Despite declining birth rates, family trips are on the rise. In 2015, around 78 million Europeans went on family vacation abroad and spent a total of 640 million nights on these trips. This is the result of a special evaluation of the World Travel Monitor®, conducted by IPK International and commissioned by ITB Berlin.
Destination Germany registers high growth rates
Over the last ten years, the annual average growth rate of holiday trips with children (aged under 15) has been around two percent, which corresponds to the growth rate for all holiday trips undertaken by Europeans. For family trips, Europe is the preferred destination as 90 percent spend their holidays there. The most popular destination for families is Spain, where around 15 percent spend their holidays, followed by France. In recent years, Germany has registered high growth in this segment. As in 2007 it was still ranked sixth behind Spain, France, Italy, Austria and Turkey, Germany is now ranked on the third place and the number of family tourists there has almost doubled. Outside Europe, the most popular destinations for families are the USA, followed by Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Thailand. The three source markets with the highest demand for family trips are Germany, the UK and France, which altogether account for more than one-third of European family tourists.
Off to the beach
Beach holidays are the most popular type of family holidays, with two in five spent on lakes or by the sea. The main motivation for families is to relax, while sunbathing and swimming as well as good food and drinks are also very important. Although having been on the rise in recent years, with 17 percent, city breaks follow beach holidays by far in popularity. The focus here is on sightseeing and experiencing a city’s atmosphere. With 15 percent round trips are the third most popular type of family holidays.
Hotels are increasingly in demand
More than 50 percent of families choose to stay in hotels. Over the last ten years this market has experienced steady growth, with about 25 percent of overnights spent in 4-star hotels. Besides hotels, the second most important type of accommodation are rented holiday homes and apartments which are more popular among family holidays than in the overall holiday market. In contrast, the market for private accommodation has almost halved over the same period.
Travel information and booking is mainly online driven
In order to plan their holidays, families obtain most of their information from the internet but approximately one-third also consult travel agencies and a quarter get tips and information from friends and relatives. Also for bookings the internet has become the most important booking channel and has gained a strong in market share in recent years. In 2015, almost three-quarters of all family trips were booked online. Travel agencies came a distant second. Around a quarter of family holidays were booked via this channel.
Dr. Martin Buck, Senior Vice President Travel & Logistics at Messe Berlin: “The young people of today represent the travel market of tomorrow. Tour operators must pay attention to the needs of both families and children. Good Wi-Fi reception at a destination is important, for example. The growth in hotel overnights shows that families have increasing requirements when it comes to their holidays. Not only attentive staff or good care for their children is important, they also want to experience unforgettable, special moments that let them come together as a family.“
Alongside special evaluations of IPK`s World Travel Monitor® and ITB Berlin will be publishing further data from the World Travel Monitor® as part of the “ITB World Travel Trends Report 2016/17” in early December. (Last year’s ITB World Travel Trends Report 2015/2016 is available http://www.itb-berlin.de/media/itb/itb_dl_all/itb_presse_all/WTTR_ITB2016_8_Web.pdf). The “ITB World Travel Trends Report” is based on the latest findings and papers published by the World Travel Monitor® Forum, which will take place in early November 2016 in Pisa, Italy.
The World Travel Monitor® Forum is an exclusive industry gathering which discusses the latest travel industry trends and forecasts of tourism development.
The overall findings for 2016 of the World Travel Monitor®, the world’s most comprehensive survey of global travel trends, will be presented by IPK International at the ITB Future Day, part of the ITB Berlin Convention.
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