- Family holiday planning is no longer an activity just for the adults, according to new custom research from Expedia Group Media Solutions;
- Planning a family trip is a collaborative activity for the entire family, and that now includes the youngest members of the household: Generation Alpha;
- Representing those born after 2010, Gen Alpha may encompass the very young, but they have strong ideas and opinions and are influencing family decisions.
Representing those born after 2010, Gen Alpha may encompass the very young, but they have strong ideas and opinions and are already influencing family decisions - including travel. More than half of parents and grandparents in the research said Gen Alpha show them online and TV content to influence family trip planning.
The Gen Alpha & Family Travel Trends study, conducted by Northstar Research Partners, examines Gen Alpha’s impact and role in family travel decisions and the content and resources that are influencing their ideas and opinions. Taking a global perspective and looking across Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the UK and US, the research provides insights into family travel attitudes, preferences and priorities, and how Gen Alpha may shape the future of travel.
Most interestingly the study shows that those aged nine and below are “already playing an active role in family travel inspiration and planning, and they’re influencing trip decisions for the entire family,” highlights Andrew Van der Feltz, senior director for Expedia Group Media Solutions. “Gen Alpha is expected to be more educated, wealthier and live longer than any generation before them, resulting in great potential for the travel industry,” he adds.
Although final decisions are ultimately made by the adults, the study shows that more than one-third of respondents highlighted that Gen Alpha influences family trip choices. For family trips with Gen Alpha, destination selection (64%) and trip activities (57%) are leading considerations.
Although budget is a consideration for most family travellers, convenience is more important than lowest price when selecting transportation and accommodation. More than half of family travellers selected their transportation because it was the fastest option, and approximately 40% of family travellers selected their accommodations based on location and family needs.
But ideas and opinions from multiple family members may be contributing to destination indecision around family trips, with 71% deciding between two or more destinations or simply don’t have a destination in mind when they first decide to take a family trip.
The study shows that a variety of online and offline resources play an influential role in family trip planning and booking, including travel review sites or online travel agencies (63%). More than two in five look to search engines, colleagues, friends or family – including Gen Alpha. Social media, online videos and online advertising can also be influential for family travellers, especially adverts with appealing images, deals and informative content.
When planning family trips, an overwhelming majority of parents and grandparents (95%) said keeping their family entertained and happy is incredibly important, and 89% look for the best deals and value. But they prioritize family fun – such as going somewhere with activities for the entire family and places Gen Alpha will enjoy – along with a safe and child-friendly environment, above lowest price.
As you would expect when travelling with children, experiences and activities are an important part of the family holiday itinerary. When planning a trip, family travellers look for theme parks and attractions (74%), water activities (67%) and outdoor activities (55%), the report shows.
But what does that all mean for the industry seeking to attract family travellers and interest the increasingly influential Gen Alpha generation. The report highlights that family travel planning is collaborative, entertainment and happiness is incredibly important, family travellers prioritise convenience over lowest price and inspiration and information come from a variety of sources.
Expedia Group offers the following observations to destinations and travel providers to appeal to this important market:
- Look for opportunities to make travel research and planning an interactive, fun and easy experience for the entire family, and use family-friendly content and messaging;
- Marketing content with messaging or visuals highlighting fun for all ages – especially for activities, experiences and attractions – is an effective way to appeal to family travellers;
- Lead with convenience-driven messaging, such as location or proximity to nearby attractions, transportation options and family-friendly services – rooted in a great deal to make the booking decision even easier.
- Create a multi-platform strategy and use a diverse content mix to influence family travellers throughout the purchase journey with appealing family-centric images, deals and information.