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Generation Z: a pursuit of traveling

Nowadays, a generation is discovering the world, one that is not afraid of anything and whose pursuit of happiness is not focused on material acquisitions but travel and experiences, according to a Booking.com study

Person looking up to the flight schedules at the airport

LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Suarez

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Generation Z, also known as centennials, is the group of people born since the mid-1990s and 2000s. They are the protagonists of the new millennium and who are currently beginning their university and professional life. While this is happening, new generational patterns and trends develop.

Leer en español: Esta es la generación que le apuesta todo a los viajes

The international travel booking website Booking conducted a study with Vitreous World and analyzed by Ketchum Analytics with a sample of almost 22,000 young people from Australia, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, China, Brazil, India, United States, United Kingdom participated, Russia, Indonesia, Colombia, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Thailand, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Croatia, Taiwan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Sweden, Singapore and Israel.

The result shows an obvious trend: 65% of those who belong to this generation worldwide think that the most pleasant thing to spend their money in the future is to "travel and discover the world". This result varied depending on the countries. For example, 91% of Colombians chose travel as a priority.

Reasons to travel

Everyone likes to travel and discover the world. So why does this generation have such a strong interest in it? Traveling is only a part of an adventure that these young people want to undertake.

It all starts from planning: traveling is only the culmination of a process that is nurtured through social networks as Instagram, taking into account the growing trend of digital influencers. 90% of the surveyed already had a wishlist of places, sites, and cities that they should travel to at some point in their life, with preferences levels. Part of the adventure starts from there, knowing where they want to go, even what restaurants and what activities to do.

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This generation "not only has the power to change the future of the world, but also wants to start discovering it," says Booking.

For Generation Z, traveling is not a matter of improvising but of knowing the most fashionable places of the moment. The list is nourished by and must change rapidly to fit the destinations that influencers often frequent.

Once the trip begins, young people belonging to this generation are looking for adventure: nothing to do with resorts and whole days on the beach (although a couple of days is not bad). They prefer outdoor activities, especially if they have to do with nature and extreme activities.

Trends range from knowing the farthest continents from your country to visiting every corner of your own, as a way to learn about yourself.

Discovering different cultures, volunteering and leaving your home country to study or even form a life outside are some of the preferences of young people who were surveyed.

Independence is another feature of this generation: traveling alone is a trend that continues to increase. They are still too young to have an income that allows them to do these trips and 57% said their safest way to travel is with family. Despite this, 43% want to travel alone at least once. In this figure, women were the ones who wanted to do it the most (43% women, 37% men).

Traveling vs. material possesions

Priorities have changed. Traveling is at the head of any other type of savings or acquisition. Not only have they preferred traveling over the purchase of material goods, be it clothing or technology, but they have also placed it above the purchase of real estate, savings for higher education and for retirement.

According to the generational theory of William Strauss and Neil Howe, Generation Z, the successor of the Millennials, "has grown stifled by overprotection given by a secular crisis", which means that these young people will become "conformist and adverse to risk”. So the idea of traveling to live experiences can work as a kind of emancipation.

An investigation by Cornell University School of Hotel Administration showed that in view of the fact that Generation Z is already beginning to appear in the workplace, the world of hospitality and tourism must adapt to them and their way of traveling.

As a result, tourist industry must become an “affordable luxury” for destinations to gain relevance for this type of consumer: a pragmatic one, with social and environmental awareness, and with not much purchasing power.

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