September 29, 2021

3 Key Behaviors of Gen Z Travelers

Compared to their predecessors, Gen Z consumers have an even deeper affinity for, comfort with, and adaptability to all things tech (and the ever-evolving changes which accompany that).

On the surface, Gen Z appears like a less opportune, near-term audience - they earn less, are more price-sensitive, and travel is not currently as important to them as for other generations. According to Phocuswright's latest travel research report Gen Z Travelers: A Breed of Their Own, of all age groups, travel's priority level is the lowest among Gen Z; still, 43% consider travel a high or top priority.

Priority Level Placed on Travel

3 key behaviors of Gen Z travelers

  • The OTA appeal: OTAs are the online booking channel of choice and their offerings like dynamic packages and loyalty programs have enjoyed stronger success among younger travelers. More Gen Z travelers booked air, hotel and car via an OTA than any other online channel like direct websites, metasearch, or retail travel agent websites

  • Open to receive (new models): Including offline channels (e.g., phone, in-person), Gen Z more frequently uses direct channels than OTAs in all segments. Plus, the subscription model is not so novel to this cohort of young travelers as likeliness to use a travel subscription increases for Gen Z.

  • Ready to roam: Several travel behaviors shifted in response to the pandemic: travelers took trips closer to home, sought less crowded destinations, or stayed in more isolated lodging. But Gen Z travelers have been less likely to adjust. They remained open to venturing beyond U.S. borders, with more than two in five traveling abroad in 2020 - the highest share of all generations

  • Domestic vs. International Travel, 2020

    While they view travel as important, Gen Z is the most likely to minimize trips if not in within their means. They are, however, the least demanding and most flexible demographic when considering COVID safety regulations.

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