CANNES, France, Dec. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Demographic and lifestyle shifts are creating one of the hottest trends in travel and hospitality – multigenerational travel. The growth projections are significant. Europe is one of the top destinations.
Who makes up this growing segment within the leisure travel market and what are they looking for? Those were the questions examined in a comprehensive study of the leisure traveler by Preferred Hotel Group™, a global leader in the hospitality industry, representing independent luxury hotels and resorts worldwide.
"Because of their numbers, frequency of travel, and use of traditional travel agents, the multigenerational traveler presents a powerful opportunity for the international travel market," said Lindsey Ueberroth, President of Preferred Hotel Group. "To take advantage, the leisure travel industry must create tailored product and marketing offers."
Preferred Hotel Group analyzed more than 400 variables, including the travel-related attitudes, behaviors, preferences, social values, lifestyles, and media habits of leisure travelers who have identified themselves as multigenerational travelers. Among the findings:
- Multigenerational travelers are planning "Milestone Vacations" – Nearly eight out of ten (77%) planned a vacation around a life event such as a birthday (50%), anniversary (40%), family reunion (39%), and wedding (37%).
- They travel more often – The typical multigenerational traveler takes more trips (4.4 per year) than the non-multigenerational control group (3.6 per year). Multigenerational travelers are also statistically more likely to take an international trip.
- They use and trust the advice of travel agents – Almost 20 percent of multigenerational travelers, representing nearly four million people, use the services of a travel agent. Also, 71% said they value travel agent recommendations on "vacation and packages or tours" versus just 58% for non-multigenerational travelers.
"Multigenerational travel creates a challenging level of complexity in coordinating schedules, managing multiple departure points, booking additional if not adjoining rooms and more," said Ueberroth. "For help navigating these logistics, travelers are increasingly enlisting the services of traditional travel agents. This is good news for agents who can provide the advice and logistical savvy needed to ensure satisfaction and value for multi-gen travelers."
The study found that 40 percent of U.S. leisure travelers – 20.8 million people – had taken a multigenerational trip in the previous 12 months. Among them, four out of ten had traveled outside the continental U.S., and 33 percent of those travelers had been to Europe, representing 2.8 million travelers. Another 60 percent of multigenerational travelers expressed an interest in visiting Europe in the next two years.
According to the report, multigenerational leisure travel has become a big market for several reasons:
- Families are living geographically farther from each other than at any time in history. A multigenerational trip is often the best option for today's modern and mobile family to gather in one place.
- The hyper-fast pace of life in the 21st century means evenings and weekends are no longer untouchable family time, creating a greater need for the escape that only travel can provide.
- The enormous baby boomer population is trading briefcases for roller bags, and they want to take their kids and grandkids with them. Boomers now have the time, health, and disposable income to make travel with their families a top priority.
The research highlighted a number of achievable steps that the industry can take to attract the multigenerational market. These include offering special packages and programs, such as group pricing, celebration event packages, multiple-room packages, family-style dinners, and reunion activities.
Ueberroth said that Preferred Hotel Group recognizes the importance of marketing directly to the multigenerational travel group. In 2012, the company will launch several initiatives aimed at this growing segment, including the promotion of a "milestone celebration offer." In addition, consumers will be able to access innovative tools on the Preferred Hotel Group brand websites to book multiple rooms or to reserve special event facilities.
Also, in 2012, Preferred will launch a new Preferred Family website that will include a multigenerational component. This section will provide valuable resources and offer advice on multigenerational travel and reunion planning.
Ueberroth presented these findings December 6, 2011 in Cannes at the International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM), the leading annual business-to-business event for the global luxury travel community. Preferred Hotel Group teamed up with Ypartnership, a leading research company in the travel, leisure and lifestyle category, to study the behaviors of more than 2,500 adult travelers. The multigenerational data was derived from a subset of 1,026.
A complimentary copy of the full report is available upon request to: MGemskie@preferredhotelgroup.com.
For global media contacts and to learn more about Preferred Hotel Group, please go to: www.preferredhotelgroup.com/multigentravel.
SOURCE Preferred Hotel Group