Today we went to meet a bunch of other teen bloggers at the Sydney Marriott Hotel.
Marriott has recruited teenagers from their home cities; Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast to be virtual concierges for teens travelling in Australia.
The team creates original travel content and curates the best of social media – bringing you the best places to shop, eat, see the sights and take great photos. All this can be found on the real-time City Guide with a local edge, found here at ThisCityMyWay.com.au.
The website provides teenagers with a chance to see what activities there are to do around their destination that are favourable to people within similar age groups.
By the way - Sydney Harbour Marriott is in a great location and really easy to get to, being right behind the ferry terminus at Circular Quay.
Once we got there we made our way up to the conference room and sat down with some of the other teens.
We then discussed the sorts of activities teens prefer to do and how much they could actually do when travelling with the family.
Plus, we chatted to a few different travel writers and magazine editors, who were interested to find out exactly what it is that teens want on holiday.
The Marriott Hotel then presented their own research into teens, which showed that (unsurprisingly) most teens check out the destination they’re going to online before they go.
Marriott Australia asked 1,000 teenagers aged between 13 and 17 how involved they are in holiday planning. One in two (51 per cent) are likely to be involved in the decision making around holiday activities and a third contribute to dining recommendations (39 per cent).
When it comes to checking out a particular destination and all it has to offer, almost 90 per cent of teenagers took out some kind of online research before and during their family holiday.
A third of teenagers (34 per cent) will do all of their research before departure and surf the internet for inspiration first (48 per cent) followed by seeking peer to peer recommendations (12 per cent) and then asking their network for their tips via social media (8 per cent).
We were then provided a luscious breakfast with freshly squeezed orange juice, fresh fruit and bacon & egg rolls.
We then had a general discussion with editors about the effect technology has on teenagers when on holiday, and how dominant it is in the decision-making process.
As the event came to an end, our last discussion was about whether we prefer reading hard copy magazines to reading a tablet or iPad. Contrary to popular belief, it seems most of us prefer the feeling of holding a book in our hands to swiping a glossy screen.
So even the publisher who asked us if we thought our parents understood us (most of us said yes to that) must have been left thinking that we teenagers aren’t quite as difficult to understand as he thought previously.