2017 Travel Trends in Depth — Multigenerational Travel

Our second 2017 Travel Trends installment focuses on one of our personal favorite parts of the SlideShare, the booming influence of multigenerational travel in the leisure travel segment. Multigenerational travel is usually defined by three different generations traveling together: Typically, the group consists of an individual from the Boomer generation alongside their Millennial or GenX child and their children. Studies largely attribute the surge in this type of travel to the growing number of grandparents — The MetLife Report on American Grandparents shows that there will be over 80 million grandparents by 2020.

I’m sure many would be surprised that a sizable percentage — between 30 and 44% — of leisure travel is dedicated to the special interests of multigenerational travelers. As such, the industry increasingly focuses on marketing travel packages that appeal to a very wide sampling of consumer interests, or, as VP of Communications at Travel Leaders Group, Steve Loucks, says, “These groups want diversity….something that can be pleasing to the most jaded adult and to the younger children and everything in between.” Historically, the largest number of travelers visit all-inclusive cruises and tours, discover cities, or explore international destinations…especially when those global trips celebrate the family’s heritage.

Though catering to so many age groups isn’t easy, there is plenty incentive to get together and hit the road. Unfortunately, it takes money to travel: Grandparents prove to be the “golden ticket” for younger travelers these days, and most of them certainly don’t mind spending money to ensure a wonderful time for their families; one of the primary motivators (true of 35% of adults in this category) for traveling for the Boomer generation is “to help family members enjoy a vacation they couldn’t otherwise afford,” according to a study by Preferred Hotels Group. When you combine a younger generation that loves to travel with an older generation that aims to spend as much time and money as possible to gather their loved ones together, you just might find the formula for the most symbiotic combo of adventurers.

Older generations usually have more flexibility to bring the family together, but the family shares the enthusiasm pretty equally. The Preferred Hotels Group study found that 91% of Millennials try to take a multigenerational trip as often as once per year, and these adventures rank in the top 3 of Boomer’s target destinations. Millennial travelers bring plenty to the table when the family starts planning together — 40% of younger travelers use social media to find the hottest destinations, hotels, and attractions. It takes all three generations to plan and enjoy a vacation that everyone will remember forever.

So, who usually doesn’t travel with the extended family circle? Pets. Only 5-10% of these family members get to join their pack on these adventures, according to AARP’s 2016 study. We’ll dive into pet-friendly travel in another segment and find out if that will be changing soon with the rise of amenities and attractions that cater more to the needs of pet owners.

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