1. Family as a concept
Israel is a young country that puts a big emphasis on family as a value. The more kids, the better. Famous Hebrew songs share the beauty of big families; Jewish religion and tradition stress the importance of creating families and even our recent
history of the Holocaust makes creating new life as a kind of revenge to our past and present enemies.
Most Jewish holidays create family events, be it around the family table or touring around or beyond the country.
Even the thriving LGBT community has made creating families into an important value. As a result many one-sex couples have now kids.
This is also reflected on tourism. For example, the ceremony of Bar Mitzva (the age of boy at 13 when he is regarded adult) oftejn comes together with a trip abroad of the whole family.
2. Estimation of market size
There are no official statistics on how many Israelis travel abroad with their kids so we have to do our own speculations.
In 2018 there were almost 3 million kids in Israel (age 0-17) which is 33% of the total population. Israel leads the Western world with such a high percentage of kids.
The main age group of Israeli kids that travel are those between 10-14 year old (including this bar Mitzva age). Based on the total number of kids from 0-17, we may presume that during these 4 years of age, there are 650k kids. If we take a very conservative guess of one out of every three kids going abroad with their family each year, whereas each family having 3 more travelers (2 parents and at least one more kid), then the total number of family members per year is 650000 *33% *4 family
members = 850k PAX per year.
In total 4.3 Million Israelis travelled abroad in 2019 (who created in total 8.3 million trips) so our estimation of 850k pax means 20% of the total number of Israelis traveling as part of a family trip, seems very conservative.
3. What are typical family tourism products and where?
Out of our estimated figure, approx. 40-50K PAX travel in organised, escorted tours of families only. This figure has been given to us by several touroperators who are specialised on this segment. These tours take place all around the globe but the
most popular family destinations are Western Europe (mainly Holland, Belgium, Paris, Black Forest in Germany), Central Europe (Austria, Slovenia), South Europe (Italy) and the USA (mainly NYC and Florida).
Another highly popular family product is the fly-drive family package, based on “family parks” where tourist can rent a self-catering unit of 2-3 bedrooms with all facilities, swimming pool, etc. These units enable the Israeli families to follow their
own self-drive itinerary, normally 1 week. This product is gaining in popularity – we assume approx. 5000 families purchase these units, either directly or through Israeli touroperators. 5000 families, based on average of 2 parents and 2.5 kids makes a total of approx. 22k PAX.
A fast growing segment of family traffic is cruises – which is one of the fastest growing tourism products in Israel (approx. 110k). During the summer, the Mediterranean and Caribbean create approx 50% of all Israeli cruise travellers. The #1 Touroperators specialized on this segment shared his estimation that approx 35% of this traffic consists of cross-generation traffic (grandparents, parents, kids). Since cruise traffic will probably be very unpopular during 2021, we may assume that approx 20k Israeli family PAX will search for an alternative.
In addition, there are the family resorts, especially in Greece and Turkey. 700k Israelis visited Greece in 2019. We don’t know the number of family members out of this number but we assume that it is at least 35% – meaning 200k Israelis.
4. Family products needed for our market
In order to create new appealing offers for this segment, we will need the support of the private industry. Most of the Israelis book directly, so they will need to create a good offer that Israeli families can book online. Especially important are family resorts with 2 or 3 bedrooms, interconnecting, and family plans (kids till age 16 free of charge, etc).
5. Distribution channels that will enable us to reach this market A major part of our activities will be based on creating constant appealing content relevant for families and through clever boosting, will reach the eyes of the Israeli
In addition, there are several facebook groups that are exclusively dealing with family tourism. They are highly popular as an exchange source of information for the Israelis. We will need to set up joint ventures with them. We will need to create highly popular programs on TV, youtube and Instagram where Israeli families in Thailand will tell their story.
Finally, there are several Israeli TOs that are strong in this segment. Also with them
we will need to produce joint campaigns.