In June 2022, the Institute for Youth Culture Research was in the field together with the tfactory trend agency and Kids & Fun Consulting for the Kids Study 2022. 400 young people between the ages of ten and 14 were directly interviewed on various topics. The tourist part was covered by Ursula Weixlbaumer-Norz, the owner of Kids & Fun Consulting. Here is the summary of the expert from a tourist point of view:
"The current Kids Study 2022 deals with the living environments of ten to 14-year-old children. If you can still call them children. In any case, they themselves would radically reject being called children. You have a mobile phone in your hand 92% of the time. Her free time activities include surfing the internet, listening to music or using social media. More than doing sports or meeting up with friends. They hardly ever read newspapers or magazines anymore. TV was yesterday. The favorite app is "WhatsApp" followed by "TikTok" and "Instagram", which are particularly popular with girls.
A not insignificant part of the study deals with questions that are specifically related to holidays and tourism. For example: Who decides the holiday content and location? What do the kids expect from the holiday, which animations would they like to have? Because: The kids influence the holiday decision to a high percentage (over 52%). The answers were, it should be revealed, quite surprising and sometimes differed massively from studies that were carried out before the Corona period.
The "I love my family" generation
It is amazing how this age group is (still) tied to their parents and how happily they admit it. Up until the 53s it was taboo to be associated with parents, but today it is a matter of course (67%). The statement “I get along very well with my parents” is supported by 14% of the children! This is remarkable when we recall that we are talking to children aged XNUMX to XNUMX. This generation is characterized by strong family ties.
Only around 20% of children say they get on less well with family since the lockdowns. Which, conversely, means that most families as a community have survived the lockdowns well and may even have moved closer together. Certainly also because children have had less contact with their friends since the lockdowns (approx. 40% say so). This age group is strongly tied to the family when on vacation and also wants to go on vacation with their parents. Holidays are decided together: over 52% of children state that they have a say in holiday decisions. The higher the level of education, the more children have the power to make decisions.
The generation of leisure consumers needs tailor-made offers
Almost all children (93%!) want to be entertained and have fun. These children are no longer free time creators, they are free time consumers. They are used to being “served” cool content and choosing which ones to consume. They are "consumption children", also in their free time. Animation and entertainment are also in high demand on family holidays.
However, a large proportion of children also want to relax, chill and do nothing on holiday. But that doesn't necessarily mean they want to hang out on their smartphones. Over 66% of children state that they use their smartphone less often when on vacation. But beware: children's relaxation is not the same as adult relaxation! Children are also active in "relaxation": "I want to chill" means something like "I want to decide for myself what I do and have no guidelines". This can be swimming or reading or hanging out with friends.
Tourism animation is too feminine - boys need action
When asked what animations they like on holiday, the children state that they particularly like sports, adventures in nature, cool experiments and scavenger hunts! However, if you analyze the answers to the question "What animations do you like on holiday" a little more closely and divide them particularly into male and female study participants, it becomes apparent that almost 60% of the boys want sports animations; the girls only to almost 30%. On the other side of the scale, almost 45% of girls want creative activities (handicrafts, painting, music, writing) but only around 12% of boys. For tourism professionals: boys don't like to take part in girls' activities!
Boys and girls are completely different in this age group. Unfortunately, activities that boys love are not yet taken into account in tourist children's clubs and offers: sports, experiencing adventures in nature and board games (where you can win) are at the top of the list. Cool experiments and scavenger hunts are also topics that really appeal to boys. For boys it is always important that there is some kind of competition. You want to win! Even if it's in a group, i.e. you could win with a group or, for example, in a family association, it is attractive to them.