Instagram, influencers and inspiring experiences: How to prepare for the next generation of travellers
The next generation of travellers, known as Generation Z, are growing up fast. Born between 1997 and 2010, Gen Z is already exploring the world and seeking new, exciting experiences, but unfortunately, it looks as though many travel companies aren’t giving them what they’re looking for.
Just over half of 16 - 24 year olds (54%) have a positive word to say about their most recent holiday booking experience, according to our research. So, how can you make sure your travel business is doing everything it can to appeal to and satisfy the needs of Gen Z? Here are four things you need to consider when targeting young holidaymakers.
1. Inspire them
Two-thirds of Gen Z travellers don’t have a specific destination in mind when they decide to take a trip and 77% are open to receiving help and inspiration during the planning stage. There is so much choice out there – who can blame Gen Z holidaymakers for feeling a little overwhelmed when it comes to choosing their next destination? Whether your travel business sells flights, hotels, experiences or all of the above, there is so much potential to grab the attention of young travellers.
Other than Google, one of the first place they’ll head to for inspiration is social media. 84% say social media can influence their travel plans, especially when they spot deals or see images and videos from friends, family and experts. Instagram is full of incredible photos, videos and travel stories, so make sure your brand has a strong presence on this channel. Don’t just use it to post stock travel images either – try to source your own photos from your customers. Real photos and videos from genuine customers (rather than professional photographers), with an interesting story behind them, can give travellers an authentic look at the experiences your company offers.
There are a couple of ways you can (legitimately!) source your customer’s travel photos and videos. If you collect reviews, some platforms allow you to collect photo and video reviews, which can then be shared on your social media channels. You can also create a brand hashtag and ask people to use it when posting their travel photos for a chance for their photo to be featured on your channels. Skyscanner, for example, use the tag #letsgoeverywhere, which has amassed a huge 1.8 million posts! That’s plenty of great material for Skyscanner to use on their own channels – but remember to ask for the owner’s permission before reposting!
2. Offer unusual experiences
Gen Z don’t want to follow in their parent’s footsteps; they want memorable experiences that are going to leave a lasting impact and will look great on their social media. Don’t try and sell them a standard package holiday to a beach resort, offer them unusual places to stay, destinations off the beaten track and authentic cultural activities.
However, to attract the Gen Z market with such trips, the price needs to be right. Eight in ten Gen Z travellers say budget is a consideration when booking a holiday. This generation is known for being more careful with money, as they grew up during a recession.
3. Promote last-minute deals
Want to grab the attention of your Gen Z audience? Target them with last-minute deals and offers! They’re more spontaneous than other generations: 59% of Gen Zs book their holiday 1 – 3 months in advance, while 17% book with just one month to go! Grab their attention with amazing, authentic travel photos and an offer that’s just too good to pass up, then reel them in with an easy online booking experience and helpful live chat team than can quickly answer as questions they may have.
Don’t forget to display your reviews front and centre to help build trust with new and existing customers, too! You can even display your customer’s photo and video reviews on your website, so travellers know what to expect when they holiday with you.
4. Encourage responsible travel
In an age where a David Attenborough documentary can dramatically change people’s lifestyles and attitudes towards plastic, younger travellers are being more mindful about how their holiday might impact others. 29% of Gen Zs actively seek out brands based on their values and 72% are willing to spend more on services that are sustainable.
If your business is doing more to cut down on waste, end animal cruelty and prevent over-tourism, make sure you’re making a big deal out of it! Show people what you are doing to make a difference, and what they can do to help too.
The way we travel is changing, not just because of terms of technology or trends, but because this new generation is so different from any other before it. Gen Z has grown up with the internet, mobile phones and tablets as the norm and they’ve also grown during a period of great change. Now, people want to see as much of the world as possible, without causing damage or breaking their own banks. Hitting all of these expectations isn’t going to be easy, but for travel businesses it presents a great opportunity to inspire and show travellers some amazing destinations they may have never considered before and give them experiences they’ll never forget.
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