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According to Mintel (2012) there are a number of trends in the family market that are likely to impact, in some cases quite significantly, upon the way families spend their leisure time:

  • The family leisure market is challenged by demographic trends including a rise in single-parent families, a rise in the proportion of ABC1 families (11% over the past decade) and rising socio-economic inequalities.
  • One third of families with working mothers rely on grandparents for childcare and there is a growing demand for grandparent/grandchildren and multi-generational family leisure.
  • There was a 19% increase in the UK birth rate between 2001 and 2010, which means that the shape of the family is set to change with an increase in children aged under 10 and a decrease in those aged 10-19. That means that leisure products for younger families are likely to see greater growth.

Such trends have already led to recognition by a range of leisure organisations that products and services are to be adapted if they are to meet the changing needs of the market. Indeed Mintel also report that the family holiday sector has already seen a shift towards visiting and staying with friends and relatives, and perceived value options such as camping and holiday parks.

The holiday park, in particular, is ideally placed to cater for the demand for multi-generational family.

Given the diverse nature of the modern-day family, according to Mintel it is important that leisure organisations offer a range of flexible products and services to meet the needs of this complex market. For example:

  • Consider ticketing that takes into account the changing family structure, eg one adult and one or more children rather than the two adults, two children ‘norm’.
  • Offer additional training related to the customer service needs of the family market.
  • Discounts or offers that recognise these single parent families will increase business.
  • With over 50% of children aged 8 to 17  likely to have a page or profile on a social networking site, organisations could consider adapting their marketing approach to reach the child as well as the parent. This can be an enormously effective way of reaching and influencing the family leisure market.

By Agata Zacharzewska