Gen Z travellers have received heightened attention for their massive influence & growing buying power. As we think about the future of the travel industry, we have to expand our viewpoints & offerings to reach travellers of all ages & backgrounds because younger generations are the travellers of today & tomorrow – Monya Mandich, Expedia Group
Technology is key for the Gen Z’s – that’s what they were born into, the children of the internet, known as digital natives. With a focus on wanting change for the good and improving the world around them, they are ideal travellers who endeavour to be environmentally conscious and want to make an impact in the destinations they journey to.
Alice Jong, Research Director at Phocuswright writes that, “Gen Z (born 1997 to 2003) is the youngest generation to come of age and contribute to overall travel spend. They have an intuitive knack for all technologies that will help them reach their goals.”
Who are Generation Z?
- They are highly adaptable, hyper-connected, smart and tolerant
- They pave the way for innovation and responsible tourism.
- Exert a greater influence on global consumer culture and current affairs.
- Great interest in new cultures and discovering new types of food and drink.
- Interact with online resources for trip inspiration and planning.
- Massively swayed by photos and videos resulting in social media platforms like Snapchat, YouTube and Instagram having an immense influence on their choices as consumers.
- Inspired by eco-warrior, Greta Thunberg, they are acutely aware of their responsibility to the global community.
- Perceive the travel sector as a positive contributor to society and to their own personal development.
One thing is very clear about Gen Z – they care about the environment, as indicated most by this generation’s environmental spokeswoman, Greta Thunberg.”
What are Gen Z’s travel needs and wishes?
The European Travel Commission created a fascinating study of Gen Z’s, revealing how they present “a tremendous opportunity for the travel industry.”
1. Design products and services for digital natives
Make sure your tourism business has an online presence, is easy to find, and seamless to interact with.
2. Instant online customer service
Always be ready to engage and interact in real-time via several platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Consider installing a multilingual chatbot and Live Chat.
3. A balanced way of working
Gen Z’s like and share each other’s views and content; so treat them as equals and question their needs. Don’t just barrage them with content.
4. Technology is effortless
Ensure highspeed Wi-Fi and 4G or 5G communications as moments need to be snapped and placed on Instagram in the blink of an eye.
5. Be honest
Gen Z’s value transparency around pricing, terms and conditions and what happens to their personal data.
How to wax your tourism offer to attract the Gen Z market
Incredibly particular in their planning and booking of a destination, Gen Z’s place much value, awareness on human connection, and a light travel footprint.
“Showcasing a commitment to inclusivity and sustainability comes down to authenticity and consistency, because consumer expectations in this space are growing, and especially important to younger travellers,” says Mandich.
- Content must be compelling and immersive.
- Tell an engaging story with content, creating a destination that is live and evolving.
- Capitalise quickly on travel opportunities, as Gen Z’s are very spontaneous.
- They want advice from a trusted, reputable source; so, always be in the know.
- Enhance digital interaction through virtual reality and augmented reality.
- Gen Z’s want to be moved; so, curate impactful experiences in destinations with specific cultural trends. “Gen Z are far more accepting of social and ethnic minorities, so destinations that openly celebrate diversity.”
- Develop products that are built around healthy living and self-improvement.
- Provide a safe and welcoming environment.
- Highlight products and experiences that are kind to the environment and local communities, or even give back through volunteering, charitable donations or logistical support.
- Help with tips and advice on how to travel responsibly.
Travel trends for the Gen Z’s
- Huge desire to travel post being stuck in one place due to Coronavirus.
- Find new ways to travel, so it becomes about the journey, as well as the destination.
- Crave authentic travel experiences and not top spots and highlights of a city.
- Looking to travel to smaller, more remote villages and extending their stays there.
- Seamless connectivity and ease of navigation when arriving in a destination.
- Climate change is real, and Gen Z’s will think twice about destinations that are or could be severely affected by this.
Generation Z are a massive force changing the world day by day, and with it, shaping how others can transform destinations positively. By focusing on authentic connections and taking care of our planet, we can give back and ensure the longevity of our world for future generations to come.