Expedia Group’s Orbitz has debuted a new search capability designed to help users find LGBTQ-friendly accommodations.
The tool highlights more than 35,000 independent, boutique and branded hotels that have signed an Orbitz Inclusivity Pledge against discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual identity. At a minimum, lodging partners that have signed this pledge are committed to enforcing a zero-tolerance policy for hateful, disrespectful or discriminatory behavior from staff at any level.
Some partners have adopted additional measures, including implementation of staff training on gender identity and the use of gender-neutral language.
Related: Focus on LGBTQ travel -- Traveling while transgender
Orbitz users can find these LGBTQ-friendly hotels via a dedicated search platform at Orbitz.com/Pride, or they can use a new LGBTQ-welcoming hotel filter function that is now available on Orbitz.com as well as on the brand’s mobile sites.
Participating lodging partners are asked to self-certify that they meet the Inclusivity Pledge requirements, though if “lodging partners have violated these terms, Orbitz will take action, up to and including removal from Orbitz.com and mobile sites.”
In a statement, Orbitz brand director Carey Malloy said the new tool was rolled out in response to results from a recent survey commissioned by Orbitz, which found that more than a quarter of 2,000 LGBTQ+ Americans polled said they feel the need to downplay their identity while traveling.
Additionally, the survey found that 58% of LGBTQ Americans report spending more time researching travel destinations and accommodations than cisgender or heterosexual travelers, while six in 10 respondents said they've canceled a trip or changed their travel plans due to feeling unsafe as a result of their gender identity or sexual orientation.