As Generation Z, those born roughly between 1997 and 2012, comes of age, they bring with them a whole new set of preferences and expectations from their travel experiences. Being digital natives, highly socially conscious, and with a thirst for authentic experiences, Gen Z is reshaping the hospitality industry. For hoteliers and travel operators in beautiful Boracay and across the Philippines, it’s time to embrace this change and future-proof your services.
Creating Authentic Experiences
Gen Z craves authenticity. They want to experience the local culture, try regional food, learn about the history, and connect with locals. Hotels can meet this demand by arranging for local experiences. This can range from organizing workshops on traditional Filipino crafts to arranging tours of historical sites or even natural beauty spots around Boracay.
For Gen Z, the environment matters. This environmentally conscious generation wants to ensure their travel experiences don’t cost the earth. As such, Boracay’s hotels can stand out by emphasizing sustainable practices. Whether it’s reducing waste, using renewable energy, providing sustainable products in rooms, or even creating eco-tours for guests, each step towards sustainability makes a difference.
Being digital natives, Gen Z expects a seamless blend of their physical and digital worlds. For hoteliers, this means offering tech-friendly amenities. Easy online booking systems, digital check-ins, high-speed Wi-Fi, and smart rooms controlled via smartphone are just a few ways to cater to the tech-savvy Gen Z.
Promoting Wellness and Self-Care
Well-being matters to Gen Z. Boracay, with its natural beauty and calming ambiance, is an ideal place to promote wellness. Consider adding gyms, yoga studios, meditation spaces, or even wellness retreats to your hotel’s offerings. Even the dining options can get a wellness makeover with the addition of healthy, wholesome food.
Fostering Social Connections
Gen Z values connection and community. Hotels can cater to this by creating communal socializing spaces or hosting events where guests can mingle. From beach barbecues to local music nights, the opportunities to foster connection are endless.
Expressing Clear Values
Gen Z wants to align their spending with their ethics. Hotels should clearly communicate their values, be it supporting local communities, practicing sustainability, or promoting inclusivity. Gen Z travelers will appreciate and support businesses that align with their values.
Creating Multi-Use Spaces
Gen Z values flexibility, and this extends to their use of space as well. Hotels can create multi-use spaces to cater to different needs – a café that serves as a co-working space during the day and transforms into a lively bar in the evening, for example.
Embracing Informality and Flexibility
Gen Z prefers a more relaxed and flexible approach when it comes to hospitality. This could be reflected in more casual interactions with staff, flexible dining hours, and open spaces where guests can choose how they want to relax.
Gen Z is a diverse group with varied interests. Catering to a wide range of hobbies and interests can make a hotel more appealing to this generation. Consider creating spaces for gaming, art, music, and more.
Refreshing Loyalty Programs
Traditional points-based loyalty programs may not be the most effective with Gen Z. They value experiences over points, so refreshing loyalty programs to offer exclusive experiences can make them more appealing.
Engaging on Social Media
Gen Z uses social media not just to share their experiences but also to choose their next adventure. Hotels can engage with this generation by maintaining a strong social media presence and encouraging guests to share their experiences online.
Gen Z values diversity and inclusivity. This extends to catering to a wide range of gender and sexual identities. Hotels should strive to ensure all guests feel welcomed and comfortable.
Adapting to Gen Z’s evolving needs and preferences can seem challenging. However, with some thoughtful changes, Boracay’s hospitality industry can not only meet this challenge but thrive in it, ensuring that this paradise remains a favorite for the future generations of global travelers.
Gen Z, with their focus on authenticity, diversity, sustainability, and overall well-being, is not only influencing current market trends but also likely to shape the future of the travel and hospitality industries. This generation, expected to make up a third of global spending power by 2035, is a formidable force. The ability to cater to their preferences and values will significantly impact the industries’ success that recognizes and acts on these changing dynamics.
By aligning their services with the values and preferences of Gen Z, hotels in Boracay and the wider Philippines can attract this important demographic. They can provide them with memorable experiences and contribute to the sustainable development of the region’s tourism sector, ultimately driving growth and fostering a positive and lasting impact.