Generation Alpha-defined as those born after 2010-plays an active role in the motivation and preparation of family travel, shows new research from Expedia Group Media Solutions.
They may have been born after 2010, but Generation Alpha leaders have ideas and opinions and already affect family decisions-including travel. Over half of parents and grandparents said Generation Alpha is showing them online and television material to affect the planning of family trips. They will help prepare for the future by understanding their desires and impact on family travel now, and how they engage their parents and grandparents in travel discussions.
The main result was that there are different relationships between parents and children now than in previous generations:
- Parents believe they are closer to their children than their parents were to them (70%)
- Parents were more afraid of disobeying their parents than their children are of disobeying them (61%)
- Parents consider their child to be one of their best friends (83%)
- Parents solicit and consider their kids’ opinions when making purchases (71%-US and 94%-internationally)
Generation alpha is likely to be even more desirous of personalized holiday destinations and travel experiences than either Millennials or Generation Z. Because of this, travel agents ‘ popularity will go up in a way that they have not since their heyday. Travel agents can do something that many people are unable to do, and the internet with all its strength still has issues with interpersonal interaction. Individuals can create a personalized travel experience that does not exist elsewhere.
The internet is good for many things, but it is not good for individuals to create personalized experiences in a way that a travel agent or travel agency would. The travel industry will therefore continue to reflect this phenomenon, offering not only trips to popular destinations, but also more off – the-beaten-path destinations. Smaller towns, more rural areas and places previously overlooked by major tourist destinations will become more popular with Generation Alpha in their desire to find unique experiences off the beaten track.
Creating those unique individualized experiences will be an important job for travel agents as they assist with the travel mobility of generation alpha. Generation Alpha has unprecedented abilities to learn about and access information on even the most remote places of the world and often times just as it has been with the Millennials and Generation Z they will find particularly remote areas that strike their own customized idea of an idealized trip. And having a travel agent who is able to help make that trip or one similar to it a reality will continue to become increasingly important.
Effects of Alpha Generation in Numbers
Nearly nine out of 10 of those surveyed say it can be fun for the whole family to plan a trip together, and 80 percent say they also speak to Gen Alphas about travel.
Part of driving this relationship is to meet family travelers as they decide where to go. Seven out of 10 travelers state that when they first decide to take a holiday, they settle on two or more destinations and say that they are open to help and inspiration when planning a family trip.
Adults say influence comes from appealing imagery (54%), deals (53%), informative content (50%), helpful reviews (44%) and simple language (35%), which marketers can use to inform their strategies.
The study found that a number of online and offline tools, including travel review sites or online travel agencies (63%), play a role in family trip planning and booking. More than four in ten people get advice from search engines, colleagues, friends or family – including Gen Alpha.
Social media, online videos and online advertising, particularly ads with attractive images, offers and insightful content, can also be powerful for families.
However, ideas and opinions from multiple family members may be contributing to “destination indecision” around holidays, as 71 per cent are trying to decide between two or more destinations or don’t have a destination in mind when they first decide to book time away.
While planning family trips, a vast majority of parents and grandparents (95 per cent) said it was “incredibly important” to keep their families amused and happy, and 89 per cent look for the best offers and value.
Ultimately, with a healthy and child-friendly environment, fun is the focus. Families are searching for theme parks and attractions (74%), water activities (67%) and outdoor activities (55%).
On average, Gen Alphas travelers take more than three vacations a year. However, most are domestic.