Article repost from Travel Pulse

by LAURIE BARATTI

While many resorts have operated for some time under a model that assumes vacationers are looking to drop off younger members of their parties at kids’ clubs or with child-sitting services in order to enjoy time alone, emerging trends and recent research contradict that increasingly outdated notion.

These days, multigenerational groups on holiday can consist of not only parents and kids, but also grandparents and extended families gathering together for, say, destination family reunions or other celebratory getaways. In light of the new evidence, many hospitality companies are adjusting the ways in which they cater to mixed groups of kids and adults.

Designed specifically with multigenerational travelers in mind, this year, Club Med introduced its Amazing Family Program, available at Club Med Punta Cana and Cancun Yucatan (set to expand to over 30 resorts worldwide by 2021).

The concept was formulated based upon a study conducted on behalf of Club Med, which identified “spending quality time together” as the foremost driver for parents surveyed. New activities engineered specifically to promote that sense of “togetherness” were developed to appeal to family members of all ages, in categories like water fun, games, sports and relaxation; and each resort hired two full-time experts dedicated solely to family entertainment.

Club Med launches Amazing Family programming
PHOTO: Club Med launches Amazing Family programming (Courtesy Club Med)

Disney’s Riviera Resort, opening in December 2019, has engineered its accommodations to provide plenty of space for clans vacationing together at Walt Disney World. The new property, which will also be the fifteenth Disney Vacation Club resort, will feature approximately 300 family-friendly vacation homes, including deluxe suites, one- and two-bedroom villas and grand villas that can sleep up to twelve guests each. Because it’s also a stop on the brand-new Disney Skyliner transportation system, organizing your group to enter the parks together should be a breeze.

Disney, Riviera, Resort
PHOTO: Disney’s Riviera Resort. (Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World Resort)

All-inclusive resorts have also recognized a shift in the preferences of multigenerational travelers and are re-inventing their offerings to ensure they remain relevant.

Family-friendly, all-inclusive Hyatt Ziva Cancun, for example, recently opened MOODS, a brand-new, teens-exclusive space for guests aged thirteen to seventeen. The new spot offers attendees some activities that even adults would enjoy, including a mocktail bar, DJ lab where the resident DJ demonstrates how to mix beats, theme parties, a teen night club, virtual-reality rooms and video games. The Kidz Club for ages four through twelve features a mini-waterpark, outdoor climbing rock wall, video games, beach excursions and more.

Hyatt Ziva Cancun.
PHOTO: Hyatt Ziva Cancun. (Photo courtesy of Playa Hotels & Resorts)

Another all-inclusive geared towards families, the Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana resort (opening in November 2019) will incorporate aspects that appeal to adults and kids alike, including a custom waterpark with everything from large slides and lazy rivers to splash pads for smaller guests. Daily and nightly entertainment performances, pool parties, keepsake painting, gourmet cooking lessons and virtual-reality gaming experiences are also designed to be appropriate for all ages. Of course, there will still be a club specifically for kids and teens: “The Lost City of Anac Pac—Cap Cana spelled backward.

Also in the Dominican Republic, the Hilton La Romana All-inclusive Family Resort, which will re-open following renovations in December 2019, has compiled a schedule of nightly, live entertainment suitable for all ages, as well as beach and poolside activities that families can come together to enjoy. There are also kid-targeted games, treasure hunts, arts and crafts and the Explorer’s or Core Zone Teen’s Clubs for them to experience on their own. There’s even a weekly kids’ campout adventure, and nightly bonfires and parties for teens to attend when the grown-ups get too boring.

Teens' Club at Hilton La Romana Family Resort.
PHOTO: Teens’ Club at Hilton La Romana Family Resort. (Photo courtesy of Playa Hotels & Resorts)

While all-inclusive resorts can be a great way to go for many families, Kacie Darden of Blue Pineapple Travel says that from what her group sees on the ground, multi-gen travelers are also increasingly opting for FIT travel, bound for many classical and exotic destinations.

Often, she says, parents are keen to take kids to personally experience the places and iconic sights that they’ve learned about in school, tying fun and adventure into education. Adventuresome families might prefer to book each leg of their expeditions themselves, even when working with an agent or tour operator, as part of the desire to create unique and individualized experiences on their travels—a tourism trend that is certainly not unique to multi-gen travelers.