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Next Gen Travelers: How to Market Travel Destinations to Young Adults

June 13, 2022

Fill Me in:
The desire to travel is stronger than ever due to the rise in Next-Gen travelers. Next-Gen consists of 151 million Millennials and Gen Z-ers with $350 billion in spending power in the United States. Young adult travelers have reawakened the travel industry with 57% of them planning to travel more when the pandemic is over. The right messaging will be crucial in attracting travel intenders to engage with your brand. To understand this scale, note that more than half of Americans are Millennials or younger. With less traveling experience, Gen Z-ers intend to make the most out of their travel opportunities by equally prioritizing cost and authenticity of the region they are visiting.

What People are Saying/What this means:
Travelers are looking for messaging around flexibility with bookings, changes, and cancellation options. Advertisers are already taking advantage of this consumer trend. 84% of U.S. travel marketers are aligned on offering flexible booking options. Next-Gen travelers treasure unique experiences that are authentic and reflective of the region. 43% of Next-Gen travelers are seeking adventures that are new and fresh to their experience, and 47% of them reporting to seek out comfort across all their travel experiences. Therefore, solid amenities and reputation are crucial preferences that will influence their decision-making. 41% of Next-Gen travelers determine their travel plans based on good reviews. Unlike other generations, Next-Gen travelers don’t base their booking decisions on loyalty programs, but rather on word of mouth and online reviews. They are 1.6x less likely to belong to an airline loyalty program and 1.9x less likely to book a hotel through a loyalty program. Rather, brands should focus on offering the best value and building long-lasting relationships.

The future of travel will be determined by Next Gen travel intenders, and it has become more personal than ever. Brands should highly consider the travel mindset and preferences of Gen Z and Millennial as they begin their media planning. As the travel industry rebounds, these generations will be more open to discovering new brands that offer them the most flexible, valuable, and meaningful experiences. We recommend using specific messaging to convey these themes to travel intenders. When targeting the Next-Gen traveler, we recommend the following key phrases: Escape and Relax, Budget Friendly, Adventurous. People will always want to travel. Creative messaging that reflects the culture and convenience of a destination will set it apart from its competitors.