Research Shows Orlando is #1 Grandtravel Destination

ORLANDO, Fla., May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Grandparents across the country have indicated that Orlando is the number one city to vacation with their grandchildren. With grandtravel (grandparents vacationing with the grandchildren without the parents) becoming one of the fastest-growing trends in the travel business, that means more marketing opportunities to capture this lucrative market.

The research results were derived from an independent telephone survey, conducted Feb. 13-18, 1998, of a nationally representative sample of 1,000 U.S. adults, among which 521 were grandparents with grandchildren age 16 or younger. Survey participants were asked what would be their first, second and third city choices in the United States to take their grandchildren on vacation. Overall, Orlando was the city most mentioned with 45 percent of all grandparents including Orlando within their top three vacation destinations. And, it was clearly the top destination as 34 percent chose Orlando as their first choice. Other cities ranking in the top three were Washington D.C. at 18 percent followed by San Francisco at 12 percent and New York City at 11 percent. To gain insight to the travel patterns of the grandtravel market the survey participants were also questioned as to what month they would prefer to travel. The results indicated that 37 percent would like to visit Orlando during summer (June, July, August) when the children are most likely on vacation from school, followed by the spring (March, April, May) at 28 percent and fall and winter at 17 percent each.

This study confirms the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc.'s supposition from two earlier small-scale surveys conducted in 1997. A Modern Maturity Mall Show survey data indicated 29 percent of respondents had participated in grandtravel with the top vacation choices being Orlando and its attractions. A second survey, included in an Orlando freestanding insert in Northeast newspapers directed toward empty nesters (mature couples whose children have left the house), indicated 24 percent had participated in grandtravel with the top destination choices being Orlando and its attractions as well.

"Now that we have the data to substantiate the claim that Orlando is leading the grandtravel trend, we can involve our hospitality community in creating focused, integrated marketing efforts toward this audience," said Jose Estorino, senior vice president of marketing for the Orlando CVB. "The destination is poised to provide the venues to create lasting memories between the generations."

Other studies back up the Orlando CVB's rationale that the grandtravel market is a viable one. For example, according to "Mature America in the 1990s: A Special Report from Modern Maturity magazine and the Roper Organization," more than seven in 10 mature Americans -- or about 52 million -- boast at least one grandchild. In addition, about six million report vacationing with their grandchildren in a typical month, and the greater financial security of the 50-plus set allows mature Americans to generously indulge their young relatives. The Roper Report also concludes that as parents find themselves increasingly constrained by busy lifestyles, grandparents will very likely take a greater role in the lives of their grandchildren.

"As America continues to gray and familial bonds continue to develop and evolve, business strategies will be geared toward creating options for experiences to be shared by grandparents and grandchildren. Meanwhile, the hospitality industry cashes in on the fact that grandparents love to spoil their little ones," added Estorino.

To obtain vacation information on Orlando, including an Official Visitors Guide and Mature Traveler Discount Brochure, please call the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. at 800-972-3308.

SOURCE Orlando-Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc.

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