Back in 2017 young people were making 23% of the whole travelers globally. It gives us, 250 billion euros. Young people from Generation Z will become a powerful force in the global tourism sector over the next few years. In order to build a dynamic brand in the travel and hospitality sector, you should include them in your brand strategy.
There have been many stereotypes about Generation Z, largely created by older folks who also struggled with prejudice at a young age. With Gen Z’s different approach to traveling, it is crucial to give them a chance to show what they are capable of.
Gen Z is often accused to be too fragile or entitled, but at the same time, they are reckoned empathetic, considerate, and adaptable. It’s the first generation that we can call digital natives. That means they were born when the internet and mobile devices were already highly accessible. During their childhood, they also experienced economical crises, signs of climate change, and terrorism alerts. All these shaped their characters and their travel choices.
General characteristics of Generation Z
I have a feeling that we often misunderstand Zs and judge them too harshly. Many people call them selfish, too sensitive, and disconnected from reality. But is that all so true? Or… are they really as bad as they seem? So what kind of travelers are Zs?
Hyper-connected. According to some, Gen Z doesn’t disconnect from virtual reality, so they have difficulties forming meaningful connections. On the other hand, they are fluent in searching for information and connecting with people all over the world. They are also not as afraid of technology as their older friends. They just simply don’t overthink it too much.
Focused on the environment – They are often described as the generation that will fix what their parents and grandparents messed up. Reading news about climate change and the consequences of our negligence has made them more conscious travelers. Also, Gen Z doesn’t have a problem mixing technology and having a great connection with nature. They are adept at handling contradictions.
Taking care of their mental health – this is the first generation that openly talks about their struggles and challenges. They are constantly seeking a way to take care of their mind and soul.
Focused on the conversation – social media gave Generation Z the opportunity to exchange their opinion in a way that had never happened before. They can easily connect with politicians, celebrities, and influencers. It means they will also expect your travel brand to be communicative and proactive.
A big part of the world’s wealth – is they have been born in difficult times, but it’s easier than ever to raise money without prior experience. Generation Z knows how to make money and spend them on pleasures. Just keep in mind that they are mixing luxury and budget, balancing price and value.
Read also: How to find your ideal niche market
What does it mean to small travel brands
Observing how the world is recovering from the pandemic, Generation Z seems like an important indicator of future changes.
Generation Z is taking the market by storm and will soon become the biggest traveling group. That’s why it’s so important to consider their needs when you think about your travel brand’s future.
Fortunately, you don’t need big investments to attract a young audience and make them fall in love with your brand.
- Generation Z is looking for real connection and authenticity that doesn’t cost anything. If you build your brand close to your values, you are on the right path.
- Small brands should also think about building their business models with the environment in their minds. So everything from environmental-friendly architecture, vegan and vegetarian meals, and minimizing carbon footprint can add up to a positive image of your brand.
- Generation Z is also one of the most diverse groups. Brands that think about inclusion and equality can win the hearts of young travelers.
- Witnessing terrorist crises in the early 2000s, privacy issues on and outside the internet, digital crime, etc., made Gen Z highly focused on safety. As a small business owner, you have to make sure, your young guests feel comfortable and safe.
Generation Z – your new ideal guest – summery
Even though Gen Z has often a bad reputation for its relationship with technology, their way of living can have a great impact on the sector. We can already see the change of direction towards more sustainable and inclusive traveling. Zs play a key role in these new trends.
Therefore, it’s hard to ignore their habits and expectations. The good news is that many of these changes can actually benefit your business, making it more balanced and joyful. Because it’s all about making authentic connections, being closer to nature, and fundamental values.
This article was created based on the Report Study on Generation Z Travelers by European Travel Commission