Transformative tourism is the new trend for generation Z. It comes handy when creating new travel experiences for this generation because it sums up all of what they seem to look for. Transformative tourism is a new way of traveling in which the visitor and the locals interact to create a positive impact in the world. Authenticity, altruism, or ecology are some of its values, also self-reflection and a deeper connection with nature and culture. And that is what Generation Z is seeking according to the latest researches in the begging of 2020. But with the new normality are Gen Z seeking to do this type of experiences?
But first, who are Gen Zers?They are also called Post-Millennials, but finally this is people born after 1995. Despite their young age, they are already involved in low cost trip planning and have travel, as a priority. Consequently, as they grow older, they will have even more freedom and control in their trips, that’s why it is important to be aware of their behavior, needs and wants to be ahead of the game in the travel industry.
Travel is a must
Traveling has a very important part in the Gen Zers bucket list. They prioritize travel over material possessions, they believe that travel is worth investing in, this means that generation Z is planning a life well-traveled. Booking.com made a study in 29 countries in May 2019 called ‘Gen-Z Unpacked’ and it revealed that 34% of this generation are not afraid of traveling solo, 56% of this generation is planning on visiting or trekking an extreme location, and that 60%, prefer a green or eco-friendly accommodation and transport. All of this indicates that they prefer an experimental and sustainable travel. For example, they prefer learning how to make a cocktail than just drinking one, learning how to paint a cathedral than just taking a picture, or having a micro-adventure like rafting in Florence.
Not without my mobile phone
Gen Zers are following Millennials footsteps when it comes to the use of mobile and technology. They were born with technology, mobile phones and social media, they lived in a huge technological change, this means that they are developing unique traits and behaviors. This has caused them to have short attention spans, a desire for personalization and a love-hate relationship with connectivity which makes them a part of Millennials. Growing with social media has made them trust recommendations from people they don’t know, such as influencers and celebrities. According to the study mentioned above, 42% of this generation take approximately over 50 pictures a day and post them on social media when on vacation. They also find Instagram and Pinterest as a source of inspiration for travel.
After the lockdown
The latest study from Globetrender “The future of travel, travel in the age of Covid-19” shown that this generation after several months of lockdown, the desire to sustain the environmental benefits have trigger them, for now they are more likely to pursue a domestic travel. Before Gen Z’s travel priorities were rooted in a desire for cultural immersion and a search for authenticity, which has in turn founded a more heightened awareness of the environmental effects. Still and all, it will take time to see the real travel behaviors in Gen Z as they continue to grow on their own, but we can already see that this generation is taking their own path when it comes to digital behavior, sustainable traveling, and living experiences, and this path gathers inevitably what the transformative tourism movement is.