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Posted February 15, 2016

gen z travel

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They’re young—currently between the ages of six and 20—but Generation Z is already making an impact on the travel industry. They’re the next generation of travelers coming of age over the next few years, after all, and travel companies are preparing for their arrival. So much so that Skift’s Megatrends Defining Travel in 2016 include companies taking a strategic focus shift from Millennials to Gen Z.

Trailing behind their Millennial brothers and sisters (or in some cases, Millennial parents), the iGeneration, as they’re also known, enter the consumer marketplace with their own set of preferences and behaviors. Like Millennials, they are digital natives who are growing up with technology, surrounded by screens and on-demand connectivity. But unlike their Millennial predecessors, they’re growing up in economically healthier times and are “eager to cut loose,” according to a blogger in the New York Times article Make Way for Generation Z.

Act Fast! Catch Their Attention!

Borrowing some insights from Travel Tripper’s Traveler 3.0: How Will Generation Z Navigate the Globe?, here’s a look at how the “kids” of Generation Z will drive change in the travel industry. Brands will…

  • Cater to Immediacy
    This over-connected group of future consumers have shorter attention spans and therefore process information faster. They access much of their daily content (for education and entertainment) on-demand, so they’re not necessarily used to waiting around for it. What this means is they’re likely to favor short-form texts over lengthier phone calls and e-mails, which will nudge customer service and marketing initiatives in new, probably mobile-based, directions.
  • Digitize… Everything
    Members of this always-connected generation are learning to be mobile-centric, taking care of everything using the phones in their hands. This will lead travel companies to work toward becoming more than mobile-friendly—they’ll need to deliver everything via the mobile channel. Consumers of the future will expect to use their phone to research, book, pay for, and review their travel. What’s more, these highly visual travelers will be used to communicating via images—so they’ll capture and share moments as they go.
  • Appeal to Adventure
    More interracial and diverse than any other generation, Gen Z has a unique awareness of the world around them. As such, they’re likely to be adventurous. But Travel Tripper warns that a push toward innovative (faster and faster) transportation could cause a backlash and usher in a slow travel movement, in which travelers enjoying the journey as well as the destination. Think steam ships, bicycle tours, and railroad trips.

Learn how the Millennials—they’re not “old hat” quite yet, are they?—continue to make their mark on travel in Exploring the Generational Divide in Business Travel Preferences, Mobile and Millennials: 4 Ways Hospitality Brands Must Accommodate and Travel Apps: Usage, Awareness, and the Generational Divide.

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