Generation Z: OTAs, packaged travelling and sustainability.

Although Millennials are still a significant group that spends money on travelling, the focus is already on a new upcoming category … Gen Z! This new generation will be extremely important for the reconstruction of the travel industry after the COVID-19 crisis. How to understand this Generation Z and how to attract these travellers? Read along!

September 28, 2021

Why you need to understand Gen Z

Now is the time

Gen Zers are those youngsters born after 1996. Too young to spend money on travelling you say? Think again! As the oldest Gen Zers become adults that enter the work field and the younger ones influence their parents in choosing travel destinations, this generation’s presence is felt in today’s economy.

High time to take a closer look at this generation of travellers. Travellers they are indeed: research for the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has stated that youngsters truly perceive travel as an essential element of their life*.

"Nearly two-thirds of Gen Z travelers are planning “revenge travel” to make up for lost trips due to the COVID-19 crisis."

Expedia Group

Gen Z = big target group

When we look at the current demographic structure of the world’s population, youthful is the word to describe it! Youngsters aged 20 and under respresent the greatest share of the global population. That’s why understanding Gen Z and meeting their travel preferences is crucial, because they will have a bit impact on global tourism very soon, if not already.

There are significant differences between continents, when it comes to Gen Z as share of the general population. Comparing Europe’s population with Asia’s population, we clearly see a big contrast. Asia has a much larger population aged 30 and under, while the largest share of Europe’s population is aged between 30-50 years. Do you want to attract Gen Zers as a European accommodation owner? Then you might want to check the Asian travel market! Which OTAs do Asian travellers often use? Through which platforms do these youngsters book their trips?

Gen Z & OTAs

Digitally native

Gen Z is the first generation of digital natives. This generation grew up with technology all around from an early age. This surely has an impact on their behaviour today: 64% of Gen Zers say that they are “constantly online”, 57% states that they feel more insecure without their mobile phone than without their wallet.*

Are you promoting your accommodation on Social Media? It might be a good way to attract Gen Z, as this generation spends a lot of time on their mobile phones, especially to check Social Media. Platforms like Pinterest and Instagram – very image driven – are an important source for inspiration when choosing travel destinations. Be sure to check out our eBook full of tips & tricks to level up your social media approach!

Online Booking

Gen Zers are booking trips using a smartphone or other mobile devices. A mobile friendly website with Booking Engine is a must to turn those lookers into bookers.

Another interesting finding to keep in mind is that Gen Z consumers – according to a study of Expedia Group – turn to online travel sources to plan their travel, specifically online travel agencies! The pandemic has amplified this trend: Gen Zers turn 31% more to OTAs than they were prior to the COVID-19 crisis.

"Gen Zers turn 31% more to OTAs than they were prior to the COVID-19 crisis."

Expedia Group

Do you want to create greater online visibility for your accommodation by promoting your rooms on popular online booking platforms? Choose the right OTAs for your business! We wrote an article about that last year and all the tips still apply.

Surely being bookable on different booking platforms is crucial, but there are more ways to improve your overall online presence. Check out our latest article to get you inspired!

Loyalty and dynamic packages

So why are Gen Zers that keen on booking their trips on OTAs? Well, this generation is more price-sensitive and looks for the best possible deal. Therefore, they would use OTAs to book multiple trips at once, because OTA loyalty pays off: 28% of Gen Z travellers are OTA loyalty members*.

They also prefer OTAs for their package deals. Expedia Group’s report reveiled that more then one in three Gen Zers booked a dynamic package in 2020.

You can also respond to this package trend by collaborating with tour operators like G2 Travel . This third party forms partnerships with hotels, in order to offer seamless travel packages to travellers.

Gen Z & Social Impact

Another important characteristic of Gen Z to wrap your head around is social conscience. Gen Z grew up in a society fully aware of the importance of personal health, the consequences of the financial crisis and the effects of climate change. That’s why themes like inclusion & diversity, sustainability and mental health play a big role in their beliefs and even their travel behavior.

This generation is more likely to consider sustainable travel options to reduce their footprint. Do you want to attract these travellers? Then you need to show your commitment! Have you heard of the Green Key label? If not: read our article about How to be sustainable with Green Key?

*Sources: European Travel Commission (ETC) Study on Generation Z Travellers, Expedia Group and Phocuswire .

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