different generations accessing technology to look at hotel reviews

The hospitality and tourism industry has always come up with names to describe cohorts of travelers that share similar interests and behaviors.

NB: This is an article by EHL

Sometimes those names follow the famous generation categorization, such as Millennial travelers and Gen Z travelers, or have more tailored-made definitions.

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Silent travel and its impact

In the last decade, the impact of the generalization of smartphone usage has created a new category of travelers: silent travelers. This cohort has adopted mobile technology to enhance or even replace the conventional in-person service delivery that occurs in the hospitality sector. As a result, most of the companies in the industry have adapted to provide digital services such as chatbots or online check-in to match the buying behavior of these travelers.

Although this trend started almost 10 years ago, Skift.com expects that it will still have an impact on our industry, especially with the development of AI interfaces like ChatGPT. Indeed, according to the Skift Head of Research, Wouter Geerts, “the phenomenon of the silent traveler is still very much in existence, although we don’t really refer to it as such”. Therefore, silent travelers will keep influencing the industry as they now have “spending power and a growing impact on travel bookings”.

How social media affects travel: A growing role to attract the new generation of travelers

Many actors in the industry are also keen to implement digital services to gain visibility and attract customers who rely on technology when choosing a destination. More than half of Gen Z travelers spend at least four hours per day on social media, such as TikTok. Therefore, hotels that wish to attract members of that generation should consider working on creating valuable content on their social media channels. For some hoteliers this could be a daunting burden, we understand that, so do not hesitate to rely on travelers content creators to promote your property on social media!

Who is willing to pay more for sustainable products?

In addition to the strong connection to technology, members of Gen Z are reshaping the industry even more because they are willing to pay for things they care about, such as sustainability. Up to 50% of them would agree on paying a premium to support a charity cause. As a result, some in the industry are questioning whether hotels should revamp their loyalty programs which reward guests and enable them to donate to charity.

Moreover, compared to past generations, Gen Z tends to travel more at an earlier age, even though their budget is lower than that of other generations. Generally, the highest earners are more likely to travel for leisure purposes. Indeed, members of other generations living in households with an annual income of at least $100,000, are 5-7 percentage points more likely to travel than the general population.

However, for members of Gen Z, the difference is only 1 point. Interestingly enough, 61% of Gen Zers who have taken three or more leisure trips in the past year belong to households earning less than $50,000 a year. This suggests that younger generations are not putting off their travel plans until they reach a certain level of income or savings, but instead are finding ways to incorporate them into their current budget.

Generations income

Source: Morning Consult, Gen Z Is Poised to Reshape the Travel Industry.

The travel expectations of each generation

The purchasing power of a category of travelers plays a major role in determining if certain specific consumer behaviors will have a small or large impact on the industry. Indeed, the more money a cohort of travelers has at their disposal, the greater will be their impact on the industry.

Read rest of the article at EHL