Shapiro // © 2015 TravelAge West
In this issue’s cover story, “Guide for Gearheads," we offer our top product picks for family travel, along with favorites from parents in the travel industry. We hope that by sharing these items with your clients, you’ll deepen the relationship you have with them.
This story comes just in time for the holidays, and with the end of the year at hand, it’s natural to look forward to what we can expect for family travel next year.
I’m happy to say that the future of family travel looks strong. According to a survey by the Family Travel Association (FTA) and the New York University School of Professional Studies Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism, 93 percent of parents expect to take a family vacation in the next two years. However, there’s still plenty of room for growth, as only 47 percent of respondents said they use all their vacation time each year. The study also showed that all kinds of families need assistance with travel planning — whether to help make travel easier, expose them to new adventures, guide them through research or reassure them when they are ready to book.
“People are struggling to find meaningful information about where to go and what to do,” said Rainer Jenss, founder and president of the FTA. “They need assistance finding value-for-money travel options that offer the experiences for which they are looking and seek reassurance that their families will be safe while on the road.”
The study identified three types of family traveler — Hassle-Free Travelers, Cautious Travelers and Intrepid Travelers — and Jenss says the industry can benefit by addressing the needs of all three.
“If we continue to nurture the Intrepid Travelers, help the Cautious Travelers with their concerns and cater in new ways to the Hassle-Free Travelers, we could see an even greater acceleration in the growth of family and multigenerational travel in the years to come,” he said.
For our part, we intend to work closely with the FTA going forward and are discussing some joint projects. In fact, we have several plans in the works for Family Getaways in the year ahead. Stay tuned as we continue to bring you the best of family travel in 2016 and beyond.