Travel companies need to cater for a wider demographic that encompasses young adults dubbed as ‘kidults’, according to new research by Clia.
Even when young people choose to holiday independently, 95% returned to the family holiday, a social condition the cruise trade association describes as the ‘boomerang effect’.
Parents see their children as an integral part of family holidays, no matter what age, with 95% admitting they would never want the family holiday to end if they could.
The poll was taken by 1,000 UK adults who will or have taken a holiday in 2016 with their children aged 16 to 21 years old.
The main reason for parents choosing to holiday with their children is to spend quality time together with 78% of those surveyed agreeing with this statement.
Almost three quarters (70%) of parents say that a holiday is the only opportunity they have to spend quality time with their children.
Historically, the family holiday may have been considered stressful, where family members would clash and arguments would materialise.
But the research implies that these stereotypes have lessened and now children of all ages seek refuge to relax on the family holiday.
This also links to the reason parents prioritise relaxing on a family holiday, which represents nearly 68% of the poll, inferring that a family holiday in 2016 is far more harmonious.
As many as 74% or parents allow their children to determine where they go on holiday. Despite this, children do not want to take any financial responsibility and 88% of parents pay for their child/children of any age to go on holiday with them.
Clia Europe operations vice president Andy Harmer said: “The research was motivated by a desire for us to sense check the trend for multi-generational cruising and to establish what the ‘family unit’ looks like in 2016.
“The family holiday is in a state of flux, no longer is there an age at which parents lose the kids and we are seeing a new demographic; the ‘kidults’.
“As a result more attention needs to be placed on experiences for customers in their late teens and early twenties, something the cruise industry is already prepared for.
“Our marketing of the cruise sector and the wider travel industry can more effectively be targeted with this better understanding of these ever closer generations.”
Cultural commentator and BBC broadcaster Benjamin Ramm said: “Society is seeing a seismic shift in attitudes to travel and wider family life, as this Clia research reveals.
“Previous generations were desperate to break free from the family structure, whereas today the rising cost of living and an increased sense of individual culture all lead to a dependency on the family unit – which of course extends into the holiday arena, a formative opportunity to spend quality time together.
“This trend is working both ways: while it is convenient for the 'kidult' to benefit from financial support, a growing number of parents are holidaying with their children and grandchildren in later life.”
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