DYNAMICS OF THE TRAVELLING FAMILY IN CANADA
We wanted to examine what a family that travels is
made up of, when, how they travel and what they do when they are
To give us some idea of what makes up a travelling
family in Canada and visiting US families, we have examined
statistics provided by Statistics Canada and published in
What is a Canadian Travelling Family:
From the latest statistics available from Statistics Canada
and provided in Travel-Log, approximately 84% of Canadians
live in families(23.9 Million Canadians). This being said,
the structure of the family unit has changed in recent years.
45% of family units are the traditional married couple with
children at home, 6% are common law couples with children at
home and 15% are single parent families with approximately 80%
of these single parent families headed by women.
Approximately 63% of family units have children with a women
as a primary caregiver of children.
In terms of numbers this
translates into 4,937,940 Canadians living in family units
that include children.
Between 1990 and 1997, there was a 33% increase in number
of trips by one parent accompanied by one or more children.
In 1996 7 out of 10 couples with children under 16 had two
incomes which translates to approximately 845,000 Canadians
living in a two income family.
American Travelling Families:
Between 1990 and 1999 Americans travelling with children 2
under increased 17 %.
Percentage of age groups of American Children travelling to
Canada on more than one night
Under 2 - 7%
2 to 11 - 48%
12 to 14 - 20%
15 to 19 - 23%
The largest percentage of travelling US adult age groups is held by the
35 to 44 year old age group and 45-54 year old age group.
These segments of the Adult population are also the greatest
percentage to have children between the largest target group
of children between the ages of 2-11 and 12-14 years old.
HOW FAMILIES TRAVEL:
In 1999 37% of families took
cultural/heritage trips involving one or more night with 83% of these trips by car. Distance of one way trips was
almost split evenly between 80-319 km and 320 km and over.
WHEN DO FAMILIES TRAVEL:
Periods for families with children travelling for one or
more nights in 1998 in Canada are as follows:
January – March 15.6%
April – June 22.0%
July – September 47.1%
October – December 17.3%
WHAT DO FAMILIES DO WHEN THEY TRAVEL:
Families are more active when they travel, visiting theme
parks, zoos, national parks, and historical sites.
In 1999 Canadians took 16 million trips in Canada involving
at least one cultural and/or heritage activity, representing
11% of all domestic trips with 37% of families taking cultural/heritage trips involving one or more night.
According to Statistics Canada "Cultural/heritage
tourists are more educated, earn more and travel primarily in
the summer season. … Culture/heritage travel attracts more
women, single persons and couples with children than other
types of travel. Also, a third of all domestic travel packages
are purchased by this group …".
Other interesting facts about the demographics of
Cultural/heritage tourists include:
- 37% of trips longer than 24 hours were adults with
- 43% of the tourists were women and 18% were children
- An average of 5 nights was spent away from home as
opposed to 3 nights for other tourist groups.
- Stays at Hotels and Motels were more common than in
other types of trips
- Accommodations in hotels and motels made up 23% of the
stay location for these trips.
- 49% of these tourists also went shopping
- Number of nights spent away from home has increased 3
times from 1996 to 1999.
- In 1998 47% of one or more nights family travel was done
for pleasure, with 9% of those trips involving hotels. Over
95% of these trips were by car.
Being aware of the trends in family travel can go a long way to knowing
what the travelling family is looking for, what they need and when they will
need it. We have incorporated the needs and wants of families with the
needs and wants of the accommodation industry to assist our hotel and resort
clients in provided the best and safest products and facilities for children
travelling with their families.
Our research into all aspects of safety for children and fun is an
ongoing process that continually monitors safety information, new products,
exciting new services for children and more. We specialize in
providing the hotel and resort industry with the best choices and products
for children that will meet the needs of the travelling family and customize
the service and products for each hotel and resort. As the only
company in the world that specifically strives for this goal, we are
uniquely poised to improve facilities at the smallest resort all the way up
to a chainwide or multi-property conceptual standard.
And www.hotelfun4kids.com is
the only web site in the world that allows parents to see up close the level
of services a hotel or resort offers for families as well as specifics of
those services. It is also the only web site that provides a hotel
with a forum for promoting itself and its facilities directly to the family
travel market and has now added on-line hotel listing
With over 2,000,000 visitors a month, www.hotelfun4kids.com
is a promotional vehicle for family travel that should not be
overlooked. Over 50% of its visitors are from the US, 20-30% are from
Canada and the rest are from all over the world. The What's New and
E-Newsletter allows subscribers and visitors to the site to find out at a
glance what's new in family travel.
We receive hundreds of comments weekly from families looking for travel
information, each one of which is replied to as best as possible. With
these information requests we can compile even more specific information
into what the travelling family is looking for and hopefully gather more
specific statistics into the dynamics of the travelling family.
By Maureen Hall
For more information about the Hotel Fun 4 Kids™ Program see
Return to Top