Family travel experts explore consumer trends impacting the business of family vacations and found out that the enormous family segment of the travel industry — estimated to comprise more than 100 million leisure trips per year in the United States alone — is more influential than ever.
Findings from the two Family Travel Conferences held in 2012 demonstrate that the enormous family segment of the travel industry -estimated to comprise more than 100 million leisure trips per year in the United States alone- is more influential than ever.
In an era when moms control $2.4 trillion (US) in spending, selling to the family travel market is smart say industry experts Eileen Ogintz, creator of TakingtheKids.com, and Kyle McCarthy, founder ofFamily Travel Forum, who have formed Family Travel Consulting. They surveyed dozens of family bloggers and industry experts to identify the 10 strongest trends for 2013:
1. Toddlers Rule the Travel Roost
Toddlers are seen as the key to building generations of repeat customers, especially since 37% of traveling grandparents have kids in tow.
2. Multigenerational Travel is Golden
Multigenerational travel has taken the lead in the family market; this well-funded and active group of seniors travels almost 25% more than the average leisure traveler.
3. Cruise Industry Evolves Faster for Family Market
More than 1.5 million children are cruising every year and, with 10 new ships slated for 2013, there will be more innovation in cruising than in any other segment of the family vacation market.
4. Health and Eating Equal Family Vacation Wellness
The average American family is so obsessed with food that parents are demanding kids' menus with farm-to-table entrees and weight-reducing snacks.
5. Mobile Connects Families on the Go to Travel Plans
Moms are 38% more likely than the general public to own smartphones, communicating hundreds of times per week via email, texting and social media, with tablet usage close behind.
6. Moms Listen to Smart Mamas
Empowered, smart and in control, moms want to hear from other moms who travel through online content that is real, savvy and honest.
7. Celebrity Enters the Family Marketing Mix
Since 52% of travelers admit social media has influenced their vacation plans, we anticipate more family vacationers will choose to "star" in their trips and share them through social media.
8. Parents demand Educational Value and Authenticity
Heritage and Culture are cited by 31% of teen travelers as the prime motivator of their travels, so we look for more educational and authentic travel experiences for all ages.
9. Travelers Want to Respect the Environment
After the weather-related environmental destruction of the past few months, we believe more families see value in traveling greener and paying for it.
10. Volunteering is Big Family Activity
Viewing natural disasters has become a tourist activity. With 11% of travelers saying they "travel to help others," we think the voluntourism industry is about to take off.