30+ Gen Z travel statistics and trends [2024 update]

19 Feb 2024 · 6
Different generations approach travel differently—especially incoming younger generations. Compared to previous generations, they’ve got different priorities, different values, and an overall different outlook on what they want to get from their travels.
Keeping up with these changes is no simple task—but it’s key to helping travel brands and travel agencies meet the evolving needs of travelers.We’ve put together 34 key statistics relating to Gen Z and its approach to travel—but first, let’s take a look at who exactly makes up Generation Z.

What is Generation Z?

Generation Z—abbreviated as Gen Z—refers to the generation born between 1997 and 2012. This highly adaptable age group has a diverse mix of ages, with the oldest turning 27 this year and the youngest turning 12.
Gen Z individuals are the first digital natives, and are commonly known as the tech-savvy generation that grew up with smartphones in their hands. An unprecedented online presence, crazy growth in the tech world, and a heightened global awareness all contribute to the shift in consumer values, expectations, and travel trends.
Gen Z consumers are actively redefining what it means to travel—embracing their unique needs is essential to understanding the future of the tourism and travel industry.
According to the , young travelers are more likely to:
  • Return and add more value to destinations over time
  • Discover new travel destinations
  • Incorporate technology such as apps into their trips
  • Gain personal cultural benefits and contribute to the local communities that they visit
Generation Z is a key incoming demographic for travel service providers of all kinds to consider—let’s take a look at the stats that define their travel.

Gen Z: the next generation of travelers

Generation Z is a big consideration for the tourism industry as they move towards becoming a key market segment. Let’s take a look at how they plan, book, and manage their travel itineraries.
  • Gen Z are frequent travelers, making an average of three leisure trips every year.
  • 60% of Gen Zers planned to travel by air in 2023.
  • 42% of Gen Zers travel to spend time with family or friends. 
  • 49% of Gen Zers plan getaways to relax. 
  • Sightseeing is the top reason to travel for 70% of Gen Zers, while experiencing a new local culture is important for 68%. 
  • 53% of Gen Z travelers use social media platforms for leisure travel recommendations.
  • 70% of Gen Zers have been motivated to visit a destination after seeing it featured in a TV show, news source, or movie.
  • 73% of Gen Zers are “vacation deprived”, which means they work too much and have too little time off.
  • Culinary experiences are important to Gen Z, with 47% saying they have planned an entire trip around visiting a specific restaurant.
  • 29% of Gen Zers were inspired to travel to a destination in 2023 by TikTok. 
  • 70% of Gen Z travelers actively look for travel experiences off the beaten path that their family and friends have not heard of.
  • 24% of Gen Z travelers were looking to spend less on their trips in 2023 than in 2022, citing economic concerns.
  • In 2023, 43% of Gen Z vacationers wanted a beachside trip, while 32% were inclined towards a staycation.
  • Only 8% of Gen Z travelers are willing to go into debt when making plans for leisure travel.
  • 35% of Gen Zers finalize their travel plans less than one month before departure.
  • Almost half of Gen Zers expect their parents to financially contribute to their travel costs. 
  • When traveling to a foreign destination, clubs and parties are the main attraction for only 21% of Gen Zers. 
  • Gen Z travelers have a preference for using Online Travel Agents (OTAs) to make travel plans. 
Sources: , , , , , , ,

Accommodation: Gen Z prioritizes safety over cost

When it comes to finding a place to stay during their travels, Gen Z might enjoy a luxury night’s sleep—but they also want one-of-a-kind experiences and secure accommodation. 
  • Gen Z is more likely to stay in bed and breakfasts or vacation rentals than Gen X and Baby Boomers. 
  • When it comes to booking accommodation, factors such as safety and security are more important than cost to Gen Zers. 
  • Similarly, Gen Zers are more concerned with accommodation providers that offer unique experiences and have positive reviews over quality.
Source: .

Gen Z travel in a post-pandemic world

The pandemic halted all things travel. While COVID-19 is by no means something of the distant past, as travel has begun to return to a new normal, Gen Zers are eager to explore new destinations. 
  • 79% of Gen Zers planned to travel more—or the same amount—in 2023.
  • 30% of Gen Zers were more excited about travel in 2023 than they were before the pandemic.
  • 87% of Gen Z travelers are more willing to pay extra for travel protections (such as travel insurance or refundable booking options) compared to other generations.
Sources: , , .

A new generation of values-based travel behavior

With new generations come new values and ideals, and Gen Z is no different. In fact, value-based decisions are a defining attribute of this generation and one that guides its travel decisions.
  • Over half of Gen Z travelers would pay more for a travel company with an environmentally friendly ethos and practices. 
  • 6 out of 10 Gen Z travelers look for more environmentally friendly transportation once they arrive at their destination. 
  • 26% of Gen Zers want to connect with their cultural heritage when they travel. 
  • Sustainability is key, with over half of Gen Zers (56%) preferring to stay in green or eco-friendly accommodations. 
Sources: , , .

Gen Z vs Millennials: Key differences and similarities

Gen Z is often compared to their slightly older sibling­–Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996).
Gen Z adults have taken a turn away from the individualist Millennial generation towards a greater interest in a collectivist societal design—which we can see in younger travelers’ vacation tendencies.
  • With self-care in mind, 61% of Gen Z and Millennial travelers are prioritizing making travel plans that focus on personal wellness that provide well-being experiences.
  • Millennials are more likely to book accommodation at a resort.
  • Millennial and Gen Z employees are more likely to travel for work over the next year. 
  • A higher percentage of Millennials blend work trips with personal leisure plans Gen Z. 
  • 41% of Millennials prioritize cost when making travel plans.
Sources: , , ,

Understanding Gen Z is key for the future of travel

Preparing for incoming changes to traveler priorities is key to providing top-notch travel services. Whether it's New York or New Delhi, Gen Z approaches travel differently than older generations.
The power of a strong social media presence, effective online communication, and a personalized approach to customer service and support cannot be understated when working with Gen Z.
It’s not just about the destination, after all—the journey is just as important.
Train Plane Travel

Make business travel simpler. Forever.

  • . Trusted by thousands of companies worldwide, TravelPerk makes business travel simpler to manage with more flexibility, full control of spending with easy reporting, and options to offset your carbon footprint.
  • Find hundreds of resources on all things business travel, from tips on traveling more sustainably, to advice on setting up a business travel policy, and managing your expenses. and have you covered.
  • Never miss another update. Stay in touch with us for the latest product releases, upcoming events, and articles fresh off the press.