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Family & Multi-generational Travel Outlook

Travel providers who embrace a new, broader definition of family travel can flourish in today’s booming market.
– Nancy Schretter, family travel expert and Travel Exchange speaker

Family & Multi-generational Travel Facts

  •  55 percent of all NTA members including tour operators, DMOs and suppliers are
    involved in the family travel market.
  • 45 percent of all leisure travelers brought kids along on their trips.
    (Source: MMGY Portrait of American Travelers Survey)
  • 23 percent of grandparents traveled alone with their grandchildren. (Source: MMGY Portrait of American Travelers Survey)
  • Virtuoso ranks family and multi-generational travel as its No. 1 trend.
  • 33 percent of cruise passengers sail with children. (Source: CLIA)
  • In a Family Travel Network survey, readers said that “making lifetime family memories” and “spending quality time together” are the top reasons for embarking on family trips.
  • According to the U.S. Census, there will be 80 million grandparents by 2020 (1 in every 3 adults).
  • Multi-generational vacations represent about half of all vacations taken by parents and grandparents. (Source: Preferred Hotel Group)
  • AAA says 36% of Americans plan to take at least one multi-generational trip this year.
  • Multi-generational travel represents 27% of all overnight U.S. leisure travel. (Source: DK Shifflet & Associates Study)
  • 77% of multi-generational travelers try to take a multi-generational vacation every year. Grandparents are more likely than parents to pay for
    the trip. (Source: Preferred Hotel Group Study)
  • 35% of leisure travelers who are grandparents traveled with their grandchildren last year; 41% for those with over $250,000 in annual income.
    (Source: MMGY Global Portrait of American Travelers)
  • Multi-generational travelers spend significantly more than other leisure travelers. (Source: MMGY Global Portrait of American Travelers)
  • Today’s family travel often includes siblings’ families (31%) and nieces/ nephews (20%). (Source: Preferred Hotel Group Study)

Sources: Nancy Schretter Travel Exchange presentation and

What to Know about Family Travel

“Kidfluence” is a major trend. 87 percent of parents in the U.S. and Europe give kids a say in family vacation destination planning. 34 percent of U.S. millennial parents give kids full control over the final vacation destination decision. (Source: 2015 HomeAway Kidfluencer Survey)

What kids want when traveling differs by age according to Schretter:

  • Ages 1-4: Sense and Sensibility – storytelling, fantasy and wonder
  • Ages 4-7: DIY Years – interactive, education and variety• Ages 8-11: Identity Quest – variety, education and interactive
  • Ages 12-17: The Thrill Years – thrills, authenticity and history Source: PGAV Destinations – The Art of the Family Vacation Study
  • Young Adult: Connections – experiences, adventure, authenticity, making a difference

Source: Nancy Schretter and

  • NTA has provided us the research and atmosphere to brainstorm new ways of doing things and fresh additions to trips, which has led to successful business development. Rachel Ranck, WorldStrides, NTA member since 1985
  • What NTA does is provide the right buyers. They provide the right people who make decisions. This is what makes this organization one I can’t afford to take off my list. John Stachnik CTP, Mayflower Tours, NTA member since 1979
  • I came to NTA to build a business, and that’s exactly what it did for us, as sales came in. For me, it’s the only outlet for new ideas. Matthew Squire, Select Travel Service (UK), NTA member since 2002
  • NTA membership and our attendance at the convention have provided us with more clients, more business relationships and more ideas. We are proud to belong to NTA. Daniele Panzarin, Target Travel (Italy), NTA member since 2007
  • The No. 1 member benefit of NTA has to be all the great professional and personal connections we’ve made over the past decade. Taunya Wolfe Finn, CTP, Wolfe Adventures & Tours, NTA member since 2005
  • We have not found a more reliable, more profitable or more consistent tourism venue in which to acquire new business than NTA. Diane Hohnstein, Hospitality Management Services, NTA member since 1999
  • I believe attending the NTA conferences allow me to create valuable relationships and work together with U.S. operators in creating great Scotland product. Maggie Anderson, VisitScotland, NTA member since 2003
  • NTA events provide us with beneficial networking with many top tour operators. It’s national and international in scope providing a global perspective. Tim and Elaine Moulder, Brilliant Edventures, NTA member since 2015