Kids born in the year 2000 will turn 19 this year entering university or working on their first job. Generation Z is the generation that follows Millennials, born in the late ’90s and early 2000s.
Generation Z is dubbed as the global group that has interacted with the world through their apps and devices. Luxury travel network Virtuoso said: “While Millennials previously held court as the leading force in the travel industry, ‘Gen Z’ is the new buzzword in tourism.” Indeed.
Today’s parents are not exaggerating when they say that kids nowadays are glued to their phones. Gen Z was raised with access to technology and they grew up with access to the internet. If Millennials are ‘digital natives’ of computers, Generation Z are ‘mobile natives’ used to smartphones. They spend most of their free time online – chatting on messaging apps, playing online games, updating their social media.
The technology allowed today’s kids to become more easily exposed to new and foreign cultures compared to previous generations. Smartphones provide personalised experiences and a sense of ownership in their global environment. Gen Z feels utterly comfortable using their mobile phones for EVERYTHING!
What does this mean for travel companies? Like Millennials, their successors will be turning to social media for travel inspiration. They will book everything they need via apps and pay thru mobile. Therefore, all transactions will move to mobile. It is a must for travel companies to have an app version.
If the Millennial generation has an attention span of 12 seconds, that is now down to a disappointing 8 seconds for Gen Z. According to Forbes, the younger generation doesn’t just have a shorter attention span; they also juggle more screens. On average, Millennials bounce between 3 screens at a time, meanwhile, Generation Z tends to juggle 5 screens at once!
This makes Gen Z much harder to reach for brands because of how scatterbrain they are. Moreover, Gen Z relies heavily on influencers for their buying decisions.
What does this mean for travel companies? Marketing is channelled to digital influencers to reach the younger audience because travel inspiration starts on social media. Moreover, ads and content should be appealing in the first six seconds due to their diminutive attention.
DIY and experiential travel
For Gen Z, it is a top priority is more local, authentic, Instagrammable experiences. According to Expedia, Gen Z is embracing the sharing economy, and they are more likely to book things like alternative accommodations. Like most travellers today, they value experiences over material goods.
Driven by social media, the more outrageous and different your experience, the better. These experiences are social media currency.
One important thing companies must know is the new generation have deep pockets. Gen Z is third or fourth generation migrants that experience less or no hardship because their grandparents and parents are well-established.
In China, the young generation is big spenders as well. “One kid is brought up by six parents (parents and two sets of grandparents). They want their kid to see the world,” Wegogo CEO Mak Chee Wah said.
This actually makes sense. Due to China’s one-child policy, parents invest in their only child and give him or her the best of everything. These three pairs of parents are funding the travel of this young Chinese for him or her to gain knowledge and experience.
What does this mean for travel companies? Gen Z aspires luxury travel because they can. They may be too young to book at your hotel now, but their influence on their parents is invaluable. 65% of moms feel their Gen Z child is influential when purchasing family vacations.
We are all aware of the vast spending power of Millennials, as well as their impact on the travel industry. Millennials hold USD 200 billion in buying power, and they aren’t afraid to spend it on life’s finest luxuries. However, the crown and sash have been passed to Gen Z to be the new disruptor in many sectors.