Same-Sex Marriage Equals Big Boost in Tourism


On the heels of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, CVBs around the nation are forecasting big implications for the tourism industry. The change in marriage laws is likely to provide an economic boost for domestic and international travel. Reuters reports that in 2014, LGBT tourism topped $200 billion for the first time, and now, the total is expected to increase even more.

San Francisco Travel Association president and CEO Joe D’Alessandro released a statement in support of the nation’s commitment to marriage equality. He remarked on the city’s strong history as a champion of civil liberties and gay rights.

“This decision is the culmination of a struggle that began in San Francisco on Feb. 12, 2004 when then-Mayor Gavin Newsom began issuing same-sex marriages licenses at City Hall,” D’Alessandro said.  “My husband and I will be celebrating this weekend with the thousands of people who will come to San Francisco to share in this historic moment.”

D’Alessandro predicts this weekend’s 45th annual Pride Celebration, which takes place along San Francisco’s Market Street in front of City Hall at Civic Center Plaza, will be even more festive than usual. The city received a record number of more than 18 million visitors last year, with an economic impact of around $10 billion.

South Florida also expects major economic impacts resulting from the legalization of same-sex marriage. In a report from the South Florida Business Journal, Bill Talbert, president and CEO of Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, stated that the ruling greatly bolsters its LGBT marketing efforts.

The article included a study from the Williams Institute of UCLA that stated same-sex marriages could benefit the federal government by $1 billion annually. The study, released last year, indicated that Florida could receive a tourism boost estimated at $182 million, including $12 million in tax revenue over the next three years.

Hawaii also predicts a big economic windfall in the wake of the ruling. According to Hawaii News Now, a study released by the University of Hawaii estimates an additional $217 million in tourism spending and $10 million in tax revenue over the next three years. The study expects the majority of spending to come from out-of-state tourism. If the new law had not passed, study authors believed that Hawaii could have lost up to $200,000 per day in the course of three years due to LGBT couples traveling elsewhere to marry.

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