Gen Z is (Almost) All Grown Up and Taking Over Travel!

Gen Z is (almost) all grown up and slowly stepping into the spotlight within the travel realm, demonstrating notable purchasing power (both directly and indirectly) despite only being 8 – 24 years old. From a 24-year-old planning a whirlwind trip to Namibia for a thrilling desert safari to a 13-year-old insisting that their parents choose a carbon-conscious hotel with sustainability at its core, Gen Z-ers are having their say and making their mark!

Here's a quick look at the Gen Z traveller’s wants, needs, and expectations, and how they compare to the current generation of the moment: Millennials.

Gen Z vs. Millennials

Gen Z and Millennials BOTH rely on technology

Most Millennials (made up of individuals born between the years of 1981 and 1996) and all of Generation Z (1997 – 2012) were born into the age of technology, with the internet and social media at their fingertips from a very early age.

“It's unsurprising to discover that technology plays a crucial role in these generations’ travel habits and preferences,” says Guy Stehlik, BON Hotels’ CEO. “This is the main similarity between Gen Z-ers and Millennials – they rely predominantly on the internet to make their travel decisions and to book their travels.”

Gen Z and Millennials BOTH value flexibility and independence

This is why they favour OTAs (online travel agencies) when planning a holiday. OTAs are an all-encompassing solution for sorting out a traveller’s requirements. As such, research shows that OTAs are these generations’ preferred booking channels for flights, accommodation, ground transport and leisure activities.

Gen Z feels confident about resuming international travel

Based on statistics released by travel booking platform, GetYourGuide, more than half of Gen Z-ers are planning international trips, whereas more than half of Millennials don’t intend to venture further afield any time soon.

Gen Z knows what they want

Gen Z is a decisive generation, with strong ideas of what they do and don’t want – and they have the technology-savvy to find a hotel, airline, leisure activity provider etc. that ticks all the boxes. In short, it has never been more vital to comprehend a market’s needs, wants and standards.

So, what’s Gen Z looking for?

There are three key considerations for Gen Z-ers when choosing an accommodation provider:

  1. Sustainability and inclusivity: Gen Z-ers expect accommodation providers to care about the issues that they care about. Most notably, issues like the environment/climate change and equality. As such, they want to be sure their chosen hotel or guesthouse is taking action to ensure both sustainability and inclusivity.
  2. Travelling on their own terms: In a survey conducted by hospitalitynet.org, it was revealed that young, affluent travellers expect facilities within a luxury hotel to be accessible 24/7. They want a 24-hour gym, pool, room service, and restaurant so that they can holiday on their own terms.
  3. Photo-friendliness: Gen Z-ers have grown up using social media, so self-expression and sharing their lives with friends and family is a top priority. With this in mind, it makes sense for them to think about the types of share-worthy photos they can snap when staying at a hotel or guesthouse.

Ultimately, while still somewhat an emerging market, Gen Z is taking over the travel industry, and fast!

“We at BON Hotels know that now’s the time to start taking Gen Z seriously. These young individuals are still in the process of building their brand loyalties, are eager to get moving and, of course, are the travellers of both the now and the future,” Stehlik concludes.

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