Top Summer Travel Trends From Ensemble

beach footprintWhat are the top factors fueling travelers’ desire to get away with family this summer? According to a just-released survey of Ensemble Travel Group members in the U.S. and Canada, consumers are looking for togetherness, but at a reduced price for their upcoming summer vacation. And that togetherness extends to multiple generations on the family getaway, with significant growth being reported in this travel segment, Ensemble says.

While “desire to spend quality time together as a family” was the No. 1 factor that influenced the purchasing decisions of Ensemble members’ family travel clients this summer, “taking advantage of special pricing” was also among the top responses in this category as well as when asked why clients booked their family’s summer getaway through an Ensemble Travel Group member.

The findings are part of “Ensemble Insights: 2013 Summer Family Travel,” a new survey by the organization that analyzes booking trends and activity of a cross section of its North American membership during the peak travel season of June, July, and August. For this survey, “family travel” was defined as parent(s) with children ages 18 and younger traveling together during the three-month period.

“Regardless of the prevailing economy, when you’re traveling with a group of six, eight, or even 10 family members, price is often right up there with spending quality time together when it comes to what’s important to travelers,” said Ensemble’s Georganne Shirk, marketing vice president. “And fortunately, our Ensemble Exclusive offers and summer promotions – like the popular Ensemble Vacation Therapy and other supplier-specific deals – have frequently helped members ‘seal the deal’ with customers in this profitable travel segment.” 

When asked about travel spend per booking, 41 percent of the Ensemble respondents said their family travel bookings ranged from $5,000 to $9,999, with another 27 percent falling in the $10,000 to $19,999 range, and another 16 percent from $20,000 to $29,999. Eleven percent reported the average family travel booking at more than $40,000. Another five percent answered either under $5,000 or between $30,000-$39,999.

In other survey results:

·         2013 summer family travel bookings compared to summer 2012: 49 percent said unchanged; 32  percent up; 19 percent down;

·         All-inclusive resorts and FITS were the most popular type of summer vacation for the family market, each receiving 35 percent of the responses; followed by cruises at 27 percent; escorted tours at 3 percent;

·         2013 summer travel bookings compared to summer 2012 for multi-generational travel (defined as a combination of grandparent(s), parent(s), children ages 18 and younger or children 19 and older): 46 percent reported an increase; 46 percent unchanged; 8 percent down;

·         Cruises and all-inclusive resorts tied at 38 percent for the most popular type of summer vacation for the multi-generational market; followed by FITs at 24 percent;

·         2013 Europe bookings for the family market this summer compared to summer 2012: 42 responded unchanged; 33 percent up; 25 percent down;

·         Duration of family travel bookings this summer: 79 percent said 7-10 days; followed by a distant 11 percent at 11-14 days; 5 percent 21 days or more; 5 percent under 7 days;

·         Most popular land destinations for family travel this summer include Europe (Italy, Spain, France, United Kingdom), Mexico, Hawaii, and Dominican Republic (Punta Cana). Cruise destinations popular this summer include the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Alaska.

The Ensemble Insights: 2013 Summer Family Travel Survey reflects input from more than 250 Ensemble Travel Group travel agents, managers, and owners in the U.S. and Canada, representing a cross-section of business models and customer databases.

Ensemble Travel Group is a member-owned international organization of approximately 850 professional travel agencies in the U.S. and Canada.


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