How to Sell Multigenerational TravelSeptember 27, 2012 By: Ruthanne Terrero Travel Agent
Travel Agent magazine hosted a summit on multigenerational travel at the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago recently to determine the latest trends in this thriving niche market. We brought together an exclusive group of 15 suppliers, hoteliers and travel advisors.
Our findings showed that many consumers are trying to create their own multi-gen travel trips, ranging from an annual big family gathering to large celebration travel events. This means there is an abundance of opportunity for travel advisors in this sector.
We examined the mass market and luxury ends of the spectrum, and so products discussed ranged from sun-and-sand all-inclusives to European villas that were rented for an entire month by grandparents who hosted different family members each week.
Here is an exclusive video of the roundtable, with our transcript below.
Launching the discussion was Lindsey Ueberroth, president of Preferred Hotel Group, which last year did research and published a white paper on multi-gen travel.
Lindsey Ueberroth, Preferred Hotel Group: We defined the “multi-gen traveler” as anyone who had taken a trip with three or more generations in 12 months leading up to the survey. We surveyed 2,500 adult U.S.-born travelers, so it is a very U.S.-centric survey. If you look at the statistics in the breakdown, 55 percent are women, 45 percent are men, 75 percent are married and there is a very high percentage of well-educated career people. Not quite half represented household incomes of $100,000 or higher, and the median age was about 47. To quantify what the marketing opportunity is, 40 percent of all the active leisure travelers that we surveyed have taken at least one multigenerational trip in the year leading up to the survey. That represents 20.8 million households alone in the U.S. that are actively looking to travel in this segment.
|John Stachnik, Mayflower Tours; Jill Taylor, Jetset World Travel; Galen Matthews, Royal Caribbean International; and Kristine Rose, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts|
What is happening that could be driving this? Extended families are living further and further apart [than they did generations ago]. My parents live in Paris, my brother and sister-in-law live in South California, I live in Chicago. So when we’re trying to get together, we have to travel to do so.
Secondly, we live in a fast-paced, highly digital world; tell me the last time you had a dinner or a weekend that didn’t involve [an iPhone, BlackBerry or Android]. Travel is one of the few experiences that really provide families with that relief, to get away. Finally, the baby boomer generation is just growing and growing. They’re turning 65, and they’re healthier, wealthier, and more active than any other generation in our history. And travel is on the top of their list. We showed that 26 percent of all leisure travelers are now grandparents, and one-third of that group wants to travel with their grandchildren.
We also found that 77 percent of multi-gen travelers had been planning, and/or were planning, a vacation around a milestone event. (See chart below.) We see [this] as one of the greatest opportunities for this industry.