The family travel market is going through a growth spurt and is expected to increase by 25% by 2022, as reported by GlobalData in its ‘Key Trends in Family Travel’ study. In another study of ‘Summer Travel Trends’, ThinkwithGoogle concludes, “Searches related to family vacations have shown the strongest growth year-on-year.” So, is your hotel family-friendly to reap the benefits of this projected surge of family travelers?
Well if not, we believe it’s high time you start offering family-friendly deals and offers to attract more families to your hotel. This goes in parallel with establishing a family-friendly atmosphere to make the families feel welcome at your property.
However, family travel behaviors are nothing like those of the past. From families preferring multi-generational trips to gen alpha being the most influential family travel decision-makers, the concept of family travel is rapidly changing. It is, therefore, essential to understand what families of today want and expect from a family-friendly hotel.
Read on to have a look at family travel trends and crucial trivago Insights* that can help you understand how to make your hotel family-friendly:
1. Families love fun amenities
Families travel together to have fun and create long-lasting memories. And, positive memories are made possible with comfortable stays. trivago Insights* show that while searching for their ideal accommodation online, families prefer picking 5-star, 4-star, or 3-star accommodations with excellent ratings.
It’s also very essential for families to have easy access to fun amenities and family-friendly perks. As per trivago Insights*, families prefer accommodations with a pool, private beach, or proximity to the beach. Besides, family-friendly TV programming, complimentary breakfast, and on-site laundry are a must for the families.
But is it enough to have these basic amenities these days to make your property stand out from the crowd? We show you next how to create experiential stays for the whole family.
2. Families are interested in experiential travel
For most of the families around the world, family traveling has been a staple to the annual program for years. While it still stands true, families are moving beyond traditional family getaways of yesteryears. This means that you, as a hotelier, should provide beyond the norm to gain a competitive edge.
Nowadays, families want to gain experiences rather than simply checking off sights. For families, holiday experiences focus on spending time with the family while doing fun activities that create positive memories. According to Forbes Travel Guide, “When you’re on the go with a crew in tow, experiences are clearly the best option.”
To create experiential stays for the families, consider introducing kids club, family games, babysitting services, complimentary use of beach chairs and pool toys, theme park, mini-golf course, board-game events, kids library, diaper and formula delivery, and so on.
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3. Edventure among families is rising
Gone are the days when having kids meant less traveling and limited adventure for parents. More and more families are now taking family gap years and setting off on quality trips with their kids in their quest to impart world-schooling and life learning (more commonly known as edventure) to their children.
While most of them travel for a few months, looking for perfect hotels or rental options on the way to make their travel adventure memorable; a few even go beyond the conventional traveling and swap work and school for a year or two of adventures for really long family holidays.
4. Gen Alpha is influencing family travel decisions
The publication, Trends in Family Tourism, points out that, “Children nowadays are sophisticated consumers. Businesses have been quick to recognize that the growing distinction between children’s ages is pronounced enough to warrant products and services specifically focused on those tweens who are aspiring to become more like teenagers and adults.”
This clearly shows how Gen Alpha, representing those born after 2010, maybe young, but they have ideas and opinions and are already influencing family decisions – including travel. The Gen Alpha & Family Travel Trends study, conducted by Northstar Research Partners, concludes, “Although final decisions are made by the adults, Gen Alpha influences family trip choices. For family trips with Gen Alpha, destination selection (64%) and trip activities (57%) are leading considerations.”
5. Multi-generational trips are on the rise
As more and more healthy and mobile baby boomers and Gen X are becoming grandparents, skip-gen trips (also known as gramping) and/or multigenerational trips are on the rise. These travelers want to spend quality, fun time with their grandchildren to bond and create lasting memories.
Telegraph, in its Travel News, talks about gramping and mentions, “The concept of holidaying with three generations has taken off with an increasing number of families not only as a way of saving on childcare costs but also as a way of keeping disparate family members in touch.”
Take your property from hidden gem to high demand.
Are you ready to make your hotel family-friendly? Let us know in the comments section below.
*trivago Insights: Data is based on traveler hotel search behavior on trivago between 01.09.2018 and 01.09.2019. Data in the report is based on filter sessions with searches including at least 1 kid and family room type. Please note that the percentages have been rounded off.
A version of this article was originally published in December 2016.
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