Royal Caribbean has enlisted its first ever Gen-Z expert panel, called the ‘Little Extraordinaires’ to help shape the holidays of the future.
New research from the cruise line and generational guru Dr Paul Redmond has revealed the powerful influence children now have on the shape of family holidays, with nearly 70 per cent of parents now consulting their children before booking a holiday.
The research shows that almost every parent believes their children’s holiday happiness is more of a priority than their partners (95 per cent of parents). And while over 60 per cent of parents admitted relaxing on the beach was one of the main things they enjoyed about being on holiday, over half conceded that waterslides and action-packed activities were top of their children’t wish-lists.
Dr Redmond commented: “For the travel industry, Generation Z is an incredibly important cohort. Not only do they exert a powerful influence on their Generation X parents – who are extremely tuned in to their wellbeing and personal development – but they are a generation that cares more for experiences than possessions. Moreover, as a generation who has grown up with more digital technology at their fingertips than NASA used to launch the Space Shuttle, they expect to see innovation embedded in the experiences around them.”
Aged between seven and 11, the Little Extraordinaires will act as consultants on future Royal Caribbean ships – which are planned 10 years in advance – to help future-proof its family holiday proposition. The Little Extraordinaires will share feedback directly with Royal Caribbean International’s president and CEO Michael Bayley; their first mission to road-test Independence of the Seas following the ships’ multi-million pound makeover this month.
Describing their perfect holiday, the Little Extraordinaires revealed their top five holiday experiences as being high-octane activities such as Thai boxing and rock climbing; exploring new cultures; remote controlled waterslides; unicorns, and unsurprisingly, ice cream. The recommendation that these should all be considered when designing the holiday of the future.
Ben Bouldin, associate vice president and managing director of UK and Ireland, said: “The Little Extraordinaires will be given the chance to provide feedback directly to our most senior team. We truly value their comments and you never know where the next big idea will come from!”