How Gen Zs Are Changing Travel – Part One

In recent years, Generation Z, also known as “Post-Millennials,” have come of age and are beginning to shape the travel industry. Gen Zs are a generation of digital natives with their own set of values, interests, and preferences when it comes to travel. They are more focused on the experience than the destination, and are seeking opportunities for exploration and adventure. With their tech-savviness, they are using various digital tools and platforms to access unique travel experiences, creating a new wave of travel that is more sustainable, immersive, and affordable.

Gen Zs are helping to push the industry forward with their innovative ideas, and it is likely that they will continue to influence the way we travel in the future. And that’s why we are presenting this special two-part look into how GenZs are changing travel.

What is Generation Z?

This generation of individuals was born after 1996, and, according to Statistica, has a population of about 79 million people in the United States alone. They are known as the “Post-Millennial” generation due to the fact that they follow the Millennials and are sometimes also referred to as “iGen” due to the fact that they are the first generation to grow up entirely with the internet. Research suggests that Gen Zs are a more independent, tech-savvy generation, with a different set of values and interests than the Millennials. 

They prefer to connect and engage with brands and peers digitally, and research shows that they are more likely to be attracted to companies that offer immediate and real-time communication with customers. They are also more interested in entrepreneurial careers, and around one-fifth of them are already self-employed. Gen Zs also value experiences over things, and research suggests that they may have a shorter attention span than other generations.

Gen Zs are redefining travel. That’s the first big take away about this large new traveling cohort.

Gen Z travel trends

Before the rise of Gen Zs, travel was often associated with luxurious getaways and extravagant vacations. However, Gen Zs are redefining travel and re-purposing it as an opportunity to experience other cultures and ways of living. Gen Zs are interested in exploring the world and all its diversity and seek to learn from local cultures and customs. This is a sharp contrast to Millennials, who were more interested in finding trendy, exotic locations. With their digital savviness, Gen Zs are able to travel more affordably and conveniently than previous generations. 

Gen Zs are more interested in unique and local travel experiences than Millennials. When it comes to travel experiences, what makes them valuable is their authenticity and uniqueness. Millennials may have been more interested in luxury travel, but Gen Zs are looking for something different. They want to experience something that is impossible to replicate, such as a one-off performance or festival. Gen Zs prefer to focus on experiences over mere destinations, and are more likely to engage with communities on a local level. 

Gen Zs are bringing a new level of sustainability to travel. Gen Zs are bringing an appreciation for the environment and sustainable living to the travel industry. They are interested in exploring new destinations, but they also want to engage with the community in a meaningful way while they are there. Gen Zs want to learn more about a place through its culture, history, and people. They are more likely to participate in sustainable activities, such as volunteering at a local non-profit or exploring a place through outdoor activities. 

Gen Zs are consuming new types of travel content. Gen Zs have a wide range of interests, and they want to learn about different cultures and destinations through the media that they prefer. This generation is avidly consuming digital content, such as short-form videos, podcasts, and articles. The rise of social media has also allowed Gen Zs to connect with each other and with brands in new ways, making it easier for them to share their travel experiences and interests.

Gen Zs are demanding a frictionless travel experience. Today’s digitally savvy travelers want an effortless travel experience. Gen Zs are interested in booking their trip with a couple of clicks and are avid users of apps, such as Airbnb and Hopper, to help them navigate the journey. This generation of travelers is also more likely to purchase travel insurance, as they are more aware of the risks that are involved in traveling.

In Part-Two of this series we’ll dig deeper in Gen Zs contribution to and conflicts with other travelers. It’s a fascinating read.