Single Parent Family Travel - An Untapped Niche Market

By Hillary Bressler Fractional Digital CMO, PinchHit Partners | February 25, 2018

The travel industry loves to focus on family travel.  We see many family packages geared towards parents escaping for a break with mom, dad and two children.

Single adults vacationing with children generally seem to be put into the category of ''family travel". It is true that the majority of America's children live in families with two parents.  In fact, 69% to be exact are not single parents. However, it does seem that the travel industry ignores the single parent family travel market of 12 million single parents in the USA, and 320 million worldwide. The single parent family travel is a niche that is ignored and untapped.

The sharp rise in the number of children living with a single parent in the United States from 1970 to 2018 is more than evident. This rise suggests that more must be done to ensure that single parent families are encouraged to travel by meeting the needs of single parents.

The fastest growing segment of single mothers are those aged 35 and older.  This population tends to be educated and financially stable single mothers by choice.

As a single parent, myself, I see the struggles that single parents encounter while traveling as a family. Traveling with children by your self is hard, there is no doubt about it. Couples generally have an extra set of hands, a second disciplinary voice and can act as a tag team to allow some individual downtime. I know many single parents that would flock to a destination or hotel that catered to them. Members of the travel industry, please take a look at what single parent families would love to see from you to make us travel more. We want to give you our money.

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.