Posted by Leger ● May 31, 2022 9:00:00 AM
Gen Z is the up-and-coming generation comprised of young people who are eagerly earning more and spending more as they enter their late teens and early adulthood. This makes their buying habits, interests, values, and trends some of the biggest areas of interest for brands looking to grow, especially when it comes to earning the brand loyalty of Gen Z early in their lives.
Travel companies are looking to Gen Z to grow revenue and market share. Young, adventurous individuals with disposable income are prime customers for travel products and services.
But there’s one big question that underlines this idea — what travel trends are emerging among Gen Z?
As part of our omnichannel generational study, an online quantitative study that was conducted among 2,000 participants who are 18+, we discovered three big answers to this question:
- 75% like to explore and experience new things when traveling
- 73% are willing to spend money when it comes to travel
- 67% like to travel somewhere at least once a year
Now, let’s jump into the data.
1. Exploring & Experiencing New Things
The majority of Gen Z say they like to explore and experience new things when they travel.
Considering the age range of Gen Z — late teens to mid-20s — individuals in this generation may have lost some of their most social and adventurous years to the COVID pandemic, including the ability to try new things and experience new locations.
Now, as the generation enters the workforce and builds its overall economic spending power, this sense of wanderlust is showing itself in more and more places in 2022, including the concept of revenge travel where people are trying to “make up” for travel time they lost during COVID restrictions.
It’s also important to note the word “explore” in this context as well. While “experiencing new things” could account for a wide variety of activities from eating a new food to snowboarding for the first time, the concept of “exploration” is much more open-ended.
Some in Gen Z may prioritize urban exploration. Others may take to the rural countryside to explore areas that have little to no human impact. Still others might consider meeting new groups of people from different cultures to be it’s own form of exploration.
Regardless, it’s important to note these possibilities from the perspective of the travel industry. It could point to the idea that travelers — especially young travelers — are seeking more organic experiences than the guided tours of the past.
Gen Z is looking to spread their wings and see what the world has to offer.
2. Spending to Travel & When Traveling
Second, three-quarters said they were willing to spend money when it comes to travel.
“Spend money” is a key phrase in this statement because it’s generally understood that travel of any kind will cost money at some point. This points to the idea that Gen Z is not only prepared to “spend money” to travel — because they know they would have to do that anyway — but that they’re also prepared to spend more than usual.
Again, this idea aligns with the concept of revenge travel, where 2022’s travelers are looking forward to their travel so much that they’re willing to spend more than they usually would.
This makes Gen Z an excellent demographic of travelers overall. Not only are they looking to experience new things, but they’re also willing to spend more for those experiences.
3. Traveling at Least Once Every Year
Finally, 67% said they liked to travel at least once per year.
Insider Intelligence estimates that Gen Z comprises about 67.8 million Americans. Combined with our research, this would give the travel industry a promising pool of 45.4 million potential customers who plan to travel at least once per year — if not more. This discovery also aligns with our findings in a brief revenge travel study where we saw that half said they planned to travel two or more times in 2022.
As Gen Z continues to start their careers and claim their share of the economy, their positive sentiment toward travel (and spending during travel) paints an optimistic future for the industry as a whole, especially as COVID restrictions fall away.
Whether they take one trip per year or 10, Gen Z is in a prime position to help the travel industry recover from COVID hardships and supporting it in the future.
Want to Learn More about Gen Z’s Travel Priorities?
Download your free copy of our generational marketing study!
These three statistics are just snapshots of a much larger study we conducted across Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Boomers+ to understand how they buy.
In addition to learning how Gen Z values travel, we also investigated ideas like how Millennials view wellness and how Gen X likes to learn product information.