Gen Z in Travel: 7 Tips to Boost Your Bookings | Orioly

7 Tips to Get More Bookings From Gen Z Travelers

Understanding the different types of travelers is key for tour operators to create more effective marketing strategies. Each generation, born in unique historical contexts, carries its own set of values and preferences that shape their consumer behavior.

Baby boomers value stability and traditional travel experiences, millennials prioritize authenticity and digital engagement, and Generation Z seeks sustainability and experiences that align with their social values.

The last generation is expected to have a great impact on the travel landscape in the next years and should be definitely on your marketing radar. In this article, we present you with 7 tips to get more bookings from Gen Z travelers.

Baby boomers, Millennials and Gen Z, who are they?

Born in different eras, each generation brings its own set of values, experiences, and influences to society.

  • Baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, witnessed a post-World War II period of economic prosperity and social change. They embody traditional values like hard work and loyalty to institutions, leaving a lasting impact on politics, culture, and the economy.
  • Millennials, born roughly between the early 1980s and mid-1990s, are the “digital generation,” characterized by diverse cultural experiences and a progressive mindset. They prioritize work-life balance and experiences over material possessions, driving trends in technology, media, and retail.
  • Generation Z, born between the mid-1990s and early 2010s, is the product of rapid technological advancement. They value authenticity, social justice, and environmental sustainability, challenging norms and driving demand for innovation in industries such as retail, entertainment, and travel.

Each generation plays a significant role in shaping the world we live in, leaving a distinct mark on society and influencing future trends.

Getting to know Gen Z travel preferences

When it comes to travel, baby boomers, millennials, and Generation Z exhibit distinct preferences and behaviors shaped by their unique experiences and values:

Baby Boomers

Baby boomers prioritize comfort, convenience, and relaxation when traveling.

They often opt for traditional forms of travel such as package tours, cruises, and all-inclusive resorts, seeking familiar and hassle-free experiences.

With potentially more disposable income and free time, baby boomers may indulge in luxury accommodations and leisurely sightseeing.

They value guided tours and cultural experiences that offer insight into the history and heritage of destinations, preferring well-organized itineraries that provide opportunities for relaxation and socializing.

Millennials

Millennials approach travel with an adventurous spirit and a thirst for authentic experiences.

They seek opportunities for exploration, discovery, and cultural immersion, often venturing off the beaten path to discover hidden gems and local gems.

Millennials are tech-savvy travelers who rely heavily on digital platforms and social media for trip planning, booking, and sharing their experiences. They prioritize flexibility and spontaneity in their travel plans, embracing last-minute bookings and flexible itineraries that allow them to follow their interests and passions.

Generation Z

Generation Z travelers prioritize sustainability, social responsibility, and experiential travel.

They seek meaningful experiences that align with their values, such as voluntourism, eco-friendly accommodations, and immersive cultural exchanges.

Highly influenced by social media and peer recommendations, Gen Z travelers value experiences that are Instagram-worthy and shareable, often seeking out unique and niche activities that offer opportunities for personal growth and connection.

They prefer authentic and personalized travel experiences over mainstream tourist attractions, seeking to make a positive impact on the destinations they visit while creating lasting memories.

Why Gen Z should be at the center of your marketing strategy for this season?

Tour operators should target Generation Z travelers for several compelling reasons:

  • Growing Market: Generation Z represents a significant and growing segment of the travel market. As they enter adulthood and gain more purchasing power, their influence on the tourism industry continues to expand.
  • Long-Term Potential: Capturing the loyalty of Gen Z travelers early on can lead to long-term relationships and repeat business. Building brand awareness and positive associations with this demographic can pay off in the years to come as they continue to travel and seek new experiences.
  • Tech-Savvy Consumers: Generation Z is highly tech-savvy and digitally connected, making them receptive to digital marketing strategies and online booking platforms. Tour operators that already have a strong online presence on social media, OTAs and Google are one step ahead to reach and engage with this demographic, which means less work on a digital strategy.
  • Social Influence: Gen Z travelers are active on social media and often share their travel experiences with their peers. By targeting this demographic, tour operators can benefit from word-of-mouth marketing and user-generated content, which can help amplify their brand reach and influence.

