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Family Reunion Tradition Boosts Travel Industry

Family reunions have been a rapidly growing tradition since 1999 and is now accelerating at an enormous pace as technology and travel combine with family interest and genealogy making finding, communicating and meeting family members a fun and exciting pastime.Family reunion planning has become a virtual industry in itself. Family reunion planners like wedding planners are opening up shop on and offliine.

These planners are offering more creative ideas to enrich the event. Many families now meet at the nations captial to follow time lines of history, tell stories of family legends and memorialize family surnames.Others want to combine the family gathering with an opportunity to relax and rejuvinate. One family reunion planner remarks. "There is too much work to do planning a family reunion at home! Between cooking and cleaning up the mess you have to plan and supervise activities.

Not to mention worrying about a relative driving to their hotel after drinking too much." That said many have opted to send the family off to an exotic site where all needs are catered to by hospitality staff. "With a Family Reunion Cruise, there is no preparation shopping, no cooking, and no cleaning," said one family reunion planning committee member.Royal Caribbean International is introducing a new program, Royal Reunions, designed to enhance family and group gatherings.

Organized group activities are run by the ship's cruise staff. Group members compete against each other in reunion themed games.Still family reunion planners have the challenge of making the affair a meaningful enriching experience that draws the family closer. One site, Fimark's Family Genealogy And Reunions, located at http://family-reunion-planner.fimark.net notes "family reunions are becoming the big event far surpassing Holiday celebrations and July 4th picnics.

To that end we see the need to develop products that help them plan and organize local and remote gatherings in ways that draw the family line closer together.".Travel agencies have seen the need to do the same as multigenerational family travel and reunion-type family travel increased from 20 percent in 2000 to 34 percent just one year later.A survey of 400 ASTA and Vacation.com members found that 67 percent reported booking travel accommodations for family reunions within the year since Sept 11 2001, while 64.5 percent reported an increase in requests to book family reunion trips over the past five years.

Noticing an increase in family travel, Sonesta launched the "Our Family Invites Your Family" package.From the foregoing the travel industry sees that family oriented packages with traditional family reunion themes offers lucrative returns.


Mark Askew is founder of Fimark's family reunion planning resource featuring tools, templates and tips for event architects planners and organizers. Fimark's family reunion planning tools are found at http://family-reunion-planner.fimark.net, a site dedicated to family reunion planning.

By: Mark A. Askew

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