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Epicure Summer 2017

What Travel Companies Need To Understand About Generation Z

When predicting the future of travel, you have to understand the needs and desires of younger generations, because these children, teenagers and twenty-somethings will be the big spenders of tomorrow (if they aren’t already). And what is important to them will inevitably be very different to what was important to their parents.

Before you discount Generation Z as being irrelevant, due to their undeniable youth and innocence (none of them are older than 22), bear in mind that they make up a quarter of the US population, and already contribute $44 billion to the American economy. By 2020, they will account for one-third of the US population, and will be the most powerful spenders.

However, this is also the generation that travel companies seem to understand the least, as their attention has been focused, obsessively, on Millennials for the past few years. (According to data from Google Trends, searches for the word “Millennial” didn’t take off until summer 2013, dramatically peaking in November 2016.)

Photo courtesy of Globetrender Magazine

All under the age of 37, how do you tell the difference between Millennials, born in the eighties, and Generation Z, who were born after the mid nineties? A piece in The New York Times said: “If Hannah Horvath from [US TV show] Girls is the typical Millennial — self-involved, dependent, flailing financially in the real world as her expectations of a dream job and life collide with reality — then Alex Dunphy from Modern Family represents the Gen Z antidote. Alex is a true Gen Z: conscientious, hard-working, somewhat anxious and mindful of the future.”

The danger with making sweeping assumptions about certain demographics, though, is it results in crude stereotypes. When those making the assumptions are Generation X (those born between 1960 and 1980) and Baby Boomers (born after the Second World War), there is even more risk of getting it wrong. We are now entering the era of “hyper personalisation”, whereby brands need to know every individual consumer intimately.

Domes of Elounda

Globetrender recently came across a recent study by Expedia Media Solutions, which reveals tangible insights into European travellers across the generations, spanning Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z. You can download the full report here or visit Globetrender for an in-depth analysis.

Based on the findings of Expedia Media Solutions, these are the differences between Gen Z and Millennial travellers when it comes to their motivations, sense of self and relationship with money, social media, technology, spheres of influence and brands…

Millennials: Frequent, deal-driven travellers with a wide variety of interests – from eating and drinking to exploring the outdoors

  • They take four or more trips per year but their trips are the shortest in duration (8.5 days on average), compared with other generations
  • 37 per cent said they are influenced by blogs or articles about travel destinations
  • 80 per cent said informative content from destinations or travel brands can influence their decision of where to travel to
  • About 50 per cent plan their travel around food and drink
  • Prior to making a decision about where to go, roughly 80 per cent of Millennials said they look for a deal, 84 per cent read reviews, and more than 70 per cent said they talk to people who have visited the place before
  • 51 per cent used an online travel agent to book their last trip
  • Millennials are most likely to opt for “off the beaten path” locations or recommendations from locals (69 per cent), but also all-inclusive resorts and cruises (59 per cent)
Photo courtesy of Globetrender Magazine

Generation Z: Open minded, mobile savvy and budget-conscious travellers looking to cross off things on their bucket list

  • 63 per cent use their smartphones when they’re looking for travel inspiration. They are most influenced by pictures posted by their friends on social media (Boomers are more influenced by experts)
  • They take the same number of holidays a year as Gen X (2.5 trips a year on average)
  • More than half of Gen Z travellers said advertisements with deals or appealing imagery can influence their decision-making process
  • Nearly 80 per cent of Gen Z said either they don’t have a destination in mind or are deciding between two destinations when they first decide to take a trip
  • Almost 80 per cent said budget was a primary factor when researching and booking their last trip
  • 72 per cent said taking risks and crossing things off their bucket list is imperative
  • 60 per cent were interested in trips that offer naps on the beach and all-day relaxation
  • Once-in-a-lifetime experiences and destinations where they can take memorable pictures are important considerations for Gen Z, significantly more so than other generations

By Jenny Southan, editor and founder of Globetrender, a trend-forecasting agency and online magazine dedicated to the future of travel.

Generation Z: Open minded, mobile savvy and budget-conscious travellers looking to cross off things on their bucket list

  • 63 per cent use their smartphones when they’re looking for travel inspiration. They are most influenced by pictures posted by their friends on social media (Boomers are more influenced by experts)
  • They take the same number of holidays a year as Gen X (2.5 trips a year on average)
  • More than half of Gen Z travellers said advertisements with deals or appealing imagery can influence their decision-making process
  • Nearly 80 per cent of Gen Z said either they don’t have a destination in mind or are deciding between two destinations when they first decide to take a trip
  • Almost 80 per cent said budget was a primary factor when researching and booking their last trip
  • 72 per cent said taking risks and crossing things off their bucket list is imperative
  • 60 per cent were interested in trips that offer naps on the beach and all-day relaxation
  • Once-in-a-lifetime experiences and destinations where they can take memorable pictures are important considerations for Gen Z, significantly more so than other generations

Summer 2017

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