Faculty
Faculty Research Spotlight: Dr. Minnaert and the 2016 US Family Travel Survey
December 21, 2016
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For the past two years, the Tisch Center has worked with the Family Travel Association on the “US Family Travel Survey,” which examines the travel behavior and attitudes of US families. The Family Travel Association is a membership organization that brings together family travel suppliers and stakeholders, with the aim to inspire families to travel, while advocating for travel as an essential part of every child’s education.

The most notable of the new findings in this year’s study looks at multigenerational travel. Multigenerational travel encompasses any kind of trip that involves three or more generations of family. In this year’s survey, an additional question block was added about multi-generational travel, which showed that 59% of respondents had taken a multi-generational trip, and 26% had not taken a multi-generational trip yet but were planning one in the future. These findings highlighted just how prominent the multi-generational market is in the US.

The study also revealed some interesting features of multi-generational travel. Tisch Center Academic Chair, Dr. Lynn Minnaert who supervised the research explains, “Often, it is assumed that most multi-generational travel is driven by the grandparents, meaning that the vacation is planned and paid for by the grandparents. However, the results of this survey do not confirm this: in most multi-generational travel, the parents split the costs with the grandparents, and the parents are more likely to organize the trip than the grandparents.”

The other notable finding from this year’s study found that many Americans are not taking all their vacation days: over 50% of the respondents did not use all the paid leave days they were entitled to. This trend of ‘vacation martyrdom’ has resulted in what is called the ‘lost week’ – Americans take on average one week less vacation than they did 15 years ago. The Tisch Center is taking note of this trend and addressing it at the Spring 2017 Ricelle ‘Bunny’ Grossinger Distinguished Lecture Series in Tourism Management, which will feature Katie Denis, Senior Program Director of Project: Time Off – a coalition of travel industry partners which aims to change the way that personal time off is viewed in the American workplace by emphasizing its importance to personal well-being and professional success.

 

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