Shapiro // © 2016 TravelAge West
One of the advantages of writing about family travel is learning how important it is to the market as a whole. According to a recent industry and consumer survey conducted by the Family Travel Association (FTA), 87 percent of respondents believe the family travel market will grow robustly or moderately within the next three to five years. In addition, about 54 percent report family travel revenue growth of 5 percent or more in the past year, and 32 percent say family travel will represent more than half of their total business in the next three to five years.
What should be especially interesting to travel agents are some of the challenges families face that could keep them from traveling. In particular, “finding a destination or activities that everyone will enjoy,” “choosing accommodations” and “planning the trip,” are all top deterrents to respondents. Clearly, travel agents can be especially helpful by sharing their knowledge and experience in order to create successful vacations.
Furthermore, the No. 1 challenge identified by those surveyed is affordability. Again, agents excel at helping clients find the best value for their money, which crosses yet another concern from families’ lists.
And why do families love to travel? The top four reasons include a desire to spend quality time traveling as a family (71 percent); a desire to expose children to new destinations and cultures (54 percent); an expanding range of family travel products being offered by the industry (38 percent); and grandparents’ desire to create multigenerational family bonding and memories (36 percent).
Travel agents looking to grow their family travel business should take a careful look at these statistics. Crafting a marketing message that highlights the bonding and emotional rewards of family travel, while pointing out how agents can use their expertise to alleviate the hassles and headaches of trip planning, seems sure to be a winning combination.