Millennials and Generation Z: challenges and future perspectives for international tourism

One of the issues of our top-ranked Journal of Tourism Futures examined the future through generational lenses. The generational shift represents a major force that will shape the future of tourism. More specifically, this special issue concentrates upon the relationship between the Millennial Generation, Gen Z members and Tourism. These generations represent a clear break with the past in many ways. 

Who are millennials?

Millennials travel more often, book more over the Internet, explore more destinations, tend to stay ahead of travel trends, look for experiences and information and try to gain as much as possible from their travel also in terms of cultural understanding. Because they are technologically ‘smart’ and actively engaged with social media to communicate and share their travel experiences and feelings they are ‘natural’ promoters and influencers.

Millennials vs Generation Z: how do they compare?

Generation Z is a common name for the group born after Millennials: the first Generation of the 21st Century. They:

  • are highly educated, creative and innovative
  • are pragmatic, hardworking and multi-taskers with short attention spans
  • have specific needs for communication and consumption
  • have more in common with their international peers than any previous generation
  • have global values and are increasingly conscious consumers, shaped by the turbulent times they grew up in, amid the global economic uncertainty and the global environmental crisis.

Better understanding of generational shifts and tourism

Based on these characteristics and the importance of the generations to the future of tourism, Volume 4.1 of the Journal of Tourism Futures is released, guest edited by Professors Fabio Corbisiero and Elisabetta Ruspini. This issue aims to add new knowledge to the existing body of literature through understanding generational shifts and tourism. Eight articles are in the special issue from academic’s across Asia, Europe and the USA. They address a number of issues including, expectations and behaviours between the two generations, sustainable tourism, technology and tourism and how the tourism industry should prepare for the generational shift.

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Ian is the world's only professional futurologist specialising in travel and tourism.