New research has revealed that Generation Alpha – made up of children aged under ten – has a surprising influence on where their parents go on holiday. With many of them already engaging with digital content, they are susceptible to advertising and will happily voice their opinions about what they want in terms of activities and destinations.
Everyone knows about Millennials (aged 24-35 in 2019), and there is now more talk about Generation Z (aged ten-23 today) but the youngest among us make up Generation Alpha. And even though they may not be older than nine, they hold a lot of sway in deciding where their families travel to.
According to new data from Expedia Group, planning holidays is no longer an activity undertaken by adults-only, with 83 per cent of 9,357 respondents saying it is a collaborative experience that includes even the youngest members of the family – Generation Alpha.
They may have been born after 2010, but members of Generation Alpha have ideas and opinions and are already influencing family decisions – including travel. More than half of parents and grandparents said Generation Alpha shows them online and TV content to influence family trip planning.
Andrew Van der Feltz, senior director for Expedia Group Media Solutions, says: “Generation Alpha is expected to be more educated, wealthier and live longer than any generation before them, resulting in great potential for the travel industry.
“By understanding their interests and influence on family travel today, and how their parents and grandparents are including them in travel discussions, we can better prepare for the future.”
With respondents from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the UK and US, the Gen Alpha & Family Travel Trends study provides deeper insight into family travel attitudes, preferences and priorities, and how Gen Alpha may shape the future of travel.
Expedia Groups explains that “technology, digital content and instant gratification are the norm for Gen Alpha”. At least 50 per cent already watch online videos on a mobile device, 46 per cent are using a computer for homework, and 58 per cent use a smartphone to communicate with friends and family.
However, they also value real-world experiences like travel. Most parents and grandparents talk about travel with their Generation Alpha children or grandchildren, and 60 per cent note that travel ideas come from both children and adults.
“Generation Alpha’s proactive travel idea sharing, along with the travel-related content they’re showing to family members, illustrates their early influence on family travel today, and may be an indicator of their future behaviour as they mature and start planning their own trips”, says Expedia Group.Although budget is a consideration for most families, convenience is more important than nabbing the lowest price when booking hotels and flights. More than half of family travellers choose the fastest routes, and about 40 per cent go for accommodation based on location and family needs.
The study found that a variety of online and offline resources play a role in family trip planning and booking, including travel review sites or online travel agencies (63 per cent). 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 can also be influential for families, especially ads with appealing images, deals and informative content.
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.
When planning family trips, an overwhelming majority of parents and grandparents (95 per cent) said keeping their family entertained and happy was “incredibly important”, and 89 per cent look for the best deals and value.
Overall, fun is the priority, along with a safe and child-friendly environment. Things that families look out for include theme parks and attractions (74 per cent), water activities (67 per cent) and outdoor activities (55 per cent).
On average, travellers with Gen Alphas take more than three holidays a year. However, most are domestic.