Booking.com research reveals that Gen Z is the second most likely generation to want to volunteer when travelling (59%)

  • 70% of the Gen Z travellers believe that it makes a trip more authentic because they get to meet local people and feel like they’ve made a difference
  • More than two-thirds (63%) of them say that they plan to visit less known destinations over popular ones if it means having less of an impact on the environment
  • 76% of the Gen Z travellers look to use more environmentally friendly means of transport once they have arrived at their destination

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Gen Z are predicted by many to be more socially and environmentally aware than the generations before them. But will they live and travel to the high expectations placed on their – still quite young – shoulders? Booking.com, the digital travel leader connecting travellers with the widest choice of unique places to stay, has conducted a research to uncover the travel behaviors and ambitions of the coming-of-age generation – Gen Z (those between the ages of 16-24) . The research reinforces that travellers of all ages are embracing an eco-escape and Gen Z is no exception. They too plan to be conscious travellers with a desire to ‘give back’ – whether that’s to the communities they visit, or by making decisions designed to help protect our planet.

Generation that wants to give back

Gen Z are determined to give back, making them the generation most interested in volunteering as a travel experience (59% v 31% of global average). More than two thirds (61%) of Gen Z travellers that haven’t volunteered before would be open to doing it on a future trip (63% male v 60% female) and 69% of them stated that they believe it is important to them to give back to the local community when travelling.

Generational intentions with impact

When planning their next trip, Gen Z indicated that they are mindful of the planet and the effect their decisions have on it, with more than three in four (77%) stating that the environmental impact travelling has on destinations is an important factor that needs to be considered when travelling. More than two thirds (63%) would visit a less known destination over a popular one if it meant having less of an impact on the environment.

What’s surprising, though, is that Gen Z is actually slightly lower than other generations. When looking at over-tourism specifically, 63% of Gen Z would consider not visiting a destination if they knew it was threatened to be damaged due to over-tourism, meaning Baby Boomer (those aged 55+, 68%) and Gen X (those aged 40-54) and Millennials (those aged 25-39) (both 66%) ranked higher.

81% of Gen Z travellers have good intentions, stating that when it comes to planning and booking travel they would want to stay in a green/eco-friendly accommodation. However, this is actually the lowest when compared to older generations as Baby Boomers are the most likely (86%) to opt for an eco-mmodation, followed by Millennials (82%) and Gen X (79%).

A-to-B for Gen Z

Over two thirds (71%) of travellers of all ages would choose to reduce their carbon footprint by limiting the distance traveled and this number increases further once Gen Z have arrived, as 76% state they would use more environmentally friendly means of transportation, such as hybrid / electric rental cars, public transport, walking or biking, once they are at their destination. Although accelerating in the right direction for sustainable travel, older generations are ahead again with 83% of Baby Boomers and 78% of Millenials likely to choose sustainable travel options when planning and booking their travel.

Although Gen Z is a generation of good intentions and aware of the impact their travel could have on the environment, they have big shoes to fill as this Booking.com research reveals that in some aspects of travel it is older travellers who have sustainable travel more figured out.

Commenting on the research, Ritu Mehrotra, Country Manager for India, Sri Lanka and Maldives at Booking.com said, “It is exciting to see this research reveal how the Gen Zers are a generation of determined travellers, having mapped out their future travel plans already. This first generation of digital natives are influenced by comfort and inspiration that technology brings to their travel which perfectly fits with our ambition to learn and deliver an even more seamless, connected trip experience. At Booking.com, we want people across demographics to travel without dependency, empowered by technology that enables seamless travel experiences.”

*Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample size of 21,807 respondents aged 16 or over (25% of whom were aged 16-24) in 29 markets (including 1,000 each from Australia, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, China, Japan, Brazil, India, US, UK; and 600 each from Russia, Indonesia, Colombia, South Korea, New Zealand, Thailand, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Croatia, Taiwan, Mexico, Netherlands, Sweden, Singapore and Israel). Fieldwork was undertaken between 1 and 16 May 2019. The survey was carried out online. All research and recruitment, unless otherwise stated, was carried out by Vitreous World, with analysis by Ketchum Analytics. [FB22]

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