As younger generations enter into adulthood, their influence on the world becomes far more apparent. Needless to say, the impact on the travel industry is today’s area of interest. Although studies differ, Generation Z are the individuals born between the years 1995–2000. They have mass amounts of spending power, especially when it comes to tourism. This is due to the fact Gen Z is claimed to be the largest group of consumers worldwide as of this year, 2020. Out-numbering millennials, this group makes up 32% of the population.
While societal norms and individual passions drive behaviour, it is important to know the driving causes behind the change we can all expect to see in the future. So why should travel advisors care? Well, the needs and wants of current or prospective clients will determine how one fellow advisor positions themselves in the industry. It is essential to stay ahead of the curve by offering niche and refined services in hopes of remaining competitive. Let’s dive right into the multi-faceted reasons that will contribute to redefining travel.
The Cultural Experience
For members of the Gen Z population, experiences are prioritized ahead of price. However, the budget is still a consideration and will impact decision making. For these travellers, the vacation is all about the experience. The destination matters however, expectations are might higher nowadays. It is very common for older generations to go to an all-inclusive resort, sip pink cocktails, soak up the sun and then head home. To all the 20-year old’s out there, you know that is no longer ideal. Gen Z wants the thrill and excitement of being immersed in a new place with the option to roam the surrounding areas. As a generation that is extremely likely to travel for a special event, activity or party, travel advisors should use marketing techniques to promote unique offerings with a heavy emphasis on exploration.
The rise of environmentally conscious consumers can be observed around the world. Due to the fact sustainability and eco-friendliness have been taught to these individuals throughout the duration of their lives, it comes as no surprise that Gen Z cares about our planet. The desire to abide by sustainable practices does not disappear when entering their destination’s community. As a travel advisor, it is important to understand your customer’s mentality in order to provide specific assistance that will make them come back next time around. Younger generations will be impressed by an agent’s effort to support the right behaviour and stay educated on sustainability measures around the world. Jonny Bealby, the founder and CEO of Wild Frontiers, states, “The entire travel industry is taking note of the climate crisis and doing what it can to mitigate its impact.” Tourism helps fund plenty of communities and initiatives within various parts of the world. If clients come to you with an open mind as to where to go, suggest a location that may meet their desire to give back.
Gen Z is said to be the most willing segment of the population when it comes to travelling for business. One of the more common terms/trends is known as “Bleisure”. This is essentially the idea of a business trip being drawn out a little bit longer in order for the employee to enjoy some leisure time alongside the work commitments. As business travellers approach this opportunity with enthusiasm, travel advisors should as well. Now, why is that? Simply enough, the importance of having a seamless trip is much higher when a business deal is on the line. Instead of worrying about all the details of the trip, Gen Z employees will be able to focus on their primary responsibilities and travel advisors will handle the rest. It’s a win-win! But it doesn’t end there. The rise of business travel is not the only impact Generation Z has on the industry. Smaller and less-fancy vacations are becoming far more popular. The appeal of hopping on a long flight has gone slightly downhill. Yes, COVID-19 is partially at blame for that but there is a bit more to it. As young travellers look into destinations closer to home or within the same country, jet lag does not exist, money is often saved, and it’s much easier to plan a domestic trip in the middle of everyone’s busy schedule. As a travel advisor, consider brushing up on some unique day trips or even road trips to help Gen Z prioritize their desire to visit somewhere new.
Regardless of whether it is the thrill of well-rounded cultural experience, the concern to act in the best interest of the environment, or make time to travel as much as possible, Gen Z is nudging society in a new direction. Now, remember, the Vice President of Product Management, Expedia Group says that Gen Z is very receptive to inspiration and information. “As the first fully digital generation, Gen Z travellers can be influenced by social media and advertising, especially appealing images and deals, so marketers should implement a content-rich, mobile-friendly and multiplatform approach to successfully reach this valuable audience.” Give it a try.
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