Foreword Reviews

Book review:
Handbook of LGBT Tourism & Hospitality, by Jeff Guaracino and Ed Salvato

What the handbook proves unequivocally and strikingly is that the LGBT community is not going away, and businesses must take notice or be left behind.

The Handbook of LGBT Tourism and Hospitality, by Jeff Guaracino and Ed Salvato, impressively establishes itself as an essential and informative guide for those in the hospitality, marketing, and advertising industries. The book expertly proves the LGBT sector to be an economic, political, and societal force that cannot be ignored. The authors have compiled thought-provoking data and smartly executed interviews with leaders in hospitality.

The book gives historical context by charting the gains in LGBT rights—and the accompanying growth of the LGBT community as an economic sector—to show the exceptional loyalty and principled nature of the spending habits of the community. This makes a persuasive case that businesses that genuinely reach out and include the gay community will be successful.

The handbook makes a remarkably effective apolitical case for including an expansive LGBT community with significant spending power. However, the political and ideological implications of this are not lost on this guide. In order to be genuinely connected to the LGBT community, the handbook insists, companies must work to provide comfortable spaces for that community through actions like sensitivity training and protecting LGBT employees from discrimination.

This message for tolerance and acceptance of the LGBT community is tied up with maintaining relevance with millennials, and the overall future of the business. What the handbook proves unequivocally and strikingly is that the LGBT community is not going away, and businesses must take notice or be left behind. In a tumultuous time of uncertainty for LGBT rights, it is refreshing to see such statements boldly proven through solid facts.

This guide successfully serves as a concise and thorough guide to understanding the LGBT consumer/tourist, and offers advice flexible enough to to be pertinent to all aspects of hospitality. The subject is handled with a brevity and perspicacity that makes it easy to navigate and utilize.

Through compelling research and testimony, this handbook is a useful and effective guide for existing and newly established hospitality professionals to tap into LGBT hospitality.

Reviewed by Paige Van de Winkle