Interview with Marc Dedonder – misterb&b
ExtendaTouch – September 2021
Founded in December 2014, misterb&b is the largest LGBTQ online travel app with 1 million listings in 200 countries. misterb&b is the world’s largest short-term rental marketplace dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community. Today, misterb&b operates out of three offices on three continents, providing access to more than 1M properties in 200 countries.
The service is open to everyone across the spectrum of gender & sexual preferences. In the media, misterb&b has been recognized by CNN as integral to ‘The Gay Travel Revolution’ and has received coverage in Forbes, the New York Times, USA Today, and other major publications.
The site serves as a catalyst for the gay community to connect in real life, responding to the strong demand for collaborative tourism in the booming niche of gay travel. It is considered the largest gay hotelier in the world.
At misterb&b, they believe exploring the world is an integral part of the human experience. misterb&b is committed to creating a world that is accepting and non-judgmental – a welcoming world in which LGBTQ people can share the excitement of discovery and create lifelong memories and friendships. Helping people make a personal connection with the local culture and the local people gives back to the global LGBTQ community.
Through their platform, they aim to create a shared sense of hospitality and respect. Inclusivity is at the core of misterb&b, and it is what helps them continue to grow as a company.
We are interviewing Marc Dedonder, a misterb&b co-Founder responsible for digital marketing, content marketing initiatives, and social media marketing. Marc started his career as Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of Virgin Radio France.
After deciding that he no longer wanted to continue that career path, Marc took a sabbatical in 2009 and planned to travel and visit some of the world’s most famous LGBTQ+ locations. He found the process difficult because there were not many resources for LGBTQ+ travel in Europe.
That difficulty struck Marc with the idea of bringing together millions of LGBTQ+ individuals to be a part of a dedicated community. Marc wanted to allow his community to travel safely and comfortably. Shortly after, Marc created MyGayTrip.com, which has been widely used for over 10 years.
Over the years, Marc and his friends found difficulties staying in other short-term rental services, where they sometimes felt uncomfortable or unwanted, so they decided to expand and create a resource database for all LGBTQ+ friendly travelers. This resource became known as misterb&b.
As a co-founder of misterb&b in 2014, Marc Dedonder is focused on content and the social media marketing strategy for misterb&b. As the Head of Content and Community, Marc is accountable for all content marketing initiatives and community engagement that delivers tourist opportunities and satisfied travelers that return to misterb&b repeatedly.
Marc is an entrepreneurially spirited professional, offering unique value incentives to new hosts, bringing them into the misterb&b ecosystem to share success.
Many LGBTQ+ individuals found interest in misterb&b because it gave them the freedom to choose and avoid any discrimination they might face. Understanding the interest and underserved market need, misterb&b sought investors to help them grow. Soon after, several LGBTQ+ social media sites helped misterb&b expand their reach to over 200 countries.
During misterb&b’s initial growth, Marc and his team found many restrictions on short-term housing rentals across many countries, which led to an imbalance of accommodations for their travelers. After seeing how these regulations were limiting their offering, Marc and his team sprang into action. They worked with large LBGTQ+ friendly travel locations and grew the number of accommodations, providing misterb&b travelers many more resources for short-term rentals.
The past couple of years have been especially difficult for travel companies and resources. When travel restrictions began during COVID, many travel companies left the business. To their credit, misterb&b stayed active on their social media channels and continued to engage their community. letting them know that the misterb&b community is alive and well, even though widespread travel would be taking a break until safe travel resumed.
Now that COVID regulations are being lifted, more travel accommodations are being offered through misterb&b. To provide safe and comfortable travel, misterb&b has installed protective protocols for traveling on their website. They have been providing information regarding cleanliness and sanitation on specific travel locations.
As the head of content and community, Marc at misterb&b works diligently to offer travelers the best quality travel accommodations. The Company’s personal drive to support the LGBTQ+ community stems from the idea of connection. As human beings, we thrive off connecting and interacting with others.
Misterb&b’s mission is to provide their community with the resources and support they need to continue making these connections and meet others like themselves who can relate to the difficulties they have endured and provide support for each other, creating new friendships and bonds.
As LGBTQ+ travel leaders, misterb&b also works to educate the general population on inclusion and discrimination. Not only do they engage their community through their marketing efforts, but they are also working with nonprofits to help LGBTQ+ youth find freedom and comfort in their own skin. “We are not only an e-commerce website. We are an integral part of the community we serve.”
Marc was asked what stood out to him during his tenure in LGBTQ+ work. Marc has always been passionate about helping and supporting his community, and when he witnessed the amount of impact he and his fellow partners created, he was thrilled. “Opening my mailbox and finding thank you messages from travelers explaining how misterb&b helped them explore the LGBTQ+ community better than ever before is the greatest reward there is.”
Read more about ExtedaTouch’s partnership with misterb&b in the press release HERE!