Our friends at Preferred Hotel Group recently conducted a study of the latest trends in multigenerational travel and shared their conclusions today. Although the growth in multigenerational travel is not new, the way multigenerational travel is planned is evolving with the growth of online content and social media.
Lindsey Ueberroth, President & CEO of Preferred Hotel Group, sums up one of their fascinating findings, ” … children are calling the shots, grandparents are increasingly funding the cost of the trip, and an overwhelming percentage of Millennials – 91% of those surveyed – say a multigenerational trip is something they try to take every year.”
I certainly found this to be the case in my recent trip over the Thanksgiving holiday with Lindblad Expeditions in the Galapagos Islands. Our 95-passenger ship, the National Geographic Endeavour, was filled with extended families traveling together, many of whom explained to me that they are committed to taking special trips to new destinations at least annually, if not bi-annually.
Other Key Findings:
· Children relish planning — Fully 40% of both grandparents and parents say their children “actively participate in or influence vacation planning,” specifically with respect to daily activities (77%) and deciding which destinations to visit (62%). Almost half (49%) of all multigenerational travelers agree their grandchildren influence the selection of the hotel or resort.
· Grandparents pay to play — Grandparents, more so than parents (35% vs. 25%), are inclined to pay for multigenerational trips to “help family members enjoy a vacation they otherwise could not afford.”
· Classic destinations are hot — Orlando (25%) and the National Parks (17%) top the list of domestic destinations multigenerational travelers would like to visit during the next two years, while the Caribbean (29%) and Western Europe (28%) top the list of international “dream destinations.” The destinations of greatest interest within Europe are Italy (17%), England (16%) and France (16%).
· Facebook matters — Facebook is the most popular social site for multigenerational travelers, with 73% acknowledging they have a page posted on this site. And posts in social media exert more influence than ever on this segment’s decision-making, with 40% saying they have “selected a destination based at least partially on the information, photos, or videos they viewed on social media websites” and 25% agreeing they have “selected a travel service supplier based on exposure to the same content.”
· An expanded definition of “family” — Multigenerational vacations now represent half of all vacations taken by both grandparents and parents. While these parties consisted of grandparents, parents, and their children on 44% of such trips, the makeup of the multigenerational travel group has expanded beyond immediate family to include siblings (31%), nephews/nieces (20%), and non-relative friends (20%) on one or more of the multigenerational vacations taken by the other 56%.
· Traditional travel agents make it work — Multigenerational travelers use the services of traditional travel agents much more often than other leisure travelers. During the past year, 38% used the services of a traditional travel agent to plan a multigenerational vacation, and 41% intend to do so during the next two years – both percentages are twice as high as the incidence of traditional travel agent usage observed among all other leisure travelers.
· Same time next year — Among travelers who took a multigenerational vacation last year, 77% agreed that taking such a vacation “is something they try to do every year” – a sentiment that is particularly true for Millennials (91%) and Gen Xers (80%).
· Familiar favorites, or the road less traveled? — Multigenerational travelers display great loyalty to the destinations they visit, with 35% intending to visit the same destination on their next multigenerational trip. Perhaps not surprisingly, beach vacations (35%) and theme park vacations (28%) are the most popular types of multigenerational vacations.
As the number of grandparents continues to increase — this demographic segment is growing at twice the overall population growth rate — multigenerational travel will also continue to grow in size and influence. According to the U.S. Census, there will be 80 million grandparents by 2020, accounting for nearly one-in-three adults. In addition, these grandparents are widely expected to work longer, have higher incomes, and spend more on discretionary products and services than their predecessors.
Good stuff! No wonder Preferred Hotel Group has devoted so much time and energy in servicing this market through the Preferred Family website and their associated Preferred Family Certified collection of hotels.
Editor’s Note: Photo provided by Preferred Hotel Group.
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This is a challenging time for our clients given the uncertainty around the spread of coronavirus, particularly for those with near-term travel plans in impacted areas. We’re working with our suppliers on being flexible with their booking conditions, and enabling families to postpone travel to a later date without a penalty, when possible. Likewise, given the unpredictability around destinations that may be impacted in the future, we’re helping clients planning new trips and understand ways that they can protect themselves until the situation improves. We are ready to help our clients work through questions and concerns.