Understanding Travelers Philanthropy

Parents Dedicated to Instilling Philanthropic Values in their Children

Bonnie Lunt, Founder: Azama Project, Otavalo Ecuador, by David Chamberlain

Today’s Children Are Culturally Aware, Responsible Consumers

Parents are teaching their children to value philanthropy, cultural experiences, and other personally enriching activities above material goods according to the Third Annual American Express Platinum Luxury Survey. Ninety-one percent of responding parents indicated that they encourage their children to participate in charitable or philanthropic activities and almost two-thirds (62%) of children have donated a part of their own money to charity.

Almost all parents (94%) surveyed said that they want their children to have experiences that assure they are cultured and well-rounded, and even more (96%) spend time talking to their children about good ethics and values. As such, when affluent parents do spend significantly on their children, the survey results revealed it is on cultural activities, such as international travel, with two-thirds (68%) of respondents’ children having traveled internationally. Even when shopping with and for their children, parents emphasize the experience more than the purchases as 66% of parents reported that the experience of shopping with their children is more important than what they buy.

“Parents are raising their children to be value-conscious consumers with an appreciation for life-enriching experiences,” said Simon Kahn, vice president, Platinum Card Product Management for American Express.

Next Generation of Responsible Philanthropic Travelers
Parents said they emphasize the value of the dollar through discussions with their children, and these children are frequently taking part- time jobs when they reach the age of 15. Parents also stress the importance of philanthropy with their children and lead by example, giving.

* Eighty-one percent of respondents indicated that they believe their children appreciate what they have.

* Similarly, 76% of affluent parents believe their children understand the value of a dollar.

* About half (53%) of all children aged 6-17 receive a regular allowance. The average weekly allowance for children aged 6-14 is $7,and $21 for children aged 15-17.

* Forty-five percent of children in the 15-17 year age range have part-time jobs. For children aged 18-21, 73% have part-time jobs.

* Ninety-one percent of parents encourage their children to participate in charitable activities and two-thirds (67%) of all respondent’s children do so, or donate part of their own money to charity (62%).

* Nineteen percent of adults identified volunteer events and charity functions as a personal passion. Of those that did, 80% indicated that they include their children in such activities.

Emphasis on Experience and Enrichment
The survey revealed that when affluent parents spend on their children they do not accentuate the acquisition of material goods, but the accumulation of experiences. Frequently, they share experiences with their kids including fitness, dining or theater activities. And children of affluent parents are increasingly worldly, often traveling internationally at a younger age than did their parents.

* The top three personal passions among parents were identified as physical fitness (45%), dining out (39%) and travel (39%).

* Parents are sharing their passion for physical fitness with their children, with over half (53%) of respondents’ children receiving personal lessons for sports.

* Of those affluent parents (39%) who identified travel as a personal passion, 92% indicated that they include their children in their travel activities.

* Parents surveyed said when it comes to personal passions they spend the most money on travel, with an average overall annual spend of $13,004. Of the 22% of respondents with a reported household income above $600,000, average overall annual spend on travel increased to more than $20,000.

* Interestingly, over two-thirds (68%) of children were reported to have traveled internationally before the age of 17, with 80% of boys aged 13-14 and 77% of girls in the same range having already done so.

* Parents reported their first international trip at an average age of 19.

* Forty-one percent of parents reported that their child aged 17 or under is taking music lessons, and 55% of children are attending theater and music performances.

* Ninety-four percent of parents said they believe their children have experiences that make them more cultured and well-rounded.

* Two-thirds (66%) of parents indicated that they would give up 20% of their salary to spend 20% more time with their children.

METHODOLOGY: About The American Express Third Annual Platinum Luxury Survey

The Third Annual American Express Platinum Luxury Survey was a quantitative survey conducted in June 2006 among a random cross-section of 1,170 affluent consumers in the U.S. Relevant facts of the survey include:

* Survey responses were drawn from a national sample, including 26% from New York, 32% in Los Angeles, and 42% from the rest of the country.
* Respondents had an average net worth of $4.3 million and an average household income of $472,000.
* Ninety-six percent of respondents were married, had an average age of 47 and averaged two children per household.

Those surveyed had to report a household income of at least $150,000 and fall in the age range of 30 to 59 to be considered. Respondents were not required to be American Express Card members to participate.

The American Affluence Research Center conducted the survey on behalf of American Express.

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