Generation Z is bursting onto the tourism sector. This niche market is made up of permanently connected digital natives, born between 1995 and 2010. They are explorers by nature and are guided by the #YOLO "you only live once" philosophy, whose goal is to enjoy life, even if it means taking risks.

More than a third of their trips are for experiences such as concerts, festivals and sporting events of all kinds. In general, they are a distinctly multicultural group: they are unfazed by geographical borders, consider themselves to be citizens of the world and want to see everything with their own eyes .

This new wave is both ambitious and entrepreneurial, they do not want to work under anyone's orders and prefer to invest in their own business to better manage the time they have. For Angel García Butragueño, Co-Director of BRAINTRUST Tourism Barometer, this is a potential audience that is proving to be an important source of income for the travel industry, with a weight on the sector that will continue to grow in the coming years. This is because they currently represent 15% of the population, and this percentage is expected to increase to 40% by 2030*.

To better understand how they travel and what they are looking for, BRAINTRUST has developed 5 key insights :


1. Technological dependence. They are born glued to a computer and are proficient in a variety of digital environments. They perform all sorts of simultaneous tasks using devices such as smartphones, smart TVs, laptops, smartwatches and tablets. One consequence of having so many tools at their disposal is that Generation Z travellers have noticeably shorter attention spans: a maximum of about 8 seconds. They have grown up in an era of mobile convenience and constant self-service; therefore they expect to be able to research, book, check-in, transact, review and manage multiple aspects of their journey through their devices. They will be the first generation to use artificial intelligence in their lives.


2. Interaction with social media. They are influenced by the photos posted by their friends on platforms such as Snapchat or Instagram, making these channels indispensable touch points for businesses in the tourism sector. They watch twice as much video on mobile devices than any other demographic in existence. Because of this, unique experiences and destinations that allow for engaging imagery are the most in-demand travel modalities. 1 in 2 Generation Z travellers say that ads with attractive offers or images helped their decision-making process.


3. Budget is a priority when planning and booking their trips. They do not have a lot of money and opt for budget experiences, as many of them are students who cannot afford extra costs or first-time workers who do not have a lot of capital. But they are the travellers of the future. They spend around 25% of their budget on flights and spend less on hotels than other generations, which explains the rise of new business models such as Airbnb.


4. Immediacy is a requirement. They prefer any kind of option to interacting with human staff, and this is where the development of chatbots comes in. They take high-speed wireless internet connection for granted and are obsessed with timeliness, especially when it comes to problem solving .


5. To be and not to have. Like the millennials who have come before them, Generation Z travellers value experiences over material things. They travel extensively from a young age and have a global mindset interested in unconventional destinations, such as the far reaches of the Arctic. They don't want comfort, they are looking for something genuine that brings them closer to the realities of the destinations they visit, and then share it with their friends via social media.


According to José Manuel Brell, Co-Director of the BRAINTRUST Tourism Barometer, there is no going back, the so-called "Gen Zers" have changed the paradigm forever, and it is time for tourism players to adapt to this new trend if they want to survive in the future. At BRAINTRUST we can help you to better understand this new traveller model that is already essential for the future of the sector. We have the best means to advise you in the configuration of value propositions that will optimise your presence in the market.


Do you want detailed information? Contact us and ask for our Tourism Barometer, the methodological support that determines the market's willingness to travel, as well as the trends that allow all suppliers in the travel industry to identify business opportunities and adjust their offer to consumers' preferences.