Travel and the change-maker generation

Oct 9, 2020

Known as the “woke” generation, Generation Z is making waves in highlighting social injustice using social media. With 90% of Gen Z unhappy with the state of the world, this comes as no surprise. At WYSTC 2020 Online, YouthSight shared insights into Gen Z’s behaviours, opinions and what this means for organisations that serve youth travellers.  

Insights into Generation Z  

  • A pragmatic generation, Gen Z is aware that life is not perfect and expect to see authenticity in the brands they engage with instead of consistently putting out a perfect image. 
  • Gen Z is fiercely passionate about fighting for equality and social movement. Three out of four young people seek to connect with people of different cultures and races, lifestyles and ideas, making them more empathetic compared to other generations.  
  • Gen Z relies upon their created communities for education and regularly question the information received from the media and people in power. In June’s State of Youth Nation report, 63% of Gen Z based in the UK reported having no trust in the current government.  
  • One of the generation’s most significant concerns is around climate change; however, this does not stop them from travelling. Their top ambition is to travel the world, and experiences are the new status symbol.  

What can travel brands do to connect with Gen Z?  

  • Align your brand with Gen Z values authentically and take action when experiencing injustice: for Gen Z, actions speak louder than words.
  • Understand that millennials and Gen Z are two different generations with different experiences and priorities. Gen Z does not relate to millennials, and it is essential to highlight the different experiences that Gen Z has faced.  
  • Become a true ally for this generation by supporting their voices through your platforms to build trust.   
  • Standardise representation: currently 3% of leaders in travel and hospitality are BAME. 

Gen Z might be seen as a paradoxical generation that travels while being concerned about climate change, equality and social injustice; however this is a market segment that is keen to engage with the youth travel industry, as long as brands resonate with their values.