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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

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