Catering to children in the holiday experience
Despite widely utilising children in their marketing campaigns, the tourism industry, as Cullingford (1995) notes, has generally failed to market and/or cater directly to children, preferring to target their parents instead. The same trend has been identified by McLean and Yoder (2005: 105) across the consumer economy, where industry has traditionally appeared to feel that ‘adults decided what foods children would eat, what toys they would play with, and what clothes they would wear’. The lack of focus on the child as consumer may be because, as Swarbrooke and Horner (1999: 227) have stated, ‘while the young person is the consumer, the parent is usually the customer, making the final purchase decision and paying the bill’. The traditional identification of children as passive objects rather than active social agents also provides an explanation for the historical lack of focus on the child as consumer – why after all would an industry cater to a passive object?