Understanding Gen Z’s Eagerness to Travel

Understanding Gen Z's Eagerness to Travel

A group of young people on vacation. (photo via RIU Hotels & Resorts)

Survey after survey suggests travel is back, but there is one generation that is ready to travel more than others, and that is Gen-Z.

Gen Zs are projected to account for 34 percent of the U.S. workforce and make up 40 percent of the consumer market by 2030, according to a recent YouGov survey, and they are also ready to see and experience the world, seeking out new things and new experiences.

In fact, Gen-Z is leading the way in spending more on travel this year. Overall, 21 percent of global travelers are planning to spend more on travel this year than last year. When it comes to Gen-Z, that number jumps to 26 percent.

Gen-Z travelers from the U.K. are leading the way by a lot. Forty-four percent say that they intend to spend more on travel products and services over the next 12 months. In comparison, U.S. Gen-Z travelers come in at 18 percent.

Apart from just taking more trips over the next year, Gen-Z travelers have some specific interests. They are more open to unique accommodations. They are more price-sensitive than other generations, and they are excited to travel overseas.

Their top brands include Airbnb, easyJet, British Airways, Booking.com, Premier Inn, Ryanair, Travelodge, Jet2.com, TUI and Trivago.

When they travel, they are looking to make a connection to the world and the people around them. They are interested in voluntourism and ecotourism, music festivals and events, adventure travel, winter sports, food and drink festivals and shopping holidays. They also like activities such as sailing, hiking and cycling as well as camping and caravanning.

Forty-five percent of Gen-Z travelers are interested in authentic experiences, and 38 percent enjoy eco-friendly, green accommodation options.

Understanding Gen Z's Eagerness to Travel

Young travelers riding bikes in the city taking a selfie. (photo vgajic / Getty Images)

Thirty-seven percent prioritize spending money with local people and businesses, and 34 percent search for sustainable travel offers. Twenty-two percent look for ways to offset their carbon footprint, and 21 percent prioritize flights with lower CO2 emissions.

When planning, Gen-Z is looking to reviews from peers versus the opinions of experts. Fifty percent rely on recommendations from friends and family. Just 16 percent consider recommendations from a travel advisor.

Trying to reach Gen-Z? Social media is one way to start. Four in 10 Gen-Z travelers plan to engage more on social media over the next 12 months. It’s the top source for news and is the primary source for information.

Influencers are another major source of engagement. Nineteen percent of Gen-Z travelers get travel information from influencers.

Understanding Gen Z's Eagerness to Travel

PHOTO: Gen-Z (photo courtesy Tempura/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

If advertising is targeting Gen-Z, it needs to be entertaining to be successful. Fifty-three percent expect advertisements to entertain them. Gen-Z doesn’t trust the ads they see on television (47 percent), and 34 percent say that they are more likely to engage in ads on social media or regular websites.

The metaverse could be significant in connecting brands with the future traveler, especially with Gen-Z travelers in the U.S. and U.K. where 64 percent and 66 percent have an awareness of the metaverse, respectively.

In the U.K., 24 percent of Gen-Z travelers said that they were interested in visiting destinations they would like to visit in real life in the metaverse. In the U.S., that number was 18 percent.

In order to successfully engage with this generation, it’s important to keep some key things in mind: They are social; they want to be entertained; they expect personalization; and they want experiences that are unique.

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