Children influence affluent family travel

Traditionally (or historically) women have had a strong influence on family travel decisions. Move over moms – now it’s the kids who are becoming influencers according to a recent Ipsos Mendelsohn 2011 Annual Affluent Survey. Purchasing decisions – especially for vacation locations, new houses or renovations – are no longer made by the head of house, but are largely discussed and influenced by the children.

In our last newsletter, we noted this kid-oriented trend and how that luxury hotels are “on-trend” increasingly creating exclusive luxury services aimed at children. Inside Trump Las Vegas, there’s no chirping of slot machines or smell of smoke. There’s also no nightclub nor posh celebrity restaurants. Not the ideal scene for the typical Las Vegas customer who is coming to party and gamble, but it’s a niche market the Trump is trying to fill: a family-friendly Las Vegas luxury hotel. The Ritz Carlton, Berlin has VIK’s, Very Important Kids program – the ‘ultimate luxury hotel experience for children’. From miniature Mercedes Benz’s to whizz around the lobby, to child friendly china and petite gold furniture.

Plaza Athenee in Paris has redecorated entire rooms to please the children. They have created Barbie-themed rooms for the girls and gadget-filled Hot Wheels rooms for boys. And an increasing number of hotels have introduced the service of ‘baby butler’ to warm the milk, change the diapers or rock the crib. This summer, the eclectic Rubens at the Palace hotel is transformed one of its conference suites into a complimentary mini cinema just for its younger guests. And while the Four Seasons already caters to children at many of its locations, IT recently started a blog on family travel – “The Modern Blog for The Modern Family.”

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