Bellevue, Wash.—New findings from Expedia Group Media Solutions, the advertising arm of Expedia Group, illustrate the behaviors, attitudes, and influences of younger travelers around the world, and shine a light on how Generation Z is redefining the rules of engagement for travel marketers. The findings reveal that Gen Z are deal-driven, frequent travelers who have a passion for activities and bucket-list experiences.
Gen Z travelers are taking 2.8 leisure trips per year, which is just behind Millennials (three leisure trips per year), indicating that travel is already a priority for this generation. Today, Gen Z are heavily influencing family travel decisions, and in the coming years, as more Gen Z enter the workforce and increase their disposable income, their prioritization of travel and growing budgets will unlock myriad opportunities for marketers.
“Like their Millennial predecessors, Gen Z are prioritizing travel, but they are much more receptive to inspiration and information, and more reliant on their smartphones at nearly every stage of the purchase journey than other generations,” said Lisa Lindberg, vice president of product management, Expedia Group Media Solutions. “As the first fully digital generation, Gen Z travelers can be influenced by social media and advertising, especially appealing images and deals, so marketers should implement a content-rich, mobile-friendly, and multiplatform approach to successfully reach this valuable audience.”
Destination Indecisive With Diverse Trip Preferences and Priorities
Two-thirds of Gen Z travelers are undecided on a destination when they decide to take a trip, and their diverse trip preferences illustrate broad opportunities for marketers to entice them.
Relaxing, sightseeing, and visiting family are the most popular trip types for Gen Z travelers, but they are also more likely than other generations to take an activity-based vacation (e.g., skiing or hiking), or travel for a special event (e.g., concert, festival, sports) or a party.
When asked to prioritize, Gen Z rank activities and once-in-a-lifetime trips or bucket-list experiences well ahead of deals or lowest price, even more so than other generations.
Opportunities for Inspiration and Influence
Seventy-seven percent of Gen Z travelers are open to help and inspiration when planning a trip, and nearly 70 percent use their smartphone when looking for travel inspiration.
Eighty-four percent of Gen Z travelers said social media can be influential, particularly deals or promotions and travel pictures or videos from friends or experts.
Appealing deals and images are also impactful for the more than 60 percent of Gen Z who said advertising can be influential, revealing a receptive audience for travel marketers.
Given that budget is a consideration for eight in 10 Gen Z travelers, ads combining inspirational images with deal messaging may help convert this audience.
Burgeoning Bleisure Travelers
Although millennials are currently outpacing Gen Z in business travel—6.4 business trips per year versus 4.8 trips—both generations are capitalizing on and saving for opportunities to extend business travel for leisure (‘bleisure’).
Sixty-six percent of Gen Z business trips were extended for leisure, and 88 percent of Gen Z travelers save for bleisure travel. Bleisure travel will likely increase as more Gen Z enter the workforce in the coming years, illustrating a burgeoning opportunity for travel marketers.
Destination marketers looking to engage and convert younger bleisure travelers should highlight entertainment and activities—41 percent of Gen Z said this a leading factor in their bleisure travel decisions.
Bleisure travel will become more prominent in the coming years, due in part to the large and growing Gen Z workforce.