Destination not Orientation - Visit Somerset making commitments to the LGBTQ+ market

25 Feb 2020

Destination not Orientation - Visit Somerset making commitments to the LGBTQ+ market

"Visit Somerset wants the county to be the first in the UK to warmly welcome all and celebrate equality and divesity in all its wonderful forms", says John Turner CEO of Visit Somerset.
John went on to say; "We are delighted that at the beginning of a new decade we are warmly welcoming the first LGBTQ+ Tour Operator into the county to start exploring and marketing the county in support of our equality and diversity aims and helping more of the LGBTQ+ market enjoy our beautiful county".

This will include a presentations from LGBT Travel Club to our membership explaining as to how to work with the LGBTQ+ Market ensuring that we really demonstrate our long term commitment to the LGBTQ+ Community.

Chris Baker head of LGBT Travel Club has said; " Identifying as LGBTQ+ is not a choice. Even today, in 2020, there is still local, national and global Homophobia. When it comes to travel, trying to access information can be a complete minefield. This is why I created the LGBT Travel Club. Not only a safe space for global LGBTQ+ travellers to meet and share travel related information, but also somewhere Travel based organisations and businesses can interact with this community to help gain and share information. So, when John Turner (CEO Visit Somerset) contacted me, and spoke about the ‘not just words, but action focus’, and how he wants Somerset to be an ‘inclusive’ county, I was immediately hooked. The Travel Club is all about ‘Destination not Orientation’ (our tag line), and how as an LGBTQ+ traveller, we can have safe access to all aspects of a destination when visiting. I also want to stress, that the Travel Club is also inclusive of those who identify with a disability, wether mental or physical, as these disabilities do not vanish when we travel. I suffer from Autism, which has a huge impact when I travel, as I tend to steer away from large crowds and noise. I discovered that John and I shared so many common goals when it comes to being ‘inclusive’ and I am proudly looking forward to working with John and Visit Somerset from grass roots level all the way up to management within the Somerset travel sector to ensure this goal becomes a reality. To my knowledge, Somerset is the first county to be actively approaching the LGBTQ+ communities to discuss, learn and share how Somerset can become ‘inclusive’. This is a huge step in the right direction for equality and something other counties should be taking note of. Year on year the LGBTQ+ communities have the largest percentage increase of disposable income to spend on travel. We are excellent guests, loyal and when we receive excellent service we will always recommend. I wish to work with people and organisations who are genuinely wanting to make a positive difference. Somerset could become a global travel destination and the Travel Club looks forward to building a strong working relationship with John and his team". 

For further information plesae contact the Visit Somerset Offices at  

The LGBT Travel Club will be available for press call on Wednesday 4th March at 10:00am at the Swan Hotel Wells.  

Open House Informal meetings will be held with LGBT Travel and Visit Somerset/Exmoor members on:
Tuesday 4th March at 7:00pm at the Swan Hotel in Wells
Wednesday 5th March at 7:00pm at the Yarn Market Hotel in Dunster 

Please contact if you would like to attend and where, with your name and company.    


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