Millennials came of age in a digital-first world and often think nothing of sharing their experiences — including travel — online. But their young children, Generation Alphas (those born after 2010), are truly digitally-native. Every week, 2.5 million more Gen Alphas are born around the world. By 2025, this generation will make up 2 billion members. They are expected to be the most transformative generation yet. And they’re already impacting the spending behaviors of their millennial parents.
Travel providers that want to reach millennial travelers can do so by promoting places with fun activities, experiences, and attractions that appeal to the whole family, as well as by making family travel research an interactive, fun, and easy experience that all family members can partake in. Using family-friendly content and messaging and including eye-catching imagery is key.
For example, Expedia’s television commercials market to family-friendly, experience-seeking millennials and their Gen Alpha kids. "Tiger Costume," for example, shows parents taking their little girl, who’s worn only a tiger costume for months, to the San Diego Zoo where through a glass window, she “meets” a real tiger, face-to-face.
Generation Z Are Mobile-First, Frequent Travelers
Members of this generation, born between 1996 and 2010, are open-minded, bucket-list oriented, and already-frequent travelers seeking relaxation and unique, interactive, social experiences. They value activities and once-in-a-lifetime and cultural experiences more than getting the best price. They spend 11 percent of their travel budget on attractions and tours, the most of any generation.
Heavily influenced by social media, Gen Z is the first digitally native generation, and nearly 90 percent of its members get trip planning inspiration from online social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Seventy percent are open to inspiration when planning their travels. They use mobile devices to research and book their travels and share photos from their trips.
Based on these behaviors, mobile-first campaigns that promote unique, compelling, and active, outdoor, “you only live once” activities and experiences — that are Instagrammable, of course — tend to be the best way to reach Gen Z travelers.
The Kenya Tourism Board, for instance, worked with Expedia Group Media Solutions on a global Can You Kenya campaign that targeted younger travelers in Australia, Canada, South Africa, the U.S., and the UK.
Expedia planned which specific activities and experiences to include in the campaign content by sending a popular travel blogger couple to Kenya without a fixed itinerary. Followers voted via Instagram Stories on what activities the couple would do — choosing, for instance, between a hot air balloon safari and a kitesurfing lesson on the beach. The activities, which ranged from sunset yoga in a treehouse to a once-in-a-lifetime visit to an elephant sanctuary, showcased the experiences travelers could partake in while traveling through Kenya. Additionally, follower votes showed which activities and experiences were more interesting to potential travelers, giving the tourism board insight into traveler preference for future marketing campaigns.
Remember that the common generational thread is that travelers, no matter what generation, prioritize activities above all else. But knowing the subtle differences between the generations — including what types of travel they prefer and how they research their travel plans — and using that information to create compelling and targeted messages that resonate with their specific preferences and behavior can make a big difference in the success of your marketing.
This content originally appeared in Skift in December 2019 and was created collaboratively by Expedia Group Media Solutions and Skift’s branded content studio, SkiftX.