Generation Z, born between the mid-1990s and the early 2010s, is the first digitally-native generation. They have grown up with technology at their fingertips, which has influenced the way they think, behave, and interact with the world. As they are now starting to travel and become a significant consumer group, hotels are beginning to take notice of their unique needs and preferences. In this Skift deep dive, we explore how Gen Z is influencing hotels to rethink their strategies.
The Rise of Gen Z Travelers
Gen Z is expected to become the largest consumer group by the end of the decade, surpassing millennials. According to a report by Expedia, Gen Z travelers are already taking an average of 2.8 leisure trips per year, with 60% of them using their mobile devices to book travel. They are also more likely to take shorter trips and seek out unique experiences rather than traditional tourist attractions. As such, hotels need to adapt their offerings to appeal to this new generation of travelers.
Technology is Key
One of the defining features of Gen Z is their reliance on technology. They expect seamless and intuitive digital experiences, from booking to check-in to room service. Hotels that can provide this will have a significant advantage over their competitors. Some hotels have already begun implementing mobile check-in and keyless room entry, allowing guests to bypass the front desk entirely. Others are exploring the use of chatbots and AI-powered concierge services to provide personalized recommendations and assistance.
Social Responsibility Matters
Gen Z is also highly aware of social and environmental issues, and they expect the businesses they interact with to share their values. Hotels that prioritize sustainability, diversity, and inclusivity will have a competitive advantage. This includes sourcing locally-produced and organic products, reducing waste, and supporting local communities. Hotels that demonstrate a commitment to social responsibility will be more likely to attract and retain Gen Z guests.
Personalization is Key
Gen Z values individuality and personalization. They want their travel experiences to be tailored to their unique interests and preferences. Hotels that can offer personalized recommendations and experiences will stand out from the crowd. This could include offering customized room amenities, unique dining experiences, or curated local activities and tours.
As Gen Z begins to make up a larger portion of the travel market, hotels will need to rethink their strategies to cater to this new generation of travelers. Technology, social responsibility, and personalization will be key areas of focus for hotels looking to attract and retain Gen Z guests. By adapting to the changing needs and preferences of this demographic, hotels can position themselves for long-term success.