A study by MyTravelResearch.com shows East-West convergence in travel expectations and consumption patterns among Generation Z (those born in late 90s), with young Chinese, South Korean, Japanese and Indian travellers share as much in common with their Western counterparts as they do with their parents.
The report describes digital natives of Generation Z as ‘technoholics,’ entirely dependent on IT, with limited grasp of alternatives. They are career multi-taskers often in part-time ‘portfolio’ jobs, aspire to security and stability, crowd-source solutions to tasks and want to make a difference. They are also relatively dependent on their parents – and quite happy to be so.
“They tend to see the Internet as an extension of their self,” said Carolyn Childs, tourism strategist, co-founder of MyTravelResearch.com. “Their expectation is that all interactions both online and offline will be smooth, quick and easy. Their attention span is shaped by Snapchat. Whereas Generation Y (Millennials; born 1981-1995) seek constant feedback, Generation Z seeks constant dialogue – think instant messaging, WeChat, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Kik.”
Meanwhile, there are strong lifestyle generational changes across all demographics and identifiable life stages. This creates opportunities and challenges for tourism businesses, especially those that target specific generations.
For example, baby boomers (born 1945-60) in the West is a large, affluent and time-rich demographic. They expect the world to change around them and will embrace it as it does. What they won’t put up with is stereotyping or out-of-date images. They want to see themselves as they feel, not as we see them. Marketers who fail to appreciate this will be punished, stated Childs.
On the blurring lines between generations, Childs added: “There is a growing recognition that demographics are not destiny. Many destinations now look at their target audiences through psychographic or needs-based profiling, rather than demographics.”
The full analysis of Changing of the (Demographic) Guard report, which is authored by Childs for PATA, can be downloaded here.