Preparing for Generation Z in hotel and travel marketing

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The classic “sophisticated traveler” stereotype is going extinct, but instead of them there is a new group with even higher disposable income, the below-30 travelers.

Generation Z characteristics

So called Generation Z is the newest generation of travel consumers, younger than now middle-aged Millennials, children of the financially established Generation X (the classic sophisticated travelers) and now old enough to pay for their travels. Born between 1992 and the early 2000s, with a median age of 22-25 at the moment.

They pay less student loans and home loans (especially US & Canada), financially successful and they are fully online literate. They are looking for genuine, memorable experiences without spending on status as their parents did.

Travel habits and preferences of Generation Z

Almost entirely different from the now middle aged Millennials. According to reports and researches available online, Generation Z travelers are planning travel differently, and prioritize different values compared to previous generations.

Their preferences:

  • Happy to spend extra on memorable experiences, especially unique dining experiences

  • Mostly interested in authentic, local experiences such as local food, connecting with locals and traditions

  • Financially responsible and selective about what they spend on, even if they are wealthy

  • More health and environmental-conscious compared to any previous generations

  • Use OTAs but don’t rely solely on TripAdvisor reviews. They want to see community / social endorsements

 

They particularly dislike the following:

  • Don’t see value in traditional travel luxuries and won’t pay for status (such as flying business class or expensive alcohol)

  • Consuming alcohol & smoking regularly

  • They consider Millennials to be failures (poor health and finances) and don’t share their views

  • They find dress codes and unnecessary smart attire to be uncool

  • They dislike extravagance and find showing off with expensive items to be primitive

Initiatives that hotel marketers can do to adjust marketing for Generation Z 

  • Rethink USPs and values we emphasize on the brand website and online advertising campaigns

  • Refrain from status and buzzword driven expressions and maintain a simple yet sophisticated tone on social media

  • Communicate values that justify prices other than being 5-start luxury (such as features of rooms, villas, activities, dining options or experiences)

  • Promote experiences in line with the expectations of this generation (unique, simplistic, authentic & looks good on Instagram)

  • Arrange coverage, articles and reviews that will help travelers in the choosing / decision making process to choose your hotel

Daniel Diosi