Gen Z on the Move: Travel Trends and Habits

One of the most impactful consumers of today, Gen Z is redefining travel in ways that deeply influence the hospitality industry. 

As digital natives who seek unique experiences, this generation is drawn to destinations that offer both cultural authenticity and contemporary attractions. For those in the hospitality industry, understanding Gen Z travel preferences is essential for catering to this growing demographic.

Defining the Gen Z Traveler. 

Generation Z
(individuals born between 1997 and 2012) is known for its tech-savviness, social consciousness, and desire for unique experiences. 

As travelers, Gen Z is constantly connected, relying on technology and social media to plan, book, and share their trips. In fact, over half of Gen Z travelers get travel recommendations from influencers and peers on social media.

This generation values sustainable and ethical practices, often choosing eco-friendly and socially responsible destinations. Unlike older generations, Gen Z prioritizes experiences over material possessions, seeking cultural immersion and memorable adventures.

On the other hand, while they are budget-conscious, Gen Z-ers are also willing to splurge on dream trips! 

What Drives Gen Z to Travel?  

Younger travelers prefer small group or solo trips, allowing for more personalized and flexible itineraries. Authentic experiences are a major priority, with Gen Z looking to interact with locals and try out traditional activities. 

Adventure and wellness tourism are also popular among this generation, with many opting for activities like hiking, diving, yoga retreats, and wellness resorts. Additionally, Gen Z sources trip ideas from pop culture, such as TV shows, movies, concerts, and sporting events, with 29% even being inspired by TikTok! This drive for pop culture-inspired travel highlights their desire for experiences that connect them with their interests and passions.

How Gen Z is Transforming Hospitality.

Gen Z’s travel preferences and behaviors are having a major impact on the hospitality industry.

Sustainability Initiatives.

The popularity of sustainable and ethical travel has prompted many hotels and resorts to adopt eco-friendly practices, such as reducing plastic use, implementing energy-saving measures, and offering locally sourced food options. This aligns with Gen Z’s values and helps attract this demographic.

Tech Integration.

To cater to tech-savvy Gen Z travelers, the hospitality industry is incorporating more technology into its services. This includes mobile check-ins, keyless room entry, and personalized experiences through AI and data analytics. Social media engagement and influencer partnerships are also crucial strategies to engage Gen Z audiences.

Personalized Experiences.

Gen Z’s desire for unique and tailored experiences has led to the rise of boutique hotels and custom travel packages. Hospitality providers are offering more personalized services, such as curated local experiences, wellness programs, and adventure activities, to meet the specific interests of Gen Z travelers.

Community Engagement.

In line with Gen Z’s values, hotels and resorts are enhancing their community engagement efforts by collaborating with local businesses and promoting cultural exchanges. This not only provides authentic experiences for travelers but also supports local economies and fosters a sense of community.

Flexible Options.

Understanding that Gen Z values flexibility and responsiveness, many hospitality providers are offering more lenient cancellation policies and adaptable booking options. This caters to the spontaneous and dynamic travel plans typical of this generation.

Top Gen Z Destinations with RMC Asia. 

For Gen Z travelers who want to pursue a program with RMC Asia, here’s a quick insight into our destinations — from a fellow Gen Z’s perspective. 


Thailand’s rich culture, lively street life, and affordability make it a favorite for Gen Z from all over the world. Bangkok offers an exciting urban experience with its bustling markets, street food, and nightlife. In contrast, places like Chiang Mai provide serene landscapes, historic temples, and traditional festivals. 

Younger tourists are also drawn to Thailand’s beautiful beaches in Phuket and Krabi, where activities like scuba diving and island hopping are popular. With 70% of Gen Z travelers looking for off-the-beaten-path experiences, Thailand’s less touristy areas are becoming increasingly popular.


Vietnam attracts budget-conscious Gen Z travelers with its low cost of living and diverse attractions. From the bustling streets of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to the tranquil landscapes of Ha Long Bay and Da Nang, Vietnam is a mix of urban excitement and natural beauty. 

Gen Z visitors will appreciate Vietnam’s lush landscapes, street food culture, and adventure tours like trekking in Sapa and exploring the caves of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.

Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s unique fusion of East and West captivates Gen Z travelers. The city’s impressive skyline, cultural scene, and vibrant nightlife cater to those seeking a dynamic urban atmosphere, while historic sites like the Tian Tan Buddha and local temples give a glimpse into the region’s heritage.

Gen Z also enjoys Hong Kong’s culinary scene, from traditional yum cha restaurants to international Michelin-starred restaurants, its efficient public transport system, and hidden natural gems.

The Maldives.

Known for its stunning overwater bungalows and crystal-clear waters, the Maldives is a dream destination for Gen Z travelers seeking luxury and adventure. Activities like snorkeling, diving, and exploring marine life offer both relaxation and excitement. 

Many resorts in the Maldives are committed to sustainability, implementing eco-friendly practices that align with Gen Z’s values. The destination’s Instagram-worthy spots also appeal to their desire for beautiful experiences.



Qatar’s blend of traditional culture and modern architecture make it an intriguing destination for Gen Z. The capital city, Doha, features attractions such as the Museum of Islamic Art, Souq Waqif, and the futuristic skyline of West Bay. 

Major events like the FIFA World Cup draw international attention, while luxury shopping, desert adventures, and cultural festivals appeal to Gen Z travelers. 


The United Arab Emirates (UAE), particularly Dubai and Abu Dhabi, is a hotspot for Gen Z travelers seeking luxurious and memorable experiences. 

Dubai’s iconic landmarks like the Burj Khalifa and Palm Jumeirah offer a mix of modern marvels and entertainment. In Abu Dhabi, cultural attractions like the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the Louvre Abu Dhabi, maintain the region’s heritage. Adventure activities like skydiving over the Palm and dune bashing in the desert cater to thrill-seekers.

The Future of Gen Z Travel. 

Gen Z’s preferences for technology-driven, sustainable, and experience-focused travel present both opportunities and challenges for the hospitality industry. Looking ahead, technology will continue to play a pivotal role, with innovations like AI and VR enhancing travel planning and experiences.

The rise of remote work has also spurred the bleisure and workcation trends, where destinations offer facilities for remote workers. Personalized travel experiences are becoming more common, with agencies and providers offering bespoke packages tailored to individual interests.

By understanding and adapting to these trends, destinations and businesses can cater to Gen Z travelers, ensuring long-term growth and success. For the hospitality industry, staying attuned to these evolving preferences is key to capturing the loyalty and enthusiasm of this trendsetting, jet-setting generation.

Your journey awaits!

Want to merge an internship with exciting travel adventures? Our partners throughout Asia and the Middle East offer you the chance to grow both personally and professionally in the hospitality sector. Develop hands-on expertise, connect with industry leaders, and build a strong foundation for your career.

If you’re ready to discover new opportunities in some of the world’s most vibrant locations, explore our programs and advance your global hospitality career.

Thinking of traveling while working abroad? Check out our Compact Work and Travel Guide

Alicia Khiem

Alicia Khiem

Alicia is a digital marketing specialist with a background in media, digital culture, and communications. With experience in content planning and creation, social media marketing, and communications across various sectors, Alicia excels in content strategy and working in cross-functional environments.
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