Research by the Family Travel Association reveals optimism for this key sector
NEW YORK, NY, October 24, 2016 – The family travel market is poised for significant growth according to a new study from the Family Travel Association (FTA). Based on a survey whose participants include key travel industry players ranging from travel agents to tour operators and hotels to tourist boards, the study, conducted in partnership with New York University’s School of Professional Studies – Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism, reveals that this segment is set to boom, largely led by consumer interest in spending quality time traveling together as a family.
“Our family travel findings indicate a major opportunity for the travel industry,” said Rainer Jenss, President of the Family Travel Association, which he founded in 2014 with the goal of bringing the travel industry together to inspire more families to travel. “This is a developing area still in need of research and analysis so our hope in sharing these results is that they serve as a catalyst for the travel industry to expand and improve its offerings for families.”
A substantial 87% of respondents believe the family travel market will grow robustly or moderately within the next 3-5 years. In addition to consumer desire to spend quality family time traveling together, other factors driving growth include parents’ focus on exposing children to new destinations and cultures, and grandparents’ wish to create multigenerational family experiences, as well as the expanding range of family travel products. In fact, more than half of the survey participants noted that revenue from family travel had increased by at least 5% in the past year alone and more than a quarter of respondents project that this segment will represent more than half their business in the next 3-5 years. In terms of threats to the future growth of the market, respondents reported several concerns ranging from the economy to political/global instability and safety/security as a whole.
Additionally, the findings reveal that the most popular destination for family travel is the Caribbean/Central America region, and that most of the family travel segment’s business includes children between ages 7-14.
FTA Study Highlights
- Current Growth: Nearly 80% see the market as growing robustly or moderately.
- Future Growth: Over 87% of industry respondents think the family travel market will grow robustly or moderately over the next 3-5 years. Specifically, 30.3% of industry respondents see family travel growing robustly (over 8%) in the next 3-5 years; over 57% (57.4%) see it growing modestly (4-8%); and NONE think it will decline.
- Four Factors Driving Growth:
- Parental/consumer desire to spend quality time traveling as family: 71.2%.
- Parental desire to expose children to new destinations and cultures: 54.4%.
- Expanding range of family travel products being offered by industry: 38.4%.
- Grandparents’ desire to create multigenerational family bonding and memories: 36%.
- Family Travel Revenue Growth: 53.9% of industry respondents report family travel revenue growth by 5% or more in the past year.
- Family Travel Projection: 31.5% of respondents project that family travel will represent more than 50% of their total business in the next 3-5 years. Another 19.2% of respondents report that family travel will represent between 21-50% of their total business.
- Most Popular Destinations for Family Travel
- Caribbean/Central America: 39.5%
- Europe: 39.4%
- US West: 26.7%
- US South: 19.8%
- South America: 15.1%
- Africa: 14%
- Children’s Ages for Traveling Families: 43.9% of family travel business includes children between 11-14; 36.5% is 7-10; only about 10% include teens and less than 10% include kids 6 or under.
Study participants included travel agents, cruise lines, tour operators, hotels, vacation rental companies, tourist boards, theme parks, dude ranches, gear companies and travel media. 77% of respondents are current members of the Family Travel Association, while 23% are non-members. 46.7% of respondents report that family travel represents more than 50% of their total business.
About the Family Travel Association
The Family Travel Association was founded in 2014 to create a single and collective voice on behalf of the travel industry and those companies that serve traveling families. As a coalition of the leading family travel suppliers, resources, and experts, its mission is to inspire families to travel – and travel more – while advocating for travel as an essential part of every child’s education.
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