As a luxury hotel destination, your marketing portfolio would not be complete without strategies targeting the youngest of travelers. A national survey conducted by Preferred Hotel Group to identify emerging trends in multigenerational travel has uncovered the significant impact that younger travelers have on destination and booking decisions.
“While the growth of multigenerational travel has been a buzz in the hospitality industry for several years, shifts in the economy, new technology, and even contemporary parenting have had a measurable impact on how multigenerational travel is packaged, planned, taken and paid for,” says Lindsey Ueberroth, President & CEO of Preferred Hotel Group, a global collection of independent hotels and resorts. “This is multigenerational travel ‘2.0.’ And these days, 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.”
According to the press release, the Preferred Hotel Group examined multigenerational travel preferences based on attitudes, behaviors, social values, lifestyles, and media habits.
Among the 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%) andFrance (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 a seasoned luxury hospitality agency, we find some of the most noteworthy details of this study to be the following: social media engagement and children’s influence. With children influencing the destination selection by nearly 50%, your marketing agency or campaigns cannot afford to disregard reaching the youngest travelers with brand messaging.
Facebook’s influence on bookings is undeniable as well; accounting for a substantial amount of authority in terms of the photos shared publicly, the hotel information provided and the videos shown. A robust social media presence must play a sizeable part in your overall marketing portfolio.