Leading Family Adventure Tour Operator Discovers Only 20 Percent of Children Involved In Family Vacation Decisions

Kids-Only Focus Group Reveals Travel Expectations of Teens and Under 

Billings, MT, April 20, 2012– Award-winning tour operator Austin Adventures (ALA - http://www.austinlehman.com/), the active travel company setting family adventure vacations standards in The Americas, Europe, Africa and Caribbean, learned recently during an online focus group for kids that few children (20 percent) have a say in family vacation planning, that children want most to see new places on vacation (as opposed to spending quality time with their family) and that if a guide is involved, the Pied Piper must have a generous sense of humor. 

These tidbits came out during ALA’s on-line focus group on April 15 that engaged over 50 youngsters ages 8 to 15 for 55 minutes on “What Kids Want on a Family adventure Vacation.”  

“New findings will be incorporated into this year’s spring guide training and into future trips,” said Dan Austin, ALA’s founding director.  “The purpose of this focus group was to stay ahead of the pack, improve upon what we’re already doing great and keep up with new trends and learn what these age groups most want and sometimes fear when going on an active family vacation.”  

Although children are excited about adventure travel, they’re also concerned that activities may be too hard and beyond their abilities, said Austin. “Knowing this is a major concern, on the welcome day on a trip, our guides will now be instructed to speak directly to the kids to help them put their anxiety and fears aside.”  

Preferred activities ranked by response are swimming, snorkeling and bike riding. Favorite destinations are, in order of preference; the beach, mountains and a national park. They prefer active games such as soccer and volleyball over board games.  

Austin Adventures’ newly appointed CEO (Chief Entertainment Officer) Kasey Austin led the young-people-only discussion focused on eight questions presented in an interactive online survey. 

“This is an ongoing research project and dialogue between ALA and its guests, fans and family to constantly improve and enhance the ALA trip experience,” said Austin. “Our summer guests will benefit from the ideas that come out of this focus group discussion.” Findings will be integrated into ALA family trip programming and orchestrated with guides during ALA's annual spring Guide Training May 31-June 4 in Billings, MT. 

About Austin Adventures

Austin Adventures, in 2012 with a 38-year legacy, provides adventure vacations on five continents and has built an international reputation for small group active travel to destinations in North, Central and South America, Europe, the Pacific Rim and Africa. The company specializes in adult and family multi-sport, hiking, biking vacations that emphasize history, culture and nature’s charms.  Small group trips feature excellent regional dining, distinctive accommodations and all-inclusive rates and services. In addition to scheduled group departures, ALA offers customized trip planning.  ALA offers each traveler a money-back satisfaction guarantee.  

In the March 2012 issue of Travel + Leisure, Austin Adventures was recipient of the 2012 World’s Best Values Award for Tour Operators.  ALA has also received Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Tour Operator Award for three consecutive years in 2009 to 2011. In 2011 the company was honored with the Global Vision Award for its Wheels of Change bicycle empowerment initiative. 

For a comprehensive 2012 catalog, call toll-free 1.800.575.1540, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. To review current trips, schedules and itineraries log onto: http://www.austinlehman.com/. To access a digital version of the 2012 catalog go to: www.austinlehman.com/2012catalog  

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