The summer travel season is now in full swing, and for many Americans, this year’s vacations may look very different from what they’re used to. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the travel industry and has reportedly impacted the plans of nearly 51% of all Americans, according to Fluent, the performance marketing company, which has been tracking consumer trends and behavior since the onset of the outbreak.
However, despite the disruptions in travel plans, 21% of Americans are still planning leisure travel before fall, with Gen Z making up a majority of this percentage. But how can advisors more effectively communicate with Gen Z travelers, and what are they looking for in their next travel experience? Matt Conlin, co-founder and CEO of Fluent, Inc. discussed his findings following the recent Future of Travel report, which surveyed people about who is going to be traveling in the short-term, where they plan to go and how they plan to get there.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, we decided we wanted to provide insights and data on specific [consumer] actions,” said Conlin. “Since then, we’ve surveyed over 6 and a half million Americans, and we’ve begun seeing how consumer sentiment has shifted from the beginning of the pandemic to now, and there’s a good amount of insights we’ve been able to find.”
Gen Z can be the key
A key takeaway found is that Gen Z is actually the most comfortable traveling this summer, followed closely by Millennials. Very early on in the pandemic, the Gen Z and Millennial populations were actually some of the most nervous regarding the impact of COVID. Although when we fast forward to now, the Gen Z’ers are seemingly the most comfortable with the situation. This is also translating to their sentiment around travel.
“We attribute that to a couple of factors. Gen Z is more connected to social media, than any other generation, and the more they see their friends out-and-about, the more likely they are to want to get out and travel.”
– Matt Conlin, Fluent
Where they’re going
Admittedly, there’s been a significant shift in who is traveling and how. One of the other big factors that are changing most dramatically is where they travel to. There’s a big shift towards (creating) safe, socially distance opportunities for travel. And Gen Z travelers are taking advantage of those travel options.
How to target Gen Z
View this post on Instagram
More often than not, the two generations of Gen Z and Millennials are relying on word of mouth, primarily through social media. Instead, meet them where they are: online. These consumers spend time on social media, which beckons a more authentic, more native, and more social voice. A big part of that social media strategy is not only authenticity. Instead, destinations can leverage influencer marketing as part of their strategy. And while advisors’ social media presence is essential, they can’t forget the core of what people look for in travel advisors: direct one-on-one connections and communications with an expert in the field.
“Beyond social media, it’s essential that advisors foster one-on-one relationships with their clients.”
Read the original article at www.TravelMarketReport.com.
Feature photo: Roeming Belize