Stats: Gen Z Wants to Travel Internationally, Have “Exciting” Experiences

The desire to travel is a key interest among the majority of Generation Z consumers, with 60 percent stating they have a strong urge to travel the world, according to new research from the cultural intelligence firm Collage Group. This generation’s urgency for travel exceeds that desire of the older Gen X and Boomer generations by nearly 15 percent.

The recent study, titled “Gen Z Passion Points,” notes that Gen Z have had a wealth of exposure to the world via the Internet and this likely contributes to their wish to travel. Moreover, Collage Group says, this generation is digitally native (the Internet has been around literally for their entire lives, after all), so they have been exposed to distant parts of the globe at an earlier age than any previous generation.

And a quick getaway or merely crossing state lines is not the hope, among the cohort. The “Passion Points” study reveals that for Gen Z, international travel is the overwhelming favorite when paired against domestic travel, as 55 percent of the segment said they would prefer to go abroad vs. vacation in the States. For younger Gen Z members (those aged 13 to 17), the desire to travel internationally is even greater at 61 percent. The study also found that, with each consecutive age group (Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers), the desire to travel internationally decreased (with all generations other than Gen Z favoring domestic travel).

Another interesting comparison regarding Gen Z travelers and those from other age groups is the reason why they travel. Amongst other older generations, traveling for pleasure usually involves leisure and time to unwind. But for Gen Z, vacations are driven by a desire for adventure or action. Fifty-seven percent of Gen Z agrees that for them, a vacation consists of excitement, which is opposed to 57 percent of the total population who say they’re looking to relax when on a trip away.

Again, younger Gen Zs are more intense than the older Gen Z cohort, as 67 percent of the younger segment say they seek excitement over relaxation.  

In addition to that, Gen Z is also passionate about technology, including Instagram, TikTok and other social media. Gen Zs commonly take trips or travel abroad with intentions of sharing their voyage on Instagram, posting pictures and photos.

Finally, food is another Passion Point among Gen Z and it, too, ties in with their zeal to move about and travel. Gen Zs frequently pick travel destinations solely to partake in the local cuisine. Seventy-three percent of the generation reports selecting places to travel based on the food served there.

Tips: At the recently held ULTRA Summit, hosted by our sister publication Luxury Travel Advisor, Steve Cohen, special consultant for the Olinger Group and managing partner for Stelico Consulting Group, shared data on luxury travelers—who they are, how they use travel advisors and what they find appealing. One thing he made sure to address: You can never market too young. Many luxury travelers have children under 18 in the household and they are included in the decision-making process.

“[Younger travelers] are more than willing to spend on the experience because things have changed. Accumulating stuff isn't nearly as important as it once was,” Cohen told the audience.

And about travelers’ use of social media (but, in particular, younger travelers, as it relates to this study), all but 2 percent use some platform. The most popular were Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but Snapchat and TikTok were both common responses as well—and they’re much more affordable to advertise on, Cohen pointed out. If you’re not using these platforms, “you're missing the opportunity to engage with people at an age where they're susceptible to your ad,” he said.

Further, the majority of luxury travelers said they selected a vacation destination based partially or primarily on social media or that they selected a hotel brand, cruise line, or airline based on social media.

Source: Collage Group

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