Multi-Generational Travel A Major Opportunity

In family-centric cultures such as Indian and Chinese societies, older people can be loathe to spend money frivolously, feeling obliged instead to save for their next generations.

However, I’ve often written and spoken that multi-generational travel is a particularly big opportunity in the travel and tourism sector in the Asia Pacific markets. Why, because parents who travel with their children or grandchildren are effectively buying ‘permission to spend’ the inheritance.Travel

Multi-generational travel can be defined as a travel party comprised of at least one traveler over age 60 with at least one traveler under age 18 who resides in a different household. Some data released in this article from the USA underlines the importance of this travel trend in the USA and consequently, across the APAC region as well.

  • Most multi-generational groups average nearly five travellers per group (versus an average of just over two travellers per group for the leisure segment overall).
  • Multi-generational travellers stay busy while traveling, participating in more active activities in almost all categories, including visiting more theme parks.
  • Multi-generational travellers have higher incomes ($93,000 per household) than other leisure travellers ($81,000) and more leisure time.
  • When grandparents arrange the trip, they most often pay (65 percent). When adult children and grandchildren organise, the adult children are most likely to pay (39 percent), with a third of traveling parties saying they share expenses.
  • Multi-generational travellers take an average of four trips and spend $1,000+ per year more than other leisure travellers.
  • 70 percent of multi-generational travellers report that children participate in travel planning; 66 percent say kids help decide where to travel and 50 percent where to stay.
  • Multi-generational trips are often triggered by a special occasion, with 66 percent traveling to celebrate life milestones.
  • The majority of multi-generational travellers visit online communities for travel advice, and more often than other leisure travellers.

Some useful out-takes from the same article:

  1. Multigenerational Travellers are planning more trips and traveling more than general U. S. travellers.
  2. This niche is potentially very lucrative because it involves multiple airfares, rooms, restaurant meals, and attraction tickets.
  3. Today’s grandparents are far more active than their parents, and destinations must design products that recognise this.
  4. Multi-generational travellers do their homework, searching up to 22 sites before confirming plans and booking.
  5. Multi-generational travellers will “seize the moment” to travel together before children are grown, regardless of the economy.
  6. There is great opportunity to attract multi-generational groups with preschoolers during the traditional, off peak spring and fall seasons.
  7. Children are much more influential in planning trips, according to 60 percent of parents and 66 percent of grandparents.
  8. There is great variance in who pays for multi-generational trips, making it hard to target the right customers.
  9. There is opportunity to market to Hispanics, African Americans, and international families who often travel in multi-generational groups.

As with all things related to the ageing consumer, despite great opportunity in promoting travel to multi-generational families, the market is not well defined or understood. Hence, opportunity!