By Dianne Ang

Generation Z (or more commonly known as Gen Z) is the newest generation of travelers, and they show major differences from Millennials and other generations that come before them. This generation should be paid close attention to because their interests and trends will significantly shape the face of travel. They are already becoming increasingly important in the hospitality industry so let us explore five things that Gen Zs look for when they travel, and how hotels can adapt to their evolving needs and preferences.

  1. They are willing to spend more money on experiences than material things, something that travel capitalizes on. They are more adventurous and seek an experiential kind of travel. Hotels can capitalize on the generation’s need to search for off-beaten paths and experiences that offer them the immersion they desire by having accommodation packages that include activities like adventure sports or wellness retreats.
  2. They are more spontaneous in terms of booking travel flights and accommodations, requiring less lead time than those who prefer to plan ahead. Work-from-anywhere is becoming more common, so Gen Zs are more likely to choose to travel solo instead of waiting for someone to become available. Hotels targeting this generation may consider having more single-occupancy rooms instead of double beds.
  3. Gen Zs show interest in sustainability. They are more environmentally conscious than previous generations and are also more likely to seek out eco-friendly accommodations. Hotels can respond to this trend by implementing green initiatives and using environmentally friendly practices. Some hotels are now incorporating sustainable materials into their design and operations, or partnering with local groups that offer guests opportunities to participate in their conservation activities.
  4. They seek cultural immersion. They don’t want to just go to the popular attractions, but would rather experience the “true part” of a destination they are visiting. They are curious and would seek to see cultures and experiences through the eyes of a local. Hotels can partner with local businesses, such as restaurants or activity centers, to offer guests unique experiences that can make them feel more connected to the place or community they are visiting.
  5. Gen Zs are the generation that has widespread access to digital technology, so they are connected to social media platforms like Instagram and Tiktok. They use this to plan and share their travel experiences. They see a trending destination or restaurant on the internet, that’s what they want and that’s where they’ll go. This has led to visually appealing hotels that offer stunning backdrops and experiences designed to be shared online. Hotels can also hire social media influencers to create content and promote the property.

The travel pattern of Gen Z is very unique, which leads to significant changes in the hospitality industry. There is no better time to offer cutting-edge technology, such as mobile check-in, keyless room entry, and high-speed Wi-Fi. They could also make use of technology to enhance the guest experience, such as virtual or augmented reality to preview hotel amenities or explore nearby attractions. Overall, it is very important for hotels to adapt to meet the needs and preferences of this generation by staying on top of trends and offering relatable experiences.