An investigation of the US family reunion travel market: Motivations and activities

Juyeon Yun, Purdue University


This study investigated the motives and travel patterns of family reunion travel market to better understand multigenerational family travelers in general. Although travel motivations have been studied, few researchers examined travel motivation in a multigenerational family setting. The empirical investigation of this research included two studies: qualitative and quantitative analysis. For the qualitative study, twenty-two in-depth semi-structured interviews were performed to identify interesting characteristics of family reunion travelers. This approach highlighted the potential of the market and provided useful insights for the qualitative study design. The data from the larger scale quantitative study of 309 family reunion travelers was analyzed and resulted in several important findings. To properly assess family reunion travelers’ motivations, the Family Reunion Travel Motivation Scale (FRTMS) was developed. The results of this study highlighted six key motivators of family reunion travel: Tending to Immediate Family Needs, Family Communication, Family Closeness, Family Adaptability, Maintaining Family History, and Personal Relaxation. These motivational factors were analyzed to identify differences based on demographic characteristics. According to the findings of this study, there were statistically significant differences by gender, household roles, household types, and ethnicity. Travel characteristics, including information about decision-making and family activities at family reunions, were also collected and analyzed. A new intergenerational activity classification system was developed. This allowed activities to be classified into four categories: Indoor-based group/individual activities and outdoor-based group/individual activities. This study provides valuable insights into multigenerational family travel using family reunion travel as a case study. The results of the study form a suitable foundation for additional research into family travel and other types of multigenerational family travel and events. The analysis also produce results destination marketers find valuable. The analysis also produced results that will help destination marketers develop targeted advertising materials. ^




Xinran Y. Lehto, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Sociology, Individual and Family Studies|Recreation

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