Travel co’s must cater to jigsaw families | Daily Mail


Holiday companies will increasingly be looking to attract single parent and multi-generational families, a trends forecaster has predicted.

William Higham, founder of consumer trends company Next Big Thing, said the rise of ‘jigsaw families’ meant that escaping for a break is no longer just about mum, dad and two children.

‘We do have an increasingly diverse range of customers. It’s important that the travel industry caters for them,’ commented Mr Higham.

Single travellers have long felt like they are penalised for their social status with supplements added to make up for the lack of a second occupant in a hotel room, for example.

There are a limited number of specialist companies already offering dedicated breaks for lone parents including Small Families Holidays, a firm established in 2001 that offers fully hosted breaks. The company says there has seen ‘steady growth’ in the number of customers booking with them.

A spokesman told MailOnline Travel: ‘The comment we hear more than anything else from single parents is that they feel lonely and isolated on holiday if travelling with the more traditional holiday firms as they only really cater for “regular” families, couples etc.

‘Single parent holidays are very much a niche market and quite difficult to target specifically but it has developed more over the past 10 years with around four main companies in the UK offering a varied range of destinations and holidays to suit most budgets.’

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics released in January, there are nearly two million single parent families in the UK, rising from 1,745,000 in 2001 to 1,958,000 last year.

Meanwhile, says Higham, multi-generation holidays, where grandparents come too, are on the rise. Research by Age UK and Silver Travel Advisor released in the summer found that more than half of holidaymakers are going away with two or more generations of their family, with an average number of six members enjoying a break together. Many travellers believe that it saves them money.

Mr Higham said there were unexploited opportunities for travel firms, adding: ‘Over the next three to five years, I believe there will be broader companies offering niche holidays.’