Few things consume the minds of travel + tourism brands and destinations as much as the trends affecting the future of travel. Destinations want to know what’s around the corner in order to steward the experiences they create for travelers looking for their next big adventure. Despite their young age, Gen Z already has a major impact on the travel and tourism industry — even the youngest of the cohort are exerting their influence over the travel industry by voicing opinions for family trips. As this generation grows in population size, age, and ultimately, spending power, brands are aligning with their ideals to capture the next big thing in travel and tourism — Gen Z.
Research Reigns King
Researching any and everything is in Gen Z’s DNA. Growing up with a myriad of information at their fingertips, these digital natives know how to scour the web for travel-inspiring content and recommendations. The info-savvy generation consumes snackable travel video content on YouTube, immerses themselves in destinations via augmented and virtual realities, and consults with social media for hot travel tips from brands, influencers, and peers.
All About the Experience
According to Contiki, an overwhelming 97% of Gen Z says experiences are the most important thing in life. When traveling, this generation isn’t attracted to the all-inclusive destinations and would rather trade out tourist traps for transformative adventures in “untapped” regions of the world.
Connected Since the Cradle
Despite being all about the experiences, Gen Z has been connected since the cradle and can’t travel without tapping into the internet. The first step for many is to locate the best internet-on-the-go, from temporary SIM cards to portable wifi hotspots. Due to constant connectivity, the research doesn’t stop as soon as they reach their destination and gives destination marketers a chance to get in some last-minute marketing.
No strangers to voting with their wallets, Gen Z-ers frequent brands that represent their values and avoid the brands that don’t. Their proactive mindset bleeds into the tourism industry according to Booking.com’s 2018 Survey, with Gen Z being partial to cause-driven trips, considering the social issues of regions, and refusing to visit destinations if it would negatively impact the local community or environment.
In order for destinations to welcome this emerging audience, they’ll need to think outside the box and leverage new partnerships. Stewarding new conversations and guiding destinations to include the up-and-coming Generation Z will transform the travel + tourism industry like never before.
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