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GENERATION Z


Mike Bourne, travel consultant at


Corporate Traveller, adds that with Gen Z travellers there is a real emphasis on speed and turnaround time as they tend to work for fast-paced companies. “One of our clients is a UK-based fitness apparel and accessories manufacturer and online retailer, and it has several Gen Z travellers,” he says. “They work in a very fast- paced environment; therefore need infor- mation on travel relayed back at the earliest possible convenience. They constantly need to maximise their time and productivity when travelling.”


Instant communication is a “basic essen- tial” and Jassat says that she prefers commu- nicating via chat messaging on platforms, such as WhatsApp. “I feel it’s simpler on WhatsApp and when


I’m travelling I’m not always easily contacta- ble, but often find I can reply to somebody with a quick message,” admits Jassat. “At UNiDAYS we also use the internal messaging system Slack, and my generation is also so used to ‘talking’ via chat interfaces on our phones that many of us feel daunted by a basic phone conversation.” Spencer backs this up, saying that Gen Z


expects “to solve problems online without the nuisance of actually having to call anyone”.


FOCUS IN BURSTS However, Solis approaches Gen Z from another slant – the desires and needs of this generation are only partly technology based, and all companies need to delve deeper in order to understand them. “Generation Z’s attention spans are small, which is natural, and they’re more informed, research everything, expect everything to be personalised, they speak in bursts and their focus is in bursts,” Solis emphasises. “Everything is absolutely mobile first; they don’t speak in the language of websites, they don’t speak corporate, everything is visual, everything is aspirational and most organisa- tions don’t talk or act like that.” AR, VR, self-driving cars and that everything is sharable and memorable to enhance their persona online are the “basics” for Gen Z, Solis says. But travel companies


70 MAY/JUNE 2019


MANY OF US FEEL DAUNTED BY A BASIC PHONE CONVERSATION


also need to adapt and employ someone who is Gen Z as a business strategist or “change agent” who can try to shift companies from within. He argues that most companies iterate (doing the same thing that has been done before but better) when they should innovate (doing new things that make the old things obsolete and also create new value) and it’s why the likes of Uber are thriving. “I’ve studied how long is too long before you order a competitor’s app,” he says. “Five years ago that would never have been a ques- tion, but you’re now conditioned to not wait because we’re in an on-demand economy. “For instance, in Australia, the average


Uber wait time is three minutes, 37 seconds, and that’s the mindset for designing future travel. That’s the conversation that rarely takes place in boardrooms and most execu- tives don’t live that kind of life.” Bellini concurs, adding that Gen Z


becomes impatient in a consuming situation and will quickly switch to another provider if they’re not happy with the level of service. “Uber is very Generation Z because Gen Z is driven by access rather than ownership; a sharing economy, in other words. But, as consumers, they are pretty ruthless if service providers fall short. Soon there’ll be a prolif- eration of Uber-like services to choose from.” So, in other words, it’s time we all make the effort to come up to speed with this hypercognitive, always connected, but rather less patient generation.


buyingbusinesstravel.com


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