Today's youth are the future of tomorrow - this also applies to travel behavior. Because every generation has its own peculiarities when it comes to vacation planning. Generation Z (people born between the mid-90s and mid-2010s) is often said to be particularly environmentally conscious and to have a strong social conscience. But are young people really traveling more sustainably these days or are they shaping completely different trends in the travel industry? The online platform HolidayCheck found this out as part of a representative survey in October 2023 among 1,000 people aged 16 to 27 - and gained surprising insights.
Accordingly, environmental protection only plays a role when choosing a travel destination for half of those surveyed. What is more important to them is that they have the feeling of having an authentic and unique time on vacation - away from mass tourism. At least that's what 76 percent of those surveyed said. Traveling alone is not at the top of the agenda for post-millennials; they prefer to explore the world with friends, partners or family.
The social environment should not only come with you when you travel, but also serve as inspiration for Generation Z for the next trip. According to the survey, around half of 16 to 27 year olds rely on the judgment of family members or friends when going on vacation. So if your best friend is absolutely not a fan of a trip to Mallorca or a hiking holiday in Saxon Switzerland, then the whole thing probably won't end up at the top of the bucket list.
When it comes to travel influencers and online booking platforms, there is a bit more skepticism among the digital generation, although not much. 44 percent of respondents stated that online platforms and social media also serve as travel inspiration, but that travel influencers are only a serious source for travel planning for a fifth. This is mainly due to the questionable credibility. 70 percent have concerns about the independence of influencers.
And this despite the fact that 50 percent of digital natives become influencers themselves while on vacation - and share their experiences with their community on Tiktok, Instagram and Co. To ensure that the content is as attractive as possible, a full 70 percent of them plan locations in advance that are particularly “instagrammable”, i.e. photogenic. A third of those surveyed even go so far as to say that the trip is only a success if they can also collect photos for social networks.
Overall, the survey shows that Generation Z does not necessarily travel more sustainably, but is under greater pressure from social media when planning their travel than other generations. Maybe she can learn something from the old hands in the holiday business, put the smartphone aside and just enjoy the moment. Not for a like from others, but simply for yourself.