European Family Trips On The Rise

Facts and figures from IPK’s World Travel Monitor

Despite declining birth rates, family trips are on the rise. Over the past ten years, the annual average growth rate of holiday trips with children (aged under 15) has been around 2%, which corresponds to the growth rate for all holiday trips undertaken by Europeans. For family trips, Europe is the preferred destination as 90% spend their holidays there. The most popular destination for families is Spain, where around 15% spent their holidays, followed by France. In recent years, Germany has registered high growth in this segment. While in 2007 it was ranked sixth behind Spain, France, Italy, Austria and Turkey, Germany is ranked third and the number of family tourists to the country has almost doubled. Outside Europe, the most popular destinations for European families travelling abroad are the USA, followed by Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Thailand. The three source markets with the highest demand for family trips are Germany, the UK and France, which altogether account for more than one-third.


Beach holidays are the most popular type of family holidays, with two in five spent on lakes or by the sea. The main motivation for families is to relax, while sunbathing and swimming as well as good food and drinks are also very important. Although having been on the rise in recent years, with 17 percent, city breaks follow beach holidays by far in popularity. The focus here is on sightseeing and experiencing a city’s atmosphere. Wi th 15 percent, round trips are the third most popular type of family holidays.


More than 50% of families choose to stay in hotels. Over the past ten years, this market has experienced steady growth, with about 25% of overnights spent in 4-star hotels. Besides hotels, the second most important type of accommodation are rented holiday homes and apartments which are more popular among family holidays than in the overall holiday market, while in contrast, the market for private accommodation has declined.


In order to plan their holidays, families obtain most of their online, yet approximately onethird also consults travel agencies and a quarter gets tips and information from friends and relatives. Also in regards to bookings, the internet has become the most important channel and has gained a strong market share in recent years. Almost threequarters of all European outbound family trips were booked online, while travel agencies came a distant second. Around a quarter of family holidays were booked via this channel.

Source: IPK International – World Travel Monitor®, a unique database for international tourism demand, based on 500,000 interviews worldwide. For further information, please contact or visit