Travel and tourism entities need to adapt to the expectations of Gen Z – consumers in their teens – because Gen Z is unlike previous generations.
According to Carolyn Childs, co-founder of MyTravelResearch.com, Gen Z members are 100% digital natives, born after 1995, who have grown up in an era of mobile devices and smartphones. They live in a world that is neither offline or online, but one seamless, interchangeable zone.
They are multi-taskers with short attention spans. Marketers will therefore have a much better chance of reaching them if they ‘game-ify’ their offer. If marketers don’t grab them quick with their marketing pitch, they will lose them in the blink on an eye, says Childs.
Gen Z members have global values and want results at the press of a button. They demand respect, respond well to visual media, and can process information quickly. They are ready to engage with brands and new causes for the collective good, says Childs in her free online video presentation, “Gen Z and Tourism Marketing.”
“They are proactive in that Gen Z see it as their job to make things right,” she argues. “They perceive the world as damaged and compromised by the more selfish generations that went before them.”
They are neither anti-establishment nor counter revolutionaries. On the contrary, they are the first generation in over 50 years that is comfortable showing respect to their parents. (This may be because Gen Z will struggle to become home owners. They will therefore need to stay close the nest – or nest-egg – of their parents.)
Childs argues that Gen Z’s innate comfort with mobile technology has earned them respect from older generations, who have more money, but no instinctive digital know-how. Gen Z is heavily influenced by post-financial crash values.
“In a globalised world defined by multi-culturism, diversity, bigger inequalities, and wrenching social change, Gen Z sees it as their job to make things right. They have little empathy with outmoded left versus right political parties. They see themselves as skilled, resourceful, flexible and comfortable working on their own towards a collective good,” says Childs.
One of the big challenges facing tourism marketers trying to woo Gen Z members is how to market nature and outdoor experiences to a generation for whom “playing in the street has gone”.
At the end of her 20-minute “Gen Z and Tourism Marketing” presentation on MyTravelResearch.com, Childs lists additional valuable resources for organizations interested in engaging meaningfully with Gen Z.