Compared to their predecessors, Gen Z consumers have an even deeper affinity for, comfort with, and adaptability to all things tech (and the ever-evolving changes which accompany that).
On the surface, Gen Z appears like a less opportune, near-term audience — they earn less, are more price-sensitive, and travel is not currently as important to them as for other generations.
According to Phocuswright's latest travel research report Gen Z Travellers: A Breed of Their Own, of all age groups, travel's priority level is the lowest among Gen Z; still, 43% consider travel a high or top priority.
3 key behaviours of Gen Z travellers
The OTA appeal: OTAs are the online booking channel of choice and their offerings like dynamic packages and loyalty programmes have enjoyed stronger success among younger travellers. More Gen Z travellers booked air, hotel and car via an OTA than any other online channel like direct websites, metasearch, or retail travel agent websites
Open to receive (new models): Including offline channels (e.g., phone, in-person), Gen Z more frequently uses direct channels than OTAs in all segments. Plus, the subscription model is not so novel to this cohort of young travellers as likeliness to use a travel subscription increases for Gen Z.
Ready to roam: Several travel behaviours shifted in response to the pandemic: travellers took trips closer to home, sought less crowded destinations, or stayed in more isolated lodging.
But Gen Z travellers have been less likely to adjust. They remained open to venturing beyond US borders, with more than two in five travellers abroad in 2020 — the highest share of all generations.
While they view travel as important, Gen Z is the most likely to minimise trips if not within their means. They are, however, the least demanding and most flexible demographic when considering Covid safety regulations.