In Segmentation

generation z timelineIt’s no secret that the hospitality industry is always evolving, not to mention increasingly competitive. With that being said, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to trends and marketing. Which is why we’re launching A New Age In Travel, a three-part series about the most up-and-coming travel segment: Generation Z.

The most important thing marketers can do to reach this generation is to cultivate a strong understanding of their values and behaviors. With this in mind, part one of our series will focus on the characteristics of this budding generation.

Who are they?

There is some debate over the exact age range, but the general consensus is that Gen Z is made up of those born after 1996. Which means the eldest of the group are just hitting their 20s—and are at a prime age for travel. Even the younger portion of Gen Z is important to consider—they may not be footing the bill or traveling on their own just yet, but they’re major influencers on their parents’ family travel decisions. They’re also considered the most diverse and largest generation to date—they currently make up just over a quarter of the population at 25.9%.

What’s important to them?

One of the biggest characteristics that differentiates Gen Z from their predecessors is their focus on social responsibility. They’re community-minded and care about sustainability and the environment. Having grown up in the wake of 9/11 and an economic recession, they are also economically aware and willing to work harder to achieve success. They don’t take earning a living for granted and have an entrepreneurial spirit—in fact, a study conducted by Northeastern University found that 42% of high school students expect to work for themselves one day.

How do they consume information?

Simply put, they are digital natives. They’re incapable of remembering a world without the Internet, and they’ll typically multitask across as many as five devices, including TV, laptops, desktop computers, tablets and smartphones. It’s this technological dependence that has earned them the nickname “iGeneration.” The Internet has allowed them to grow up with the world at their fingertips, and they’re self-educators who value learning and putting their knowledge to use.

Their reliance on the Internet extends to social media. However, unlike generations before them, they’re much more aware of—and value—privacy. They’ve seen how sharing something online can spread like wildfire, and posting something regrettable can’t be taken back.

To learn more about this up-and-coming generation and how you can market to them, reach out to Lynn Kaniper at 609.466.9187 ext. 117 or lkaniper@danacommunications.com today. And be sure to keep an eye out for parts two and three of this series.

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