While the millennials have just been established in the workforce, the next generation of young people is ready to start their careers. And a new generation of employees means a new generation of business travellers. Who is this ‘Generation Z’? What’s their impact on the business travel industry?
Generation Z, or simply Gen Z, is defined as the young people born between 1992 and 2010. At first sight they have much in common with their predecessors, Gen Y, but there are some important differences. Gen Z are the ‘digital natives’, they are more realistic and are more entrepreneurial. It’s the generation of growing up in the midst of a global crisis, both financially and socially, and climate change. These inevitably shaped their personal view on the world and towards work.
BCD Travel has listed five points that are important when engaging the young business travellers of Gen Z.
Awareness is the new black. Whether it’s about money, health or the environment, Gen Z knows what they are doing. When going on a business trip, they are more selective and aware of factors like the environmental impact and personal experience (think of Airbnb).
Video is becoming more important. An American research shows that Gen Z watches videos on a mobile device twice as much as older generations. And 70% spends more than two hours a day on Youtube. They grow up with the possibilities of video calls and conferences. So these are important tools to include in a corporate travel program.
Multitasking. The first generation of digital natives uses five different screens per day: smartphone, tablet, laptop, smartwatch and tv. They are hyper-connected and expect the same from the rest of the world. Also from their travel manager and travel agent.
8 seconds. The average attention span of young people in 2000 was 12 seconds. These days it’s only 8 seconds. It’s key to grab and keep their attention as fast as possible with relevant and personal messages. No long introductions required. Get straight to the point, that’s what they want. A notification about a delayed flight? That should be something like “Flight to NY 2hrs delayed”. That’s what the Gen Z traveller wants to see on his mobile phone or smartwatch. Nothing more as the rest is irrelevant.
Personal contact = scoring points. Gen Z has grown up in a time of self-service.They buy almost everything online, where it’s easy to find and compare information. This also applies to business travel. But when they have a complex questions about a trip or an issue, you can score points by helping them as soon as possible (read: within minutes), whether it’s via Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp or simply by phone.
In the recent years, there have been a lot of discussion about the role of travel agents in the future. By gaining more insight in the behaviours of Gen Z and how the travel industry can respond to that, we can provide relevant platforms leading to a better corporate travel program.