Why cater to Gen Z travelers?
Gen Z or Gen Zers is the new generation of young adults born from 1997 to 2012. This means, they are entering the workforce and haven’t reached their peak income. However, they are also the generation that spent their early twenties in the lockdown of the pandemic, which means they crave exploring and discovering new places and cultures trying out new things and experiencing new surroundings or activities. Gen Z is the perfect opportunity for tour operators to expand their target audience to reach the new generation of travelers buying tours and planning trips.
Gen Z travelers characteristics
To start catering tours and activities towards the Gen Z audience, it is important to understand their habits and travel characteristics first. How they think and act when they are planning a trip is the key to knowing how to sell them tours, activities and experiences or even whole destinations.
Technology and social media inclined
- When it comes to the booking and paying process or to the publicity and marketing space, Gen Z does everything through social media and the internet.That’s why it is crucial to have a social media presence and a well designed website.
- Well-being and mental health are some of the biggest motivators for Gen Z to travel, so they expect to experience some wellness focused activities and environment.
Sustainability as a priority
- Green initiatives and socially responsible practices are a priority for Gen Z. This is the generation that tries really hard to fight climate change and defend human and animal rights, which means they will definitely prefer to buy tours from companies that have sustainability as a core value too.
UGC as marketing strategy
- Nowadays, User Generated Content (UGC) is a form of word to mouth recommendation that Gen Z trusts and follows. This is a format that also allows for visual evidence through social media channels, which is why Gen Z feels it is so trustworthy.
Innovations and personalization
- Personalization of tours, experiences and recommendations is an added value that attracts this generation. Innovation is almost expected, so offering unique experiences as well as an updated booking process.
Pop culture tourism
- Connecting tourism with pop culture is also a big attraction for Gen Z. Whether it is with TV shows, movies or historical music moments, the storytelling element of pop culture history moments is fascinating to them. Showing filming locations or even giving small experiences on that focus is an absolute magnet, for example the Game of Thrones tour in Belfast.
- Exploring the boundaries of traveling as a solo adventure is a big trend for Gen Zers. It is a form of getting to know oneself and even a bit of a self healing journey.
Remote destinations and unique experiences
- Exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations is one of the biggest selling points for Gen Zers for an alternative to the overcrowded tourist hotspots. This generation loves to discover and share on social media hidden gems beyond the famous landmarks.
How to attract Gen Z travelers?
Based on the previous stated characteristics, here are some tips or ideas on things to offer or implement to be a better option for the new growing market of young adult travelers.
- Give authentic and unique experiences.
- Provide a seamless online booking and payment experience.
- Design your website to be optimized for mobile devices, since they do most of their research and booking through their phones.
- Implement better affordability even for high end options and packages.
- Offer vegan and gluten free options for lunch or restaurant stops during tours and activities.
- Have eco-friendly and socially responsible practices in the tours and as core principles of the company.
- Create instagrammable and Tiktok worth experiences so they can happily generate UGC free of charge for their social media channels.
- Hyperpersonalisation through AI and in person when it comes to the planning of the tours, the recommendation of other activities and restaurants and even during the tours.
- Solo adventure is still a big trend for Gen Z, so target their specific needs with security and privacy measures, special prices, flexibility and socialization with other solo travelers.
Gen Z is also the generation of reviews. Since they are so tech savvy and social media-centric, leaving reviews comes more naturally to them, negative or positive. With all the different platforms for reviews, it is hard to keep track of them, answer them and analyze them, that is why, TourReview offers a dashboard that unifies all the reviews from all different sites and allows you to overview, filter and manage them from only one place.
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