Generation Z is beginning to embark on adulthood and they are ready to travel—a lot! And, differently than you may expect. Born between 1995 and 2015, this demographic (74 million strong) has grown up in the smart phone, social media and climate change era. So, it’s not surprising that their expectations for travel access and experiences differ from generations before them.

According to, Gen Z are a demographic that makes travel a priority. Which is why Gen Z is the fastest-growing tourism demographic. Some characteristics specific to this group are:

  • They are very likely to have a travel ‘bucket list’
  • They are okay traveling solo
  • They prioritize travel over material possessions
  • They’re a generation that likes to give back and sustainability is paramount
  • They are social media creatures—and it’s not Facebook (think Snapchat)

More information about Gen Z and their travel intentions can be found in the full survey results:

Reaching Generation Z will require a modified communication plan. And, ensuring that you can meet their travel expectations will take a new view of what amenities and options hotels and resorts offer. Here are some strategies that will help you prepare for addressing the travel needs of this unique generation:

Learn the social platforms they use so you can effectively market to them.
Gen Z likes more private sharing platforms like Snapchat. They use it a lot—so should hospitality marketers. Gen Zers expect constant engagement and they trust influencers and celebrity ambassadors that are present on these social channels. They also fear being left out and social media gives them the access to friends and trends. The challenge for marketers will be to not only activate appropriate campaigns on relevant platforms, but to leearn how to speak to this social-media-engaged population. (Hint, hire people in the cohort to help guide your efforts.)

Tech rules.
Hotels need to be as tech savvy as Gen Zers, who spend 10 hours a day on their devices. So, seamless Wifi, video streaming capability and integration with hotel systems is valuable to this generation. They want to book their trips and check in on their iPad, open their room door on their phone and have constant access to their social media accounts. So, hotel planners need to be on top of the latest—and soon-to-come—technologies that appeal to this group.

Social isn’t just an on-line activity.
Generation Z likes to be social with other travelers and with the communities they are visiting. They like open, communal areas where they can interact with others. They want experiences that inspire—experiences they find exciting and that they want to share. And they want hotels that keep true to the communities where they reside—no cookie-cutter rooms, but instead appointments that bring the local culture and flair into the hotel environment.

Sustainability IS the future.
Many hotels are already looking for ways to offer more sustainable accommodations, and that’s a good thing. But, more should and can be done to address Gen Z’s passion for sustainability. Less plastic, more reusable amenities (i.e. no more small shampoo bottles) and farm-to-table restaurant options should be a part of the vacation experience.

As Generation Z continues to age into adulthood, hospitality marketers, managers and planners will need to adapt in order to meet this demographic’s unique needs. If you have questions or would like more information on how you can customize your hospitality project to win over this cohort, give us a call. We’ll help you plan, prepare and execute programs and strategies that will make you relevant and desirable to Generation Z.




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