As the pandemic eases, travel companies should prioritise marketing towards younger adults, with many open to travelling internationally in 2022. Recent research suggests that GenZ (individuals born after 1996) are more likely to travel in 2022, and are ready to spend their additional income on a big trip.

Sentiment towards travel in younger adults is high

The younger generations emerged as the most eager to travel according to a travel survey carried out by Avail, which compared travel sentiment before and after the pandemic. 71% of Gen-Z and Millennials said they’re either making plans to travel more, or the same amount, in 2022. 72% of Gen-Z are either already planning, or are considering booking their next big trip in 2022. This was followed by Millennials (68%), Gen-Xers (60%), and Baby Boomers (51%).

Travel demands of GenZ should be a focus

Travellers within the GenZ cohort seek more experience-based holidays, with well-being becoming a trending aspect of younger generational travel plans. In particular, no-phone zone retreats are becoming increasingly popular, since it is a widely accepted fact that younger generations are using technology more in everyday life, and these retreats could be viewed as a form of self-care and reflection. In turn, all of this means that sun and beach holidays, while still popular with older generations, may see a decline in popularity with GenZ. That is not to say sun and beach holidays should be ignored entirely when marketing towards younger generations, as some will still plan on taking a holiday purely for relaxation.

However, holidays that include cultural enrichment, eco-tourism, and wellness travel are likely to be more popular amongst this generation. According to GlobalData’s Q3 2021 customer survey, when asked, “what holidays do you typically take?” 20% of GEN Z respondents said they took eco holidays, compared to only 5% of the silent generation.

A destination’s real image is just as important as its branding

GenZ travellers are more likely to buy from brands that have established clear values, are inclusive, and have a strong online community. This is highlighted in GlobalData’s Q3 2021 Global Consumer survey, where 53% of respondents in the GenZ category replied with either “completely agree” or “somewhat agree” in response to the statement “I am more loyal to brands that support green/environmental matters”, compared to 48% of the silent generation. Nevertheless, companies involved in this space should ensure marketing is transparent as Gen Z has no qualms about doing their own independent research to form opinions, and these opinions are what drives the decision to spend money with a certain company.

Olamide Olowe, founder of skincare company TOPICALS states, “Gen Z is not a demographic, it’s a psychographic. We challenge institutions, invest in inclusion, and are extremely individual.” This view is one that is useful to keep in mind when marketing travel destinations towards the GenZ cohort, as they are less likely to be drawn in with superficial promises and are more likely to consider various angles before deciding on a destination. Ultimately, this generation will play a significant role in driving spending in the future. In addition, GenZ are behind some of the largest behavioural and cultural shifts that are being seen across the world today. These behaviours will affect companies and travel destinations for years to come. Therefore, it is essential that these companies consider attracting the GenZ market.