Johannesburg, ZA
4:57 am, July 15, 2024


A guide for Genz Z visitors and travellers

Gen Z is (nearly) all grown up and soon becoming the younger generation reshaping the tourism industry.

The attention is rapidly turning away from Millennials to show Gen Z’s increasing purchasing power (both in terms of direct and indirect expenditure) and how this younger generation is reshaping the sphere of travel.

 Below is a look at Gen Z’s demands and requirements, their defining travel habits and behaviours, and some recommendations on how travel suppliers might make the required changes in the future to develop meaningful relationships with eager Gen Z jet setters.

The differences vs. similarities between them and Millennials 

True, generations are shaped to a significant part by the environments in which they are born. Generation Z (those born between 1997 and 2012) was born into a technological age, with the internet and social media available to them from a young age.

In fact, they are the first generation that has never known a world without the internet, computers, and cell phones!

“It’s unexpected to see that technology plays a critical part in this generation’s travel habits and preferences,” says Clinton Thom, General Manager of Raddison Blue Hotels.

“The key similarity amongst Gen Z and Millennials is that they rely heavily on the internet to make travel choices and schedule their vacations.”

Based on a South African Tourism market study on Generation Z travellers, both Gen Z and Millennials appreciate flexibility and freedom, which is why online booking is so appealing to both segments.

Although both generations rely significantly on the ease of technology in their daily lives, it makes sense for them to prefer OTAs (online travel agencies) when booking a vacation, operating as a one-stop-shop for all their travel needs. They choose OTAs for everything from flights and accommodations to ground transportation and leisure activities.

The primary distinction between the two is how Gen Z perceives travel in a post-COVID era, with Gen Z being more receptive to the concept of resuming foreign travel sooner rather than later. According to GetYourGuide’s data, more than half of Gen Zers are planning foreign travels, while more than half of Millennials have no plans to go further afield anytime soon.

Furthermore, rather than passively collecting inspiration for future travel from friends, family, and the internet, Gen Z-ers are more likely to appraise countries based on their beliefs.

 Gen Z travel-related wants and needs

Global warming, mental health challenges, and equality are current issues of major relevance to those born after 1997, and their views on these issues have a significant influence on their travel-related goals and requirements.

“It’s not only about selecting a hotel that’s good value for money for Gen Zers.

When making a reservation, these travelers will consider a variety of additional aspects, such as the hotel’s inclusion policy and how the company is reducing its environmental effect,” Stehlik says.

Furthermore, because maintaining excellent mental health is a major concern for Gen Z, they’ll want to make the most of their trips by ensuring that their lodging provider can give a variety of alternatives to assist them in de-stress, relaxing, and re-centre.

In addition to relaxing, research suggests that unique experiences are crucial to this population.

They are less likely to choose mundane experiences like skiing or surfing and are more likely to leap at the chance to schedule a desert safari in Namibia or a mountain gorilla tracking trip in Uganda

Finally, as before mentioned, Gen Zers want technology to be interwoven into every aspect of their travel experience, from navigating through airports to checking into hotels and receiving room service via an app.

Advice to lodging providers on how to appeal to this market.

When it comes to appealing to Generation Z travellers, the main lesson is to completely embrace technology while also paying great attention to promoting equality and sustainability throughout your organization.

“Not only should you be taking this action, but you should also be communicating clearly that you are on every platform possible. Make sure prospective travellers know where and how to download your hotel’s app and how you’ve updated your guest rooms with the environment in mind. These details are what could tip the scales in your establishment’s direction when a travel decision is being made,” says Stehlik.

Remember, as of 2022, it is not just Gen Z-ers over the age of 18 who are making travel selections. With the internet and knowledge at their fingertips, teenagers and even pre-teens are pitching in when their parents plan trips, and their spending power will only grow over time.

“Now is the moment to start paying attention to Generation Z, their wants, requirements, and expectations.” They are the ones, after all, travelers of the present and the future,” Stehlik says.



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