Pride in London 2016: Why the OOO team will march

Our support for the LGBT community is at the heart of what we do

We pride ourselves in designing tailor-made holidays for all, no matter who you love. It's at the heart of what we do and is the reason I founded Other companies didn't and still don't have the expert knowledge that the LGBT community requires when we travel.

Since we launched we've found a home amongst many of you when it comes to planning your honeymoons, your summer holidays or your bespoke holidays from trekking to Machu Picchu to sailing round the Greek Islands. Almost every customer we speak to values the service we provide and the knowledge we offer and that knowledge extends to everyone. Around 40% of the customers we have booked to date are straight. 60% identify as LGBT.

And that's the beauty of what we do. We are inclusive. Other companies exclude the LGBT market, or certainly shy away from catering to us. In reality, our requirements are not all that different to anyone. We want to go on beautiful holidays to beautiful places and we want that experience that travel allows you experience.

But we know that it is not always that simple. The fact it is illegal to be gay in places like the Maldives and illegal too in places like India, the Caribbean and Laos means that there are nuances that other travel companies just don't address. Not because they can't but because they are too scared to.

Following the recent Orlando attacks, this year's Pride in London is perhaps the most important event in years. It's a chance for the whole community, both LGBT and straight, to stand together to show solidarity in the freedom of people and equal rights.

Pride in London's tag line this year is #NoFilter. It means a lot of different things to people, but for us here at it's about not being shy about what we do and what we stand for. And we are proud that first and foremost we're an LGBT friendly company. And that is why we find so many people from all walks of life using our services. They like what we stand for. We like what we stand for too!

The team planned to take part in this year's parade long before the tragedy that befell Orlando, but now is the chance to highlight to the world exactly why there is still a reason to hold Pride events and why we need the support of our straight counterparts. As I said in my recent article about why we still need to campaign for LGBT equality, I envisage a day when a company like this has no need to exist. That day is, unfortunately, still a long way off so until then we will continue supporting events like Pride in London and campaigning so that the world becomes an inclusive place for all.

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