Multigenerational families from longhaul markets are holidaying in South-east Asia with evolved requirements, observed travel specialists at ATF 2020, with clients now prioritising experiences and activities that can be enjoyed together.
In the past, family groups from the Western markets tended to favour separate activities, often with parents and grandparents happy to leave their young with the resort’s kids’ club.
Mohammad Zaki, president of RZ Travels US, said: “We have seen a growing number of multigenerational travellers taking bonding trips. Ten to 12 family members will travel together, after having saved their money over a period of time, with the intention of creating a lifetime memory.”
Cruises, safari tours and theme parks are on the top of these travellers’ list, and Zaki named Singapore, Bangkok and Malaysia as destinations with the richest multigeneration family offerings.
While some theme park rides may not be suitable for aged travellers, Mohammad Zaki shared that “grandparents find joy in seeing their grandchildren having fun”.
Direct services between the US and Singapore by Singapore Airlines and United Airlines have contributed to the rise in such business opportunities, he added.
Seeing the same trend is Andi Rusli, director of business development with Panorama Destination Indonesia. His company has handled several family groups from the Netherlands, France and Switzerland.
Multigenerational family tours from the Netherlands were largely led by grandparents who used to live as children in Indonesia, Andi explained.
“They wanted to show both their children and grandchildren the places they used to live in and explore when they were little,” he said.
From France and Switzerland, multigenerational family tours tended to be in celebration of wedding anniversaries or birthdays.
“There is usually one appointed coordinator in the family who will create a loose itinerary to suit everyone in the family, and to liaise with the local tour guide,” said Andi. Such groups tended to confirm accommodation and general destinations ahead of time, but allowed flexibility in daily activities.