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 travelers. 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 arte the ‘digital natives’, they are more realistic and are more enterpreneurial. It’s the generation growing up with a crisis, both financially and socially, and with climate change. This has consequences for their personal view on the world, and for their view on work.
Work requires buiness travel. That’s why BCD Travel has listed five points that are important for reaching and connecting these young business travelers of Gen Z.
Awareness is the new black. Whether it’s about money, health or the environment: Gen Z knows what they are doing. In order to go on a business trip, there has to be a clear added value above chat, Skype and FaceTime. They travel less, are more selective, and keep an eye on things like environmental impact and a personal experience (think of Airbnb).
Video is becoming more important
An American research shows that Gen Z looks at videos on a mobile device twice as much as older generations. And 70% spends even 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.
The first generation of real 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.
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. Get 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 traveler wants to see on his mobile phone or smartwatch. Nothing more, the rest is irrelevant.
Personal contact = scoring points
Gen Z has grown up in a time of self-service, they buy almost everyting 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, chat or simply by phone.
In the past years, there’s been a lot of discussions about the role of travel agents in the future. Yet still a lot of business travelers rely on a travel agent. Among them also many young people. They increasingly realize that an expert can provide significant added value, which saves both time and money and laead to a better travel experience. By gaining more insight in what Gen Z cares about and how the travel industry can respond to that, we can make that future brighter.