Gen Zs are bringing a new dynamic to global travel

With remote work becoming such a popular and convenient trend, people, including Gen Z’s, are earning while travelling, the best of both worlds. Picture: Elijah O'Donnell/Pexels

With remote work becoming such a popular and convenient trend, people, including Gen Z’s, are earning while travelling, the best of both worlds. Picture: Elijah O'Donnell/Pexels

Published Sep 19, 2022


The younger generation, also known as Generation Z, is embracing travelling, bringing a new dynamic to the global travel space, including business travel.

With remote work becoming such a popular and convenient trend, people, including Gen Z’s, are earning while travelling, the best of both worlds.

Therefore, This opens huge doors of potential for the tourism industry to attract Gen Zs embarking on ‘bleisure’ travel - who are spending their money on fully experiencing destinations and their attractions - across both leisure and business travel.

Gen Z tech connection

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Gen Z’s are born with technology on their laps, and so they expect tech to be part of their business travel experience. Many of them are at the start of their careers, and independence is a key factor.

Smart technology has made it easier to do their own travel research and bookings, whether for flights or accommodation.

Hence, they will have full control of their travel experience and preference. Social media is a key way tourism businesses can attract the Gen Z’s, for example TikTok.

Unconventional accommodation

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Gen Zs are all about experiencing new and different things, and that includes where they stay while travelling.

Micro-hospitality has become popular among young ones as it is more affordable and convenient for on-the-go travel and business life.

Short-stay accommodations are also popular because they offer a different, more intimate experience for working digital nomads. Therefore it’s vital for businesses to keep it authentic and modern.

A signpost the workplace-supportive features that your establishment has as well. While this generation plays hard, they work hard too and need the facilities and amenities to support a streamlined work experience.

The experience matters

This generation thrives on experiences, especially those that are unique and innovative. They also like to experience the “better things in life” that they may not normally have access to in their own daily lives and, of course, show off their experiences on social media.

“If you know a Gen Z has booked into your establishment, go the extra mile and bring in extra luxuries for the time they’re staying there,” suggests Jazeign Kesari, National Procurement Manager at Teljoy.

“Rent a big-screen TV so they can view the promotional videos of your establishment and the activities you recommend or to use for their online business meetings. Bring in a Nespresso machine for the duration of their stay. Or make a tablet available that they can use while staying with you.”

Eco-friendly initiatives

Many of the Gen Z’s are environmentally conscious and seek to make a difference in the world when it comes to keeping our planet safe. Therefore, accommodations are trying to implement ways to uplift the environment.

“If you haven’t done so yet, implement smart, eco-friendly initiatives at your establishment.

There are so many brilliant green tourism ideas out there, like installing a water-bottle filling station at reception, using sustainable furnishings in your rooms, sourcing food from nearby suppliers, donating leftover food to charities, composting, and water-wise gardening.

As you improve your sustainability practices, get the word out. Share it on social media, using hashtags to appeal to eco-conscious consumers,” Tshepo Matlou, Head of Marketing and Communications at Jurni, a local stay booking platform, advises.

Local is lekker

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Gen Zs’ appreciation of authenticity is threaded into deeply local elements, including food, the heritage of the local community, cultural experiences, the shopping scene, and even the local nightlife. It all plays a major role in the experience and love for travel.

Matlou adds that Gen Z travellers are finding personal value in engaging with local communities, and there is perhaps no better way to experience and embrace new cultures than through food, which transcends all barriers to understanding between cultural groups.

A tourism business can partner with unique local tourism experiences to give your customers exciting options to include in an experience itinerary within the particular city. For example, the Find your Freedom campaign in Cape Town explores various adventures in Cape Town.

Gen Zs are decisive in what they want to experience, and they want to experience as much as possible. Add to that that they’re willing to pay more to experience activities, accommodation, and a remote working environment that supports this flexible and experiential lifestyle, and you’ve got a market worth its weight in gold.

Read the latest issue of IOL Travel digital magazine here.