The Herman Trend Alert
May 8, 2019
Skip-Gen Travel or Gramping
One of my favorite speakers ever was a man named Dr. Mort Feinberg, an industrial psychologist and college professor. One of the jokes he told that I remember to this day was, "Question: Why do grandparents and grandchildren get along so well? Answer: Because they have a common enemy." That is why I was not surprised to see Marriott identifying one of the most recent family travel trends is "Skip-Gen" or "Gramping." This new trend involves grandparents traveling and bonding with grandchildren, without the presence of parents.
The demographics that created these opportunities
In many cases, the children of the boomers waited to have their children. What that delay means is that the boomers' grandchildren are just the right ages for gramping.
The economics behind the trend
With the boomers moving into their high-consumption years, they have more disposable income to spend. They love their young grandchildren and see school vacations as bonding opportunities. The parents see these trips as well-deserved breaks.
Different versions for gramping
Some energetic grandparents choose to take all of the siblings, while others prefer to take one at a time. Fortunately, most hotels can accommodate having the children close with connecting rooms and multi-bedroom suites.
Marriott responds to these opportunities
To react to this trend, Marriott International has created a series of summer gramping experiences. They identified seven metro areas throughout the Americas, including one city in Canada and another in South America. The cities Marriott highlighted were New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Seattle, Washington, DC,
Types of activities Marriott highlights
From the Boston Children's Museum to boating in Vancouver to meeting Giant Pandas at the Atlanta Zoo, Marriott has identified appropriate multi-generational activities for both grandparents and grandchildren. Additional suggested pastimes included a trip up Seattle's Space Needle, baseball games at Fenway Park, a laser light show at the Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, Maryland Washington, DC Metro, and the indigenous market in Lima, Peru.
The value of segmentation
Marketers have long recognized the worth of segmenting markets. Gramping is an excellent example of how this segmentation can help to fill hotel rooms. Expect to see more marketing segmentation as Marriott and other hoteliers seek to capitalize on demographic and psychographic shifts in the marketplace.
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