Generation Z: The Boom Gen for travel

Young Australians born around 2000 have already made more overseas trips than any previous generation at the same age, prompting companies like Contiki to redefine the way they market to this globetrotting demographic.

Research undertaken by Contiki shows nearly 80% of “Generation Z” have already been overseas by the time they reach an age to travel without family.

As a result, the company’s managing director Katrina Barry says Generation Z travellers are prompting a change in what the company delivers.

“It means we need to offer something different than where they went with mum and dad,” Barry said.

“Before we used to serve our clients chicken and chips in Paris, now they want a more cultural food experience, such as champagne dinners,” she said.

“Your average Contiki traveller is a lot more sophisticated than in the past.”

In Contiki’s research, food accounted for 35% of young Australians’ travel expenses, compared to the overall Aussie average of less than 20%. And while most Australian travellers traditionally spend 50% of their budget on sightseeing, the new generation are only spending 25%.

While the traditional Contiki tour still exists, Barry said the company had seen a big demand from young Aussies wanting to experience a culture more thoroughly by visiting one or two countries in detail.

Last Year Contiki launched Limited Edition itineraries dedicated to food, called Munch, and trips called Snap which focus on photography and take in Venice and Berlin.

Barry said the Munch tours featured Dan Churchill and Hayden Quinn of MasterChef who join the tour to offer professional culinary advice.

“Travellers will go to markets to buy produce, take a cooking class with the food they’ve purchased with Hayden and Dan, and learn about the history of food,” she said.

Snap tours feature popular Instagram identities who teach trip participants how to develop their photography skills.

“On Snap, travellers will go to photography hot spots, learn how to photograph landmarks, street art and make their images more appealing.”

Although Contiki is keeping traditional elements, Barry said the new generation’s tastes were driving a new style of travelling.

“While they still want to see the Eiffel Tower, they no longer want to climb it – they would prefer to get lost in Montmartre,” she said.