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How to successfully market travel to Gen Z

Posted by Margot Mora on Jan 10, 2022 1:41:00 PM
Margot Mora

Generation Z comprises one-third of the global population. This growing number of individuals comes with a unique thumbprint of motivators, skills, and perspectives on the world as we know it – and marketing any product or service to them requires a deep dive into what makes them tick. 

Travel is a hot topic in 2022 as many people seek to resurrect their overseas plans that were quelled by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As borders open up again and the economy regains strength, the world can expect to see many members of this generation looking for exciting travel opportunities. 

But what does Gen Z really want out of a travel experience? 

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The vast amount of change that has occurred over the past few years has created distinct separations between them and their recent predecessors, the Millennials, who some marketers were only just beginning to understand. 

Gen Z is more tech-savvy, more impulsive, and more concerned about social validation than previous generations. 

So, how can marketers appeal to this new crowd of youngsters, and what will the defining factors be that prompt them to book a ticket?

1. Emphasize environmentally friendly features

Gen Z takes climate change and environmental well-being quite seriously. They also tend to gravitate towards services that share this trait. 

If you are marketing travel towards Gen Z individuals, you will need to not only advocate for sustainable alternatives but deliver on them, too. 

Sustainable tourism has become a huge part of modern travel marketing. This is primarily due to the increased awareness that society has around internationally pressing issues like global warming, climate change, and the extinction of various endangered animals. 

Travel marketers that want to attract Gen Z customers need to understand the attraction that environmentally friendly packages and features will hold with this crowd.

2. Advertise flexibility 

Gen Z have grown up in a world that has undergone so many changes which has created a generation of people who thrive on adaptability. Gen Z likes to have options. Travel services that cannot accommodate this preference will struggle to remain popular with this group of people. Think flexible travel dates, various food and beverage options, in-house activities, and more.

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3. Use mobile apps

This is a generation of individuals who have been using the internet ever since they can remember. They know smartphones better than the back of their hands.

Creating a user-friendly mobile app is a great way to connect with this uniquely tech-savvy generation. But don’t let their age fool you – their standards for app usability is high, and they are quickly turned off by poor design. 

However, if you can create a mobile app that Gen Z comes to trust, rest assured that they will use it well (and probably share their enthusiasm with friends). 

4. Provide opportunities for social validation 

Social validation is extremely important to Gen Z. Not because they are inherently narcissistic (that is a myth that’s been debunked several times), but rather because most of their lives, they have been subject to the powerful influences of social media. 

What this means for travel marketers is that they can expect more engagement from Gen Z individuals who can easily share their travel experiences with others online

Interestingly enough, Gen Z is far more responsive to user-generated content than they are to the branded infographics and stock images that appealed more to Millennials. Gen Z loves to witness “organically” branded content that could be mistaken for a non-sponsored post. 

5. Care about health and safety 

Despite the projection that older generations have towards Gen Z regarding personal safety, this group of individuals is actually extremely conscious of the impact they have on those around them. They want to follow protocols, and they want to keep others safe. 

In terms of Covid-19 restrictions, Gen Z wants to play its part in protecting the elderly and those they love. Travel marketers need not skimp on advertising the health and safety regulations around a travel experience, because research indicates that Gen Z is more than willing to accommodate.

6. Tap into the market

As the fastest growing generational population on the planet, no marketers can afford to ignore Gen Z. Most of them are either in college or just about to embark on their professional journeys, and will soon have the spending power to influence much of the world’s industries. 

From travel to entertainment, Gen Z is proving to be a socially and environmentally conscious group of people that are eager to explore the world. 


Margot Mora Margot Mora is a content champion for a variety of online publications. She often covers topics that cater to business owners and entrepreneurs with a strong focus on legal finances, business management, and a few other topics.

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