Instagram is the top source of inspiration when deciding on a vacation destination for Gen Z or those born between 1995 and 2015, according to a new research by travel e-commerce company, Booking.com.
The research reveals that while Gen Z travellers are visual vacationers and social snappers, their motivations aren’t limited to a 108px frame.
According to the study, about 70% of Gen Z like to see travel posts and pictures on social media and when it comes to deciding on destinations to visit they head straight to social feeds, with 44% listing it as their top travel inspiration source.
Gen Z women are even more likely to be visualizing their next vacation while scrolling (46%). This reliance on Instagram is far higher than the Indian average (35%) and even millennials (40%). When it comes to selecting new destinations to visit, more than two thirds (64%) of Gen Z say that they are influenced by social media influencers and 53% say they generally trust influencers when it comes to travel recommendations.
Inspiration for Gen Z isn’t just coming from smartphone screens though, with 39% of respondents influenced by destinations they see in films and TV shows. Travel recommendations still come from their social interactions offline as well, with 31% looking to their friends for tips.
From influencers’ feeds to their own, 57% of Gen Zer’s say they’re interested in travelling somewhere that’ll look good in pictures. Over half (57%) Gen Z say when they travel they always upload pictures from their trips on social media – the second highest demographic to do this, after the millennials (63%).
During their last vacation, 50% of Gen Z took more than 50 pictures, 24% of them clicked 30-50 pictures each day, an equal percent took 10-30 photographs a day, and 12% took less than 10 a day, while just 7% took none.
Being the first generation that grew up as digital natives, it’s no surprise that Gen Z does not desire a life unplugged, with 32% valuing Wi-Fi the most during a stay, higher than any other demographic and their top favored accommodation amenity.
Instagram isn’t the only motivator though. Gen Z is aware of the importance of holiday experiences with more than 7 in 10 (73%) saying they prefer to focus on what is in front of them and enjoy the moment, rather than spending time taking photos for social media, suggesting pictures for the feed are a bonus to their trip. Despite being an experience-focused generation, they’d prefer to live life offline, with 56% saying they believe that too much time is spent on social media while travelling. So while there’s no denying that Gen Z “likes" social media, scrolling isn’t going to come between their real life travel experiences any time soon.
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 is 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."
The survey was carried out online in 29 markets including India and respondents were aged 16 or over (25% of were aged 16-24).