According to the latest findings from global luxury travel network, Virtuoso, Australian families are travelling further afield in the pursuit of memories to last a lifetime and experiences that transform their daily lives. The 2019 Virtuoso Luxe Report surveyed affiliated advisors to determine where, why and how families are travelling this summer. Recurring destinations among the results included Iceland, Cuba and Antarctica, all of which are considered “unconventional” family destinations.
“Australians live in a destination the rest of the world wants to visit, so we were curious to see where they head for their own holidays,” Virtuoso Chairman and CEO Matthew D. Upchurch says. “For a country where almost 60% of the population has a passport, it’s no surprise Australian families are travelling together and seeking out some of the most interesting and unusual destinations on offer.
“The next generation of travellers are primed to explore the world, seeking out genuine human connections and
ways to experience [local cultures] and a sense of the unique. Virtuoso travel advisors are there to help guide
these global citizens so that they get the most from their adventures, ultimately creating family memories of a
The 2019 Virtuoso Luxe Report shows that millennials have been bumped from their perch as the most influential generation, with Generation Z (those born from 2000 onwards), set to comprise nearly one-third (32%) of the global population of 7.7 billion in 2019. Millennials will represent 31.5%. One study puts Gen Z’s buying power at over US$500 billion.
“They may be young, but Gen Zers have strong opinions and exert considerable influence over travel decisions,” Virtuoso said.
The Top 5 ways Generation Z Impacts Family Travel were by;
- Influencing others’ choices via word of mouth, social media and reviews
- Involving themselves in planning trips
- Looking for highly visual locations and activities that highlight their exciting lives on social media
- Persuading others to embrace their desire for more active experiences
- Seeking out unusual destinations
Virtuoso Analysis: Gen Zs have a great deal of clout over family and peer travel decisions. Worldlier at an earlier age than previous generations, they were born with a passport in hand and are determined to explore. The more off-the-beaten-path, the better, as social media factors significantly into their drive for more unique experiences.
Top 10 Family Travel Trends
- Active or adventure trips 6. Ocean cruising
- Beach resort stays 7. Cultural immersion
- Multi-generational trips 8. Touring (guided or private)
- Celebration travel 9. Educational trips
- Mother/daughter or father/son trips 10. Passion-point travel (art, movies, sports etc.)
Virtuoso Analysis: Adventure trips rose to number one from third place last year, bolstered by travellers’
excitement for active experiences. Sun-and-sand travel has fallen from the top spot, but remains popular for family togetherness and as a means of disconnecting. Travel with multiple generations, the leading overall trend in Virtuoso’s 2019 Luxe Report, is third on the family-specific list.
Family trips are perfect for celebrating milestones such as birthdays and anniversaries and bonding over shared experiences. Skip-Gen travel is also on the rise, with grandparents eager to educate, explore and leave a lasting legacy with their grandchildren, while working parents stay behind back home. Tours, particularly private ones tailored to a family’s interests, help transform trips into educational experiences, helping create the next generation of global citizens.
Top 10 Hottest Family Destinations
- Fiji 6. U.S.A (Los Angeles)
- Italy 7. England
- Hawaii 8. New Zealand
- Thailand 9. Indonesia
- Japan 10. Vietnam
Virtuoso Analysis: Italy is a firm favourite, but Australian families are travelling far and wide in search of a holiday. While families love to extend their reach as far as the U.K. and U.S., for shorter-haul escapes they are exploring closer to home, including Asian and Pacific destinations on their must-see lists. Idyllic islands like Fiji and Hawaii figure prominently on the list for families looking to unwind together.
Top 10 Unconventional Family Destinations
- Iceland 6. China
- India 7. Morocco
- Cuba 8. Costa Rica
- Galapagos Islands 9. Croatia
- Antarctica 10. Rwanda
Virtuoso Analysis: Exploring new destinations is the top travel motivator in the Luxe Report, and seeking unusual places is a Gen Z priority, so it’s no surprise families are searching for lesser-known and more remote parts of the world. In particular, pristine destinations such as Iceland, the Galapagos Islands and Antarctica are trending. The desire for authenticity and deep cultural and nature-based interactions is driving families to places such as India, Cuba and Rwanda.
Travel advisors from Virtuoso-affiliated agencies in Australia shared their viewpoints in the 2019 Luxe Report,
uncovering the year’s most significant trends.
Lead image credit: Essential Costa Rica