Our industry is growing up (literally!), and it’s no surprise that Gen Alpha, those born after 2010, are taking the attention away from their Millennial and Gen Z counterparts, with marketers rushing to understand how the newest generation will impact the future of travel.
It’s been said that this generation is expected to be more educated, wealthier, and live longer than any generation before them. And while, they may be young, Gen Alpha’s ideas and opinions already play a role in how families make decisions. All of this means great potential for the travel industry.
How is the world’s youngest generation influencing family travel? Expedia Group Media Solutions, the advertising organization of Expedia Group, aimed to answer this by conducting a research study, Gen Alpha & Family Travel Trends, on how adults (both parents and grandparents) with Gen Alphas plan, book and experience travel. Our research provides deeper insight into the attitudes, preferences and priorities when it comes to family travel, and ultimately, how Gen Alpha may shape the future of travel.
Experience Beats Expense
As I know from travel adventures with my own children, nothing tops an entertained and happy family. An overwhelming majority of parents and grandparents (95%) say that keeping their family entertained and happy is incredibly important.
Nearly 80% of families say budget is a factor when considering travel plans. Although families with Gen Alphas are cost-conscious, experience ultimately beats expense, as parents and grandparents prioritize experiences and going somewhere with activities, as well as places the entire family can enjoy.
The Gen Alpha Influence
While it’s no surprise that final travel decisions are ultimately made by the adults, more than one-third of respondents say Gen Alpha influences their family trip choices and decisions. For family trips with Gen Alpha, destination selection (64%) and trip activities (57%) are leading considerations. Convenience is also more important than lowest price when selecting transportation and accommodations for family trips. When it comes to transportation, more than half of family travelers select the fastest option to their destination, and for accommodations, approximately 40% make their selection based on location and family needs.
Online and offline resources play a key role in family trip planning and booking (63%), including travel review sites or online travel agencies. Additionally, more than 4 in 10 turn to search engines, colleagues, friends or family for inspiration – including Gen Alpha who are proactively sharing travel related content to family members.
Gen Alpha and their families know what they generally want from their family travel experiences, however ideas and opinions from multiple family members may be contributing to destination indecision around family trips. Seven in 10 travelers are ‘destination undecided,’ meaning they are deciding between two or more destinations when planning a family trip.
At the end of the day, we cannot ignore the impact and influence of Gen Alpha on the spending behaviors of their parents and grandparents. While they are the first generation to be fully immersed in technology since birth, they also crave real-world, offline connections and shared experiences, like travel.
By: Andrew Van der Feltz, Senior Director, Business Development at Expedia Group Media Solutions