The Ultimate Buyer Personas in the Travel Industry: Millennials and Gen-Z

millennials gen z travel

They are poised to change the world, but what do we know about Millennials and Gen-Z and their spending and travel habits? And even more, why should tour operators crave them as customers?

If you’re working as a decision-maker in a tour operator or a destination managment company, one of your main goals is to increase sales while retaining your customers by meeting their expectations and providng them with a great experience. One of the ways to achieve that is to fully know your buyer persona.

1/3 of the population with $200 billion spending power

Today, the leading buyer persona in the world are Millennials, born between 1981. and 1996., people who have come of age during a time of technological change, globalization, and economic disruption. That’s given them a different set of behaviors and experiences than their parents – they created an entirely new view on life, technology, economy, and travel. Today, they make up 32% of the population with more than $200 billion in spending power.

At the moment, Millennials travel more than any other generation – in the US, they travel 35 days per year, while Gen Z travels 29 days per year. Still, Gen Z travels more than Generation X and Baby Boomers and is right behind the Millennials.

“Considering that most of the people in the Gen Z cohort are still financially dependent on their parents, this trend is quite logical”, states Hotelmize blog.

It’s all about authenticity (and technology)

Before anything else, Millennials and Gen-Z value travelling in their lives so much more than the previous generations, and around 90% of them, according to many surveys, travel with the goal to experience new cultures. They don’t want tourist traps, they want unique, authentic experience, and they want it now.

When you look at it, Millennials and Gen-Zs are a simple generation. They are technologically advanced, more than any other generation before them, and they simply expect all segments of their lives to be eased and improved by technology, travel included.

As stated in the report by, “more than half (55%) of travelers are excited about tech’s potential to further personalize their travel experiences in the near future”. They also coined a new term for this trend – “spontechnaity”. It means that tech will drive travel in the future and enable a more spontaneous, seamless customer experience.

In order to successfully respond to travelers’ needs, tour operators cannot ignore the power of technology anymore.

Decision-making factors

The Millennial and Gen-Z travelers, the endless explorers thirsty for knowledge, prefer to travel to learn something new. They’re prone to taking last-minute trips, too, to satisfy sudden wanderlust.

Travel companies should capture the millennial market by adjusting their services:

  • be more present online
  • have online booking
  • mobile optimised websites
  • switch marketing approach from traditional to digital and social media.

We elaborated in greater detailed advice on responding to the new trendes in this blog – check it out!