Gay couples face embarrassment at hotel reception desks and are often given twin rooms even when they have booked a double, a study has found.
More than 40% of LGBT travelers have admitted to either feeling uncomfortable, or having experienced discomfort when booking into hotels or B&Bs as a couple.
One contributor stated: ‘A couple of times we have had twin rooms allocated although we booked doubles, this [even] happened on our honeymoon.’
This revelation comes as part of new research of gay travelers from Europe and the US.
The full report included numerous examples of gay mistreatment while on vacation. Most notable was a recurring theme of double rooms being denied or questioned in favor of two single beds, despite having pre-booked the double in advance.
During their stay in the UK, one couple said they were asked to ‘vacate’ their double room for a twin, ‘which was very embarrassing’.
Having interviewed 560 LGBT travellers across Europe and the US, the results show 92% of the correspondents believe the inclusion of ‘gay-welcoming’ staff is an ‘important’ consideration when booking a stay away holiday, hoping to help combat the anti-gay discrimination in the holiday market.
The uncertainty of whether or not an establishment is accepting of LGBT people is the primary issue for many, creating fears and anxiety before the holiday has even begun.
People are made to feel they have to ‘come out’ at the reception desk in order to explain themselves, leaving them uncomfortable if the reaction is less than friendly.
The research brings to light a lack of acceptance for the LGBT community among hotel staff, with personal prejudices being brought into the workplace.
Another couple said they felt so uncomfortable during their stay they ‘made sure to use both beds… to not attract attention in case [they] went back [to the destination in question].’
The research was carried out by Out Now Consulting for Les Deux Messieurs, a UK guide to gay-friendly getaways.
Hugh Wright, editor of les Deux Messieurs, believes knowing a hotel is gay-friendly is an essential part of the holiday experience.
‘If there’s one thing we’ve learned from our travels, it’s that knowledge is key. Because, despite what the law says, gay couples are not always welcome.
‘We hope that recent rulings against two different B&Bs at the opposite ends of the UK, and action taken by a major hotel chain following an incident in one of their London hotels, will see hoteliers take a more considered approach to same-sex guests.’