December 7, 2021
Scratch the novelty socks and last-minute online Christmas shopping spree and give the gift of travel this holiday season. For months people have been surfing, pinning, and fantasizing about their dream vacations. With borders open and travel an option again, every generation is on the go. From the technically challenged Baby Boomers to the tech-savvy Millennials, each generation has its own set of unique characteristics in the travel space. But it’s Gen Z, the cohort of experience-seeking globetrotters, that is coming of age with increased spending power, shifting the emerging travel trends and reshaping the future of the industry.
The Future Generation of Travelers
Following in the footsteps of Millennials, no one loves the gift of an experience more than Generation Z. Born between 1997 and 2012, Gen Z is the most experience-driven generation desperate to make up for time (and travel-worthy social media posts) lost during the pandemic. They’re itching to venture out on YOLO trips and bucket-list vacations, spend money on purposeful travel, and indulge in immersive experiences rather than material things. They’re a generation of ambitious travelers that prioritize, plan, budget and make sacrifices for trips. This is a generation known to sell all their possessions for a fantastic adventure.
Gen-Z Unpacked is a recent study by Booking.com examining the wants and needs of this influential generation of young travelers. This comprehensive global study highlights the ambitious travel plans of Gen Z, with 69% already having a travel bucket list, 56% seeking an adventure experience, 34% planning a solo trip, and a high 65% ranking travel and seeing the world as the best way to spend their hard-earned dollars.
How to Target, Engage & Attract Generation Z
Adventure tourism is one of the hottest segments in the tourism and travel industry, and Gen Z travelers are one of the fastest-growing guest segments. Old-school marketing strategies and antiquated technology will not cut it with this generation of tech-savvy travelers. So, how do vacation rental property managers target, engage and attract Gen Z travelers?
A Responsive Website that Converts: Gen Z are digital natives that have never known a world without the internet. They are brand loyal, seeking an emotional connection and personalized experience with a brand. Gen Z members have a strong reliance on mobile technology but a very short attention span. Without a fast-loading, responsive and interactive website and mobile technology that grabs their attention fast, they’ll move on.
A Strong Social Media Presence: Gen Z were raised on social media. It is an essential part of their lives, their top form of inspiration, entertainment, and communication, and where you’ll find them (and they’ll find you) first. They’re searching for Instagrammable destinations and experiences, living their virtual travel dreams, and searching for like-minded influencers to follow. They also view social media as a reliable source, with 45% of Gen Z travelers trusting the recommendations of influencers, celebrities, and strangers when planning their travel experiences.
Engaging Visual Marketing: A dynamic generation requires dynamic marketing strategies and eye-catching and creative visual content that boosts engagement, dwell time, and consumer spending. Consider a social media marketer that understands this audience and will build a robust digital footprint across all platforms (brand website, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and even Snapchat). Start online conversations with your followers and grab your 8 seconds to gain the attention of the future generation of travelers and experience-seekers.
Branded Instagram Hashtag: As we’ve established, this is a generation all over social media, with 42% of Gen Z travelers uploading stories, selfies, and numerous photos during their trip experiences. Gen Z-ers are budget-conscious and always up for a deal. This opens up a world of marketing opportunities. Create a branded Instagram hashtag, run social media competitions to encourage your guests (and not only the Gen Z-ers) to upload fun snapshots of their dream vacation home, destination, and adventure experiences. Or invite a local influencer to hang out for free mid-week in exchange for social media exposure.
Adventure Travel Experiences: Gen Z love a good deal but are willing to pay a premium for ethical travel and unique, transforming experiences that benefit the local community’s tourism. They’re ready to gather friends for a road trip given any interesting event: a music festival, foodie event, cool cultural tour, wellness experience, or an adrenaline-infused outdoor adventure.
Eco-Friendly & Tech Driven Homes: Gen Z are environmentally conscious with 41% believing climate change is the most critical issue we face today. 56% of Gen Z travelers want to stay in green, eco-friendly accommodations that align with their core values and inherent desire to connect digitally to keep the world at their fingertips. Investing in eco-friendly smart home solutions and innovative tech enhancements that allow your guests to book their complimentary tours, request services, and navigate their digital journey will win over Gen Z.
Give your guests the gift of a unique, local experience and an unforgettable travel experience with Xplorie’s free-to-guest activity programs, voice-based virtual concierge, and guest experience solutions. Stay current and connected to the next generation with Xplorie.
Travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer!