure Resort & Spa and bring hundreds of transgender professionals to south Florida.