Research Insights 3 key behaviors of Gen Z travelers

3 key behaviors of Gen Z travelers

September 2021
Phocuswright Research

Compared to their predecessors, Gen Z consumers have an even deeper affinity for, comfort with, and adaptability to all things tech (and the ever-evolving changes which accompany that).

On the surface, Gen Z appears like a less opportune, near-term audience - they earn less, are more price-sensitive, and travel is not currently as important to them as for other generations. According to Phocuswright's latest travel research report Gen Z Travelers: A Breed of Their Own, of all age groups, travel's priority level is the lowest among Gen Z; still, 43% consider travel a high or top priority.

Phocuswright Chart: Priority Level Placed on Travel
(Click image to view a larger version.)

3 key behaviors of Gen Z travelers

  1. The OTA appeal: OTAs are the online booking channel of choice and their offerings like dynamic packages and loyalty programs have enjoyed stronger success among younger travelers. More Gen Z travelers booked air, hotel and car via an OTA than any other online channel like direct websites, metasearch, or retail travel agent websites
  2. Open to receive (new models): Including offline channels (e.g., phone, in-person), Gen Z more frequently uses direct channels than OTAs in all segments. Plus, the subscription model is not so novel to this cohort of young travelers as likeliness to use a travel subscription increases for Gen Z.
  3. Ready to roam: Several travel behaviors shifted in response to the pandemic: travelers took trips closer to home, sought less crowded destinations, or stayed in more isolated lodging. But Gen Z travelers have been less likely to adjust. They remained open to venturing beyond U.S. borders, with more than two in five traveling abroad in 2020 - the highest share of all generations

Phocuswright Chart: Domestic vs International 2020
(Click image to view a larger version.)

While they view travel as important, Gen Z is the most likely to minimize trips if not in within their means. They are, however, the least demanding and most flexible demographic when considering COVID safety regulations. Based on the U.S. Consumer Travel Report 2021 series, this report provides insights and data on Gen Z attitudes and behaviors around travel planning and booking.

If you become a Phocuswright Open Access subscriber, this report and the entire Phocuswright research library (and interactive data visualization tools) are available to you and your company. Clients have relied on Phocuswright's deep industry knowledge for over 25 years to power great decisions, help justify a pitch, build a strategic plan and elevate any presentation through trusted research and data. When companies and executives reference Phocuswright, they gain the trust of an industry keen on data, trends and analytics. Explore the Open Access benefits best suited to your company.