Gen Zers, who were born between 1997 and 2012, are a whole separate market you should be speaking to, and accounting for, a part of your revenue and marketing strategy.
Their spending power is on the up. In 2022, Business Insider estimated Gen Z's spending power at over $360 billion in disposable income (more than double what was estimated three years ago).
According to Hubspot, there are very specific areas Gen Z like to spend their money - technology, health and wellness, discounted goods, education and also on small businesses.
60% of Gen Z ers surveyed say they go out of their way to book hotels that offer spa and wellness services
This is good news for independent hotels!
60% of Gen Zers chose a product based on it being made by a small business in the past three months
Gen Zers have grown up immersed in internet culture. They are completely fluent in the language of 'online' and social media, with Pew estimating that nearly all American teenagers have access to a smartphone and that 97% use one of seven large digital platforms. While they're still huge consumers, it makes them more likely to be savvier in ways previous generations have not been. While of course not everyone is inclined a certain way just because of the generation they fall into, broadly speaking, the data points towards this generation seeking to live more mindfully in all kinds of ways. From their environmental concerns to their quest for more meaningful working lives, they are looking to enrich themselves by caring for the world, supporting local businesses, and spending on unique products and experiences - with McKinsey finding that they are more likely to pay a premium for items that are tailored to their interests.
“When it comes to traveling, Gen Z prioritizes authenticity and living in the moment,” said Sharon Silverstein, the head of U.S. verticals at Snap, the owner of Snapchat. “They don’t only share the most picture-perfect photos. They appreciate the funny, silly, real moments that make a trip truly memorable.”
Morgan Stanley estimates that Gen Z will become America’s largest generation by 2034, growing to just under 80 million
While less than half of Gen Zers are currently working remotely, it's still 48% of them - this is a big number. Keep them in mind for any bleisure (business and leisure) activity you promote.
How can you attract Gen Zers to your hotel?
Strong digital presence
There's no two ways about it. Gen Zers are natives of the online world. This means everything from their inspiration to browsing to booking is done via online platforms. At the very least, it means your booking engine should be fully mobile-optimised, and your marketing strategy should encompass a variety of platforms; you don't necessarily need to have thousands of followers on TikTok, but you do need to be where your audience are. Utilise social media as much as possible to engage with your audience.
TikTok marketing for hotels: is it worth it?
The thing about TikTok that is important for you to remember is its 'authenticity'. The platform encourages seemingly off the cuff content, videos that capture organic moments that feel real. Which brings us to...
Gen Z are a generation who crave adventure and experiences - so much time spent online navigating spaces that tend to be quite shallow contributes towards a craving for the real. And even better - experiences that happen to be 'Instagrammable,' are also worth promoting! As they say, it didn't happen if there's no visual evidence...
Use everything at your disposal that will entice Gen Zers into experiencing what you have to offer - keep their tendency to spend on health and wellness in mind if you have a spa. Can you develop a specific package? Perhaps there is kayaking of surfing available nearby. Do you have a partnership with any local restaurants? McCrindle’s market research for Contiki found that 35% of Gen Z prioritize food experiences, and more than 90% of Gen Z research where to eat before they travel.
It is the younger generations who are being, and will be left with the catastrophic consequences of climate change. This has not been taken lightly by Gen Z. It's even affecting the way they work, and the companies they choose to work for.
“Climate change gives me an insane amount of existential anxiety” - Lillian Zhou, 26
This means in every way you can, you should be looking at how to make your hotel greener. Eco-friendly toiletries and cleaning products are just the beginning. You can also look at:
- Reducing your energy with small changes like switching to LED lights, installing skylights where suitable, using energy-saving kitchen and laundry equipment
- Making a conscious effort to limit single-use plastics
- Putting a big emphasis on local
- Using wonky veg
- Working with local distilleries and breweries
- Installing low-flow shower heads and toilets, and sink aerators to limit water waste
- Thinking about installing refillable shampoo and soap dispensers in your bathrooms
- Swapping any plastic and paper cups with reusable glasses and mugs in your rooms
- Encouraging guests to reuse their towels and bedding by including signs in each room
- Including recycling bins in rooms and common areas
- Serving local, seasonal, organic food – this way you’re supporting local business too, which we've already mentioned is important!
- Replacing single portions of things like cereal, yogurt and jam with glass containers
- Composting your food waste and donating leftover food to local food banks
- Installing a water bottle filling station in your lobby
- Offering guests digital check in/check out – this cuts down on paper usage
Our marketing team at Net Affinity are award-winning. If you'd like any advice or wish to learn more, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
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