Thursday, May 25, 2007
Family travel is on the rise this summer, according to almost four out of five (79%) American Express Travel agents polled nationwide, who identified it as one of this year's most significantly increasing travel trends. This summer, family vacations are expanding beyond the traditional getaways to include newer, broader, more active and meaningful travel plans, say agents. They say that top motivators for family travel include the desire to introduce children to different cultures, customs and lifestyles, to experience new things together and create lasting memories.
Results from the American Express Travel poll of 279 of their agents found that family travel today means more than the typical nuclear family trip of the past. Eighty-one percent of agents are booking family vacations consisting of multi-generational trips that include grandparents. Additionally, more than two-thirds (69%) of agents are seeing grandparents traveling exclusively with their grandchildren -- independent of Mom and Dad.
Other trends spotted by agents include adult children traveling with their parents (69%); family and family friends traveling together as one large group (67%); "blended" families, consisting of divorced/remarried parents with their new spouses and children, traveling together (31%); and extended family members including aunts, uncles and cousins taking trips as a collective group (28%). American Express Travel agents say that families are increasingly drawn to active and experience-driven travel plans. In fact, poll results showed that agents are booking more outdoor, adventure family vacations (62%), along with more international family vacations (57%).
Almost half (49%) of travel agents polled recognized cruising as a growing trend in family travel. Families are also taking trips to celebrate the family itself with family reunions on the rise, according to the 41% of agents who said they had been asked to plan such a trip this year. Another key trend is a rise in family members pairing up to travel.
Almost two-thirds (64%) of agents are seeing a rise in mother-daughter getaways; and 36% of agents noted an increase in father-son travel.
Almost two-thirds of agents said that spa getaways make up most mother-daughter vacations; while fathers and sons most often choose active vacations, such as hunting, biking, hiking or fishing.
Data on 2006 family travel trends was collected via an online poll of 279 American Express Travel agents across the U.S. The poll was fielded during the first and second weeks of May 2006
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