Hospitalityand Tourism:FamilyTourism Trends in the USA and the UK
Hospitalityand Tourism: FamilyTourism Trends in the USA and the UK
Theincreasing demand for sustainable tourism as well as an increase indemand by a local tourist has led to the evolution of the hospitalityindustry as well as the tourism industry to accommodate theincreasing number and also maintain the industry sustainable. Thishas, in turn, led to the growth of family tourism. More families aretaking time for vacation. According to Schanzel, Yeoman and Backer(2012), families with young and dependent children represent asignificant proportion of the total population of most westerncountries. These families are a major (current and future) market forthe tourism industry (Schanzel et al., 2012). The bond betweenchildren and families is often associated with the rising demand forfamily travel. Family travel offers tourists with a way to reunitefamily members who have an opportunity to spend time together awayfrom their daily routines, jobs, and pressures of urban life. Also,changes in demography and social structures play a major role infamily tourism (Schänzel & Yeoman, 2015). These changes includethe rising number of the aging population in western countries, thegrowing number of women participating in the labor market amongothers.
Inthe UK, half of the total population is characterized by familieswith young children. Family travel in the UK represents one out offour trips made in the country and the in the US, families accountfor 30 percent of leisure travelers. With the growing popularity inthe UK, annual family vacations in most households are no longerluxuries but essential parts of their lives (Schanzel et al., 2012).More so, with increased promotion of local tourism, the growth infamily tourism has also been experienced. Tourism and the tworegions, (US and UK), has been one of the ever growing sector. It hasin turn remained a large industry, serving both domestic andinternational tourists. However, one of the growing trends is theadvocacy of domestic tourism, which in turn covers the aspect offamily tourism.
CurrentTrend in the UK and the USA
Amajority of families participating in family vacations look forwardto having an active and unforgettable time together. Since tourism isall about offering an authentic experience (Prentice et al., 1998),the holiday experience in family travel centers around having time todo fun activities that will create a lasting effect on the members(Schanzel, 2012). Therefore, hotels and other hospitalityestablishments have slowly integrated fun filled activities intotheir packages. These activities include hiking, bike riding,camping, skiing, etc. fueled by the aspect of mass tourism there hasbeen an increased demand for the family tourism sites and in turnleading to the overall growth of the industry.
Withthe improvements made in the health sector, longevity has led to anincrease in the number of years grandparents can spend with theirgrandchildren (Yeoman, 2012). Today, grandparents play a significantrole in caring for their grandchildren. To develop or maintain thebond they share with their children and grandchildren, the elderlyare actively participating in family vacations to variousdestinations across the US and the UK. Owing to the high levels ofimmigration, departures in the UK to visit friends and relatives havebeen on the rise (Schänzel & Yeoman, 2015). This has beencredited to family vacations intended to visit members of theextended families in different countries.
Furthermore,children are slowly being recognized as consumers in the tourismindustry. Unlike before when vacations were often taken by parentswho had to leave their kids with sitters. Parents are currentlyopting to travel with their children to popular tourism destinations.Due to this growing popularity in family trips in both the UK and theUSA, hotels and resorts have had to adapt to the trend. As a result,they have developed children friendly activities that ensure that theparents enjoy their stay with minimal interruptions from thechildren. Also, the demand for nutritional foods in hotels means thatthey have had to include healthy foods for children. More so, thishas led to the establishment of tourist sites that can serve theentire family, i.e., can offer services to the elderly, the workingclass youth, and children.
Familytravel is expected to rise with the economic growth of emergingmarkets like Brazil, Russia, India, and China. In China, forinstance, family tourism represented 23 percent of all outgoingtravels to various destinations. With rising disposable incomesfamilies in the countries as mentioned earlier are potential touriststo destinations in both the UK and the USA. Schanzel et al. (2012)argue that the ongoing change in gender roles will have a significantrole to play in the future of family tourism. Female participation inphysical leisure activities has gradually been on the rise. With thecontinuous elimination of traditional gender roles, it is expectedthat in the future, both the children and parents can enjoythemselves together, regardless of the activity (Schänzel &Yeoman, 2015).
Familytourism is projected to grow more than any other form of tourism(Schänzel & Yeoman, 2015). The projected growth is associatedwith the need for families to develop and maintain their cohesiverelationship. Parents are taking a more active role in the physicalleisure activities of their children. Hotels are also conforming tothe needs of family travelers by developing packages that cater toboth the parents and their kids. Also, demographic changes such asthe increase in elderly people and immigration have been asignificant engine in the growth of family tourism (Schanzel et al.,2012). The continuous diversification of gender constructs is alsoexpected to promote the growth of family tourism. Changing genderroles have seen an increase in the number of females participating inphysical leisure activities. This means that all family members maybe involved in a majority of activities during the vacationregardless of their gender. Finally, emerging markets have had agrowth of their middle class. With better living standards anddisposable incomes, citizens from emerging economies can eventuallybe a target market for the tourism industry in the UK and the USA.
Accordingto the author, I do agree with the predictions with regard to thetrend of the family tourism. The increased demand for mass and allfamily tourism has been on the rise. The client has well researchedon statistics with regard to the avenue on family tourism. Changingin the family structures, and also the decrease in the times a familyspends together, there is the tendency for families to take some timeout together which has, in turn, fueled the aspect of family tourism. More so, the article is an important research with regard to theevolution and changes within the hospitality and tourism industry.
Prentice,R. C., Witt, S. F., & Hamer, C. (1998). Tourismas experience: The case of heritage parks.Annals of tourism research, 25(1), 1-24.
Schänzel,H. & Yeoman, I. (2015). Trends in family tourism. Journalof Tourism Futures, 1(2),141-147. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/jtf-12-2014-0006
Schänzel,H., Yeoman, I., & Backer, E. (2012). Familytourism.Buffalo: Channel View Publications.
Yeoman,I. (2012). 2050-tomorrow`stourism(Vol. 55). Channel View Publications.