The New Traveller on the Block: Gen Z

Earlier this month, I participated in the PhocusWright Conference in Los Angeles, which considered how technology and innovation will transform Travel & Tourism. One particularly fascinating session, led by UNiDAYS, looked at how the emerging Gen Z is travelling and why it requires a different approach to Millenials.

But before I get into that, here is what you need to know about Gen Z:

  • It is the youngest consumer generation, born between 1997 and the present day
  • By 2020, Gen Z-ers will account for 40% of Americans and will be the largest group of consumers
  • Today, Gen Z command $143 billion in US spending power
Image for post
Image for post
Gen Z (Shutterstock)

This generation of self-reliant digital natives are both pragmatic and realistic. They are more difficult to reach than previous generations and have an eight second attention span. Yet, they are always connected with 24/7 access to Instagram, Youtube, WeChat, etc. This generation expects content to be curated. They communicate with images and they don’t watch traditional TV like previous generations. They want authenticity and are BS-intolerant. They are conscious and engage with brands that stand up for what they believe in.

Image for post
Image for post
Source: IBM.

If Gen Z is the future, then how do we reach them? Here are five interesting insights:

  1. ♥ Travel: Gen Z values experiences more than everything else- and wants to travel and discover the world. And they put their money where their mouth is. They have an estimated $44 billion in personal purchasing power, with a majority (62%) saying that they work to finance travel.
  2. Next Destination: Gen Z-ers are “on” travellers, meaning that they’re always looking for their next trip, whether that’s a family visit for winter break, a few days to go see their friends living in other cities, or on the hunt for their next perfect travel destination. 51% travel more than 50 miles every one to three months.
  3. Let’s be Spur of the Moment: Gen Z has a desire for spontaneity, preferring to “wing” their vacations. 59% book their break one to three months in advance of going, with 17% making their booking just one month prior to their trip. This generation values deals and has a more flexible schedule.
  4. Just Because You Liked It Doesn’t Mean That Gen Z Will: This young generation likes a more diverse range of holidays compared to previous generations. In fact, their favourite activities when travelling are eating out, followed by sightseeing, visiting museums, and embarking upon outdoor adventures.
  5. Let Them Do the Marketing: Since Gen Z believe that cultural experiences and travel adventures define their lives, it shouldn’t be a surprise that they are frequent posters. Broadcasting their trips on social media helps them build up their own personal brand whilst being influencers among their social network. In fact, 25% claim that their travel decisions are inspired by their friends and family.
Image for post
Image for post
Source: UNiDAYS

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to reaching Gen Z, but we can at least appreciate the importance of getting to know this young generation of new consumers who want to spend their dollars on travel.

Are we ready for Gen Z?

This post was written by Tiffany Misrahi, Director of Policy, World Travel & Tourism Council.

Written by

Our mission is to maximise the inclusive and sustainable growth potential of the Travel & Tourism sector. Join the conversation #WTTC

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store