What does Generation Z want in travel? We’ll finding out this summer as 4 young GenZs travel from Chicago to Denver in the name of Your Big Year. With support from a band of travel specialists including Hoteltonight, Virgin Hotels, Smaller Earth, World Nomads and the Student Youth Travel Association (SYTA), GoAbroad, Lonely Planet and amazing US cities such as Nashville, St. Louis, Huntsville, Birmingham and the US National Parks Conservation Association, we will see a new voice and perspective on travel.
Who is Generation Z?
This emerging demographic is just hitting adulthood, and the generation is bringing a fury of new technological habits, expectations and more importantly new social rules. Similar to Millennials, GenZs are keen to forge their own way and make their own decisions on products and services. The self-customization opportunity allows them to authentically find what is their personal interest.
Generation Z consumer is not to be overlooked anywhere globally. In the US alone there are 65Million, with a total buying power of $43Billion. Furthermore, GenZs bring an additional $600billion of family purchasing power and 93% of parents of this generation say their children influence their family's spending (Chamber of Commerce).
What makes them a challenge to reach is that their media consumption is different than older generations. In fact, according to a study by the University of Maryland, "79% of GenZs display symptoms of emotional distress when kept away from their personal electronic devices.” These days the stats show that Instagram and Snapchat are the places to find them, but simply putting up a traditional ad will not catch the attention of this technically savvy generation.
Your Big Year USA Background
Your Big Year is International Connector’s collaborative youth engagement production that has previously run three times globally with over 100,000 participants across 190 countries and a social reach of 20 million. This time, however, the production is focusing on the US. “It’s time to spark more young American travelers,” stated Marti Grimminck, Founder and CEO, International Connector. "Not only do we want to understand what this generation wants out of travel, but also what we have strong social impact goals to make travel more accessible and part of the young person’s career path. Your Big Year has inspired thousands of young people globally to discover their big year through experiences and travel.”
The Your Big Year USA production is directed by International Connector, a specialist in experiential engagement for the next generation. International Connector's core philosophy is to create interactive scenarios where younger generations can voice their opinions, ideas and desires. The results of their work has greatly impacted Fortune500 companies, governments and destinations.
Your Big Year USA July 2018
Your Big Year USA production will set off in July 2018 from Chicago with four young travelers and a filmmaker. The trip will explore all means of travel from flights, car, train, bus and even bicycle, as well as all means of accommodation from hostels, hotels, shared-spaces, camping and RVs! In each of the city stops, the Your Big Year travelers will explore what makes this destination unique including diving into historical, cultural and sociological elements. For example, in Birmingham, the youth will have a civil rights tour with a 'foot soldier' of the civil rights movement.
The trip will be documented in a series of short-content webisodes, a reality-TV 3.0 format. It will Supplemented by social posts, snaps, chats and tweets, again, reaching the Generation Z and Millennial audience.
Why Your Big Year so significant?
Your Big Year is a collaborative platform to promote the importance of travel. It is a place where travel brands can align their values and motivations to inspire more young people to see their own country and to see the world. Most importantly, it’s a place that destinations and travel providers can hear directly from these emerging travelers and tailor products and services that they are asking for. “Your Big Year has always been an important program for our organization as we focus on providing authentic and meaningful travel experiences for Millennials and GenZs,” according to Michael Thompson. “Not only has it been a great channel for engaging young travelers, but also, it has been a place to collaborate and form strategic industry alignments.”
Help us make this the biggest year yet!
Instagram & Twitter @YourBigYear