Overall, targeting Generation Z travelers presents tour operators with an opportunity to tap into a growing market segment, build long-term relationships, leverage social influence, and align with values that resonate with this dynamic and influential demographic.

Gen Z travelers in numbers

Generation Z’s contribution to the travel industry is quite significant and it becomes more evident when we look at the numbers presented by TravelPerk:

Travel Frequency and Preferences

Gen Z are active travelers, with many making an average of three leisure trips annually. A large portion of this demographic (60%) chose air travel in 2023, with sightseeing (70%) and experiencing new local cultures (68%) being their primary motivations for travel.

Economic Impact

Gen Z travelers are showing a willingness to spend on travel, with 70% being motivated to visit destinations after seeing them featured in media such as TV shows or movies. Furthermore, 24% aimed to spend less in 2023 compared to 2022 due to economic concerns, indicating their economic awareness and budget-conscious approach to travel.

Social Media Influence

This generation heavily utilizes social media for travel inspiration, with 29% being inspired by TikTok in 2023. Moreover, 53% use social platforms for leisure travel recommendations.

Values and Ethos

Sustainability and unique experiences rank high on Gen Z’s travel priorities, with over half willing to pay more for travel companies that uphold environmentally friendly practices. They also actively seek green accommodations and prefer environmentally friendly transportation options once they reach their destination.

7 tips to get more bookings from Gen Z travelers

Tour operators can attract Generation Z travelers by adopting strategies that align with their unique preferences and values. Here are several effective approaches:

1. Leverage Social Media and Influencers

Gen Z is highly influenced by social media and the authenticity of influencers.

Tour operators should engage actively on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, showcasing real and engaging content that includes user-generated experiences.

Collaborations with influencers who resonate with Gen Z can amplify reach and credibility.

2. Offer Authentic and Unique Experiences

This generation seeks out authentic travel experiences that allow them to immerse themselves in the local culture.

Tours that offer off-the-beaten-path destinations, local food experiences, or hands-on cultural workshops are particularly appealing.

Ensuring each experience is unique and not just a standard tour can make a significant difference.

3. Focus on Sustainability

Gen Z travelers are environmentally conscious and prefer to engage with businesses that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability.

Tour operators should highlight eco-friendly practices, such as using green transportation, promoting conservation efforts, and supporting local communities.

4. Provide Flexible and Tech-Savvy Booking Options

Gen Z values convenience and technology integration in all aspects of their lives, including travel.

Tour operators should offer easy, flexible booking options through a robust online platform, and possibly integrate with mobile apps that facilitate seamless planning and booking.

This means having your tours listed on top OTAs as well as having a Book Now button on your website.

5. Emphasize Value and Educational Opportunities

While cost-conscious, Gen Z also values experiences that offer educational opportunities or personal growth.

Tours that are both affordable and enriching, providing insights into history, sustainability, or local culture, can be particularly attractive to this demographic.

To lower your costs and offer more affordable tours, having a direct booking channel is imperative for Gen Z travelers to book.

6. Prioritize Safety and Transparency

Post-pandemic, safety remains a significant concern.

Clear communication about safety protocols and flexible cancellation policies can help reassure young travelers.

Transparency in all operations, from pricing to the details of the tour itinerary, is also crucial for building trust.

7. Encourage Reviews and Feedback

Given that Gen Z travelers heavily rely on reviews and recommendations, encouraging satisfied customers to share their experiences online can boost a tour operator’s visibility and appeal to potential customers looking for tried and tested travel options.

Conclusion

Successfully engaging Generation Z travelers requires understanding their unique characteristics and preferences, in special their emphasis on authenticity, sustainability, and technological integration.

Tour operators can do that by:

  • Leveraging social media
  • Offering unique experiences
  • Prioritizing eco-friendly practices
  • Adopting flexible booking options
  • Transparent communication

As Gen Z’s influence in the travel market grows, adapting to these shifts is not just advantageous—it’s imperative for future success in the travel industry.

Ready to turn Gen Z’s travelers into guests of your tours? With Orioly’s online booking software, you can do that by implementing a seamless booking process for your customers, whether through your website or by managing reservations throughout OTAs with our channel manager. Start leveraging Orioly today to enhance your booking process and attract the new generation of travelers. Explore Orioly Now!

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