A guide for the Gen Z guest and traveler

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Gen Z has (almost) grown up and the spotlight is gradually shifting away from Gen Y to reveal Gen Z’s emerging spending power (both in terms of direct and indirect spending) and how this younger generation is reshaping the field of travel.

How to Meet the Needs of Gen Z Customers and Travelers

While there are indeed some similarities between Gen Z and Millennials, travel and accommodation providers need to make significant changes to their marketing approach when it comes to attracting and retaining interest. of the decisive guest of Generation Z.

Below is an overview of Gen Z’s wants and needs, their defining travel habits and behaviors, and tips on how travel providers can make the changes needed to create meaningful connections with people. Gen Z avid jetsetters in the future.

The differences and similarities between them and millennials

It is true that generations are largely shaped by the contexts in which they were born. Generation Z (composed of individuals born between 1997 and 2012) was born in the age of technology, with the internet and social media at their fingertips from an early age.

In fact, they are the first generation to never know a world without the World Wide Web, computers and smartphones!

“It’s no surprise to find that technology is playing a crucial role in the travel habits and preferences of this generation,” says Guy Stehlik, Managing Director of BON Hotels.

“That’s the main similarity between Gen Z and Millennials – they rely primarily on the internet to make their travel decisions and book their vacations.”

According to a European Travel Commission (ETC) market study on Gen Z travelers, Gen Zers and millennials value flexibility and independence, which is why online booking is so appealing to both markets.

Leaning heavily on the convenience of technology in their daily lives, it also makes sense for both generations to favor OTAs (Online Travel Agencies) when planning a trip, acting as a one-stop-shop for all. their travel needs. OTAs are their preferred booking channels for everything from flights and accommodation to ground transportation and leisure activities.

The main difference between the two is how Gen Z feels about travel in a post-COVID world, being more open to resuming international travel sooner rather than later. According to stats collected by travel booking platform, GetYourGuide, more than half of Gen Zers plan international trips, while more than half of millennials have no intention of venturing out further anytime soon.

Additionally, Gen Zers are more likely to judge destinations based on their values ​​rather than passively draw inspiration from friends, family, and the internet for future trips.

Gen Z travel wants and needs

Climate change, mental health issues and equality are contemporary issues of great importance to people born after 1997, and their views on these issues have a direct impact on their lives. travel related wants and needs.

For example, the majority of Gen Zers will keep sustainability in mind when booking a hotel stay or even when choosing a destination to visit.

“For Gen Zers, it’s not just about finding a hotel that offers great value. These travelers will consider a variety of other factors when booking, such as the hotel’s inclusiveness policy and how it takes steps to reduce the property’s environmental impact,” comments Stehlik.

Additionally, with maintaining optimal mental health being a top priority for Gen Z, they hope to get the most out of their travels, making sure their accommodation provider is able to offer them plenty of different options. to help them relax, unwind and refocus.

In addition to relaxing, studies show that unique experiences are also important for this demographic. They are less likely to opt for mundane adventures, like skiing or surfing, and more likely to jump at the chance to book a desert safari in Namibia or go on a mountain gorilla tracking tour in Uganda. .

Finally, as mentioned above, Gen Zers demand that technology be integrated into every step of their traveler journey, from navigating through the airport to checking in to their hotel or requesting service from bedroom via app. Advice to hosts to seduce this market. The main takeaway when it comes to attracting Gen Z travelers is to fully embrace technology and pay close attention to equality and sustainability within your
establishment.

“Not only do you need to take this step, but you also need to communicate clearly that you are on every possible platform. Make sure potential travelers know where and how to download your hotel app and how you’ve updated your rooms with the environment in mind. These are the details that could tip the scales in favor of your establishment when a travel decision is made,” says Stehlik.

Remember, it’s not just Gen Zers over the age of 18 making travel decisions starting in 2022. With the internet and information just a click away, teens and even tweens are getting involved when their parents are planning trips and over time their purchasing power will only increase.

“Now is the time to start taking Gen Z, their wants, their needs and their expectations seriously. They are the
travelers of the present and the future, after all,” concludes Stehlik.

READ ALSO: Want some travel advice on the must-do experiences in Southern Africa? Patrick Cruywagen is your man

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