10 key characteristics of Gen Z to keep in mind in travel
Generation Z represents a new generation of youngsters with specific characteristics due to the period of time in which they were born. They offer new opportunities for the tourism sector, mainly from the digital skills point of view, but also because this generation is highly committed to social and green issues. So how does this generation influence different sub-sectors in our industry? Key NTG partner, the University of Alicante, highlights the key characteristics of Gen Z and shares some interesting facts.
Who are Generation Z?
Generation Z, also known as ‘postmillennial’ or ‘centennial’, includes those born in the digital era (from approximately 1995 to 2010), who cannot conceive the world without the Internet (Iberdrola, n.d.).
Some of their characteristics are as follows, according to Equipos & Talento (2019), Sánchez Mateos (2018), Hosteltur (2017), Malesanz (2015) and Verdú (2015):
1. They are the true digital natives.
2. They look for jobs with flexible schedules that allow them to reconcile with the rest of their life.
3. They are highly adaptable. Being born in an era where technological changes happen at a rapid rate, Generation Z are able to adapt much better to the changes that arise in their environment.
4. They like creative work environments and feedback from their superiors.
5. They are impatient but self-sufficient.
6. They are self-taught. They learn mainly through online tutorials and many of them do their homework and tasks online.
7. They are used to solving problems and fulfilling personal needs.
8. They prefer privacy. They have learnt the risks and inconveniences of sharing all their information on the internet.
9. They are solidary. Having lived in times of crisis and recession this has made them more supportive and committed people. Many carry out volunteer actions, they are aware of climate issues and are willing to change the world by supporting local communities.
10. They communicate mainly through symbols and icons.
How to manage Generation Z skills effectively?
Technological advances shapes how companies function and technological knowledge is increasingly necessary for jobs. However, this is not an inconvenience for younger workers since they have grown up with diverse technologies such as the Internet, tablets and smartphones. This affinity with technology means that this generation has the ability to control up to five devices at the same time and adapt better and faster to sudden changes in the work environment (Equipos & Talento, 2019). In addition, they are able to solve problems effectively, in less time and in a completely autonomous way and are willing to do their work where required (Equipos & Talento, 2019).
Managers of tourism companies must take into account all of the above and commit to the professional development and empowerment of their workers, giving employees new responsibilities so that they feel valued by the company (B-Talent, 2019).
What does Generation Z look for when traveling?
Tourism companies have to be aware of the new reality of Generation Z and have to adapt themselves to this young audience if they want to survive in the future. The development of new tourism products must take into account their needs and wants.
Due to their connection with technology, Generation Z makes clear its preferences when traveling through online comments and interacting in social media networks. For this kind of tourist, it is important to maintain contact with their friends while they are traveling. Because of that, most consider that having a stable Wi-Fi connection is essential during their trip, as well as having the opportunity to take good photos to upload to their social networks (Redacción TO, 2017). They are tourists who manage most of the aspects of their trip through their technological devices. They look for information, book and make reservations via networks. They are conducive to using artificial intelligence (Turismo & Ocio, 2018).
Unlike previous generations, Generation Z travels from a very young age and is interested in unconventional destinations (Turismo & Ocio, 2018). For them, comfort is not a priority, since they are looking for truly original and authentic places where they can find something unique and worth sharing the experiences through social networks. Tourists of Generation Z are sensitive, committed and aware of the world in which they live. Consequently, environmental considerations will also affect the way they travel. Most of them prefer ecological and environmentally friendly accommodation and are willing to use transport that do not harm the environment (Europapress, 2019).
Considering all of the above, tourism firms have to adapt to this segment through:
– The distribution of the tourist product through all types of devices;
– The use of social networks;
– The development of socially and environmentally responsible tourism products;
– Communication through images and symbols.
B-Talent (February 14, 2019). Las 6 habilidades imprescindibles para dirigir a la Generación Z. Retrieved from: https://b-talent.com/es/blog/6-habilidades-para-dirigir-a-la-generacion-z/
Equipos & Talento. (July 12, 2019). 7 habilidades de la Generación Z que ayudan a triunfar en el trabajo. Retrieved from: https://www.equiposytalento.com/noticias/2019/07/12/7-habilidades-de-la–generacion-z-que-ayudan-a-triunfar-en-el-trabajo
Europapress. (March 8, 2019). El impacto medioambiental afecta a la forma de viajar de la generacion Z. Retrieved from: https://www.europapress.es/turismo/nacional/noticia-impacto-medioambiental-tambien-afecta-forma-viaja-generacion-20190803102954.html
Hosteltur. (January 1, 2017). ¿El sector turístico está preparado para la Generación Z? Retrieved from: https://www.hosteltur.com/119744_sector-turistico-esta-preparado-generacion-z.html
Iberdrola (n.d.). From the baby boomers to the post-millennial generations: 50 years of change. Retrieved from: https://www.iberdrola.com/talent/generation-x-y-z
Matesanz, V. (April 8, 2015). ¿Sabes qué es la “generación Z”?. Retrieved from: https://forbes.es/life/6637/sabes-que-es-la-generacion-z/
Redacción TO. (April 11, 2017). La Generación Z también reinventa el turismo. Retrieved from: https://theobjective.com/further/la-generacion-z-tambien-reinventa-el-turismo/
Sanchez Mateos, A. (July 15, 2018). 10 datos sobre la Generación Z. Retrieved from: https://www.lavanguardia.com/vivo/20180715/45818419326/dia-habilidades-juventud-generacion-z.html
Turismo & Ocio. (April 2, 2018). ¿Cómo viaja la generación Z? Retrieved from: https://www.braintrust-cs.com/como-viaja-la-generacion-z/
Verdú, D. (May 3, 2015). La generación Z cambiará el mundo. Retrieved from: https://elpais.com/politica/2015/05/02/actualidad/1430576024_684493.html