Gen Z Travelers: How brands can cater to the burgeoning generation

Gen Z Friends Riding Bicycles In A City

Prepare for the upcoming wave of Gen Z travelers as their purchasing power grows. Developing appropriate strategies and offerings tailored to their unique preferences is crucial to target this emerging group of travelers effectively.

To tap into their demand, travel businesses must explore the values, psychology, and behavioral patterns specific to this generation.

While Gen Z travelers are often compared to millennials, they possess distinct characteristics.

Now, let’s examine their essential traits and explore how to promote your hotel as a must-visitdestination on their travel bucket lists.

In the past, organizations in the hospitality and travel industries have been running market analyses to learn about the needs and wants of their target audiences, especially millennials.

While millennials are a significant demographic regarding spending, they are now climbing in age and balancing the costs of family and mortgages.

Millennials and Gen Z

The young adult status of millennials is now being eclipsed by a new generation that is both dependent on the internet and will determine the future of the travel and hospitality industry post-pandemic.

Travel brands must discover and understand their behavioral patterns to sell their services to Generation Z travelers.

Gen Z is one of the most significant demographic segments today, yet businesses in the travel and hospitality sector tend to disregard the group, assuming it is less opportune.

Almost 50% of Gen Z travelers consider traveling a top priority. So let’s take a closer look at Gen Z travelers, understand who they are, their interests, travel, and how they use social media to learn about destinations.

But who are the Gen Z?

Gen Z refers to anyone born from 1997 to date. The oldest of the Gen Z generation are currently turning 26, although most people in this demographic are either in their teens or younger.

The Gen Z generation is the youngest, largest, and most ethnically diverse U.S. They are the first digitally native generation because they depend on the internet and social media.


The most current research shows that this generation makes up the largest share of theU.S. consumer population. The population of Gen Z travelers is 2 million more than that of millennials.

What are Gen Z Travelers Interested in?

Online Travel Agencies (OTA)

Owing to their loyalty programs and dynamic packages, Gen Z travelers prefer to make their bookings using online travel agencies (OTA).

As a digitally native generation, it makes sense that Gen Z travelers, more often than not, turn to online resources to find trip inspiration and plan.

They are frequent mobile users whose interests lie in digital content consumption, which they rely on to make plans and decisions. They tend to book air tickets, rent cars, and hotels using OTA.

Gen Z travelers are less likely to make their bookings using other online channels, including direct websites, retail travel agent websites, and metasearch.

Millennial and Gen Z

They are less likely to use third-party services to make travel arrangements since they are low- budget travelers who depend primarily on their parents.

The Future

Gen Z travelers are unique in their preferences and priorities. However, some values they look out for when choosing destinations and companies to book their trips are inclusion, diversity, and a growing awareness of sustainability.

Gen Z travelers are interested in these values but also looking to visit places where the locals embrace inclusivity. According to Expedia, young travelers are more likely to engage in sustainable travel.

Consumer expectations in the industry are changing and growing, and it is essential for younger travelers that they experience authenticity and consistency.

How Do They Travel?

Gen Z travelers seek more transformative, unique, and unforgettable experiences.

Time Travel

This time travel is not the cinematic futuristic Star Wars version. In our case, time travel involves getting to know a destination by retracing the steps of the locals that lived in an area historically.


Gen Z travelers are captivated by learning about history and living it too. There is a current trend on Airbnb where historic keywords like historic, era, and WWI, among others, are trending, with the homes being booked many times.

In addition, countries like Korea and Japan have become hotspots for time travelers.

Bite-Size Travel

Gen Z travelers are now more than ever open to the downsized lifestyle that allows them to travel more for less.

More travelers are exploring destinations by car taking road trips and searching the internet for where they can find free parking.

And others are opting for simple spaces like shepherd’s huts and tiny homes. Nature Calls and Disconnect to Reconnect Travel Gen Z travelers rank highest on the number of people who have made nature experiences bookings.

That is because more travelers are now looking to interact with mother nature by going for animal or hiking experiences.

Other travelers slow down to engage their inner selves and center their minds and spirits. As a result, there is a noteworthy trend in single-guest and meditation experience bookings.

What Do They Prioritize While They Travel?

Proximity and Safety

A high percentage of Gen Z travelers prioritize international travel.

They are searching for ways to enjoy unique experiences abroad, for example, going on a desert safari in Dubai or a bioluminescent bay boat tour in San Juan.

Gen Z travelers are also opting for smaller getaways to prioritize safety. Unique Experiences One of the top priorities for Gen Z travelers is having unique experiences.

As a result, they opt more for outdoor adventures and are willing to travel long distances to participate in something different.


Budgeting for trip

Like the rest of the generations, Gen Z travelers prioritize budgeting as part of their planning for travel and are more reluctant to spend more during their trips.

As a result, their entire budgets tend to fit in the extra amount millennials are willing to pay.

How Do They Use Social Media to Learn About Destinations?

More often than not, young travelers are unsure about destinations to go for a trip or getaway. However, Gen Z travelers are fluent with apps and social media, making mobile shopping popular.

As such, Gen Z travelers are more likely than any other generation to seek the opinions of social media influencers when trying to learn about destinations.

Gen Z travelers use social media to learn about destinations by following influencers with similar interests. Friends’ experiences and advertisements also learn about appealing deals and images.

They are more accustomed to social media than the other generations and enjoy a world where information is instantly shared through photos and videos on social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram.

Pearce Kibaale is a freelance writer, content creator, and Editor-in-Chief of Trip Dhow.