Here are some interesting stats about how tweens (the term given to the 20 million children in the U.S. from ages 8 to 12, also known as Generation Z”) present a valuable opportunity for travel marketers:
“According to a recent JWT study titled “Gen Z: Digital in their DNA,” is that over 25% of the tweens surveyed said that all or most of their social-network friends live a plane journey away. How exciting is that for an industry looking to find and nurture more travelers.
Equally significant, according to a BRANDchild study, tweens influence 80% of their parents’ brand purchases, and a YTV Kidsfluence study found that 40% of tweens feel they influence the choice of vacation destination, and 61% said they influence the selection of the hotel.
…As a generation that has lived their whole lives fully “plugged-in,” tweens don’t need parents or teachers to gather information—they are true digital natives, fully trained to have it all at their fingertips via computers and mobile technology. Amazingly, it’s said that today’s 8 year old is more likely to own a cell phone than a book!
As you’d expect, they are spending considerable time online and heavily engaged in social networking on sites like YouTube and Facebook. Their friends have a tremendous influence on a tween’s preferences and they want what their friends have, according to a Harris Interactive & Youth Education Research Group study. So you better be sure your online presence is continually updated, rich with multi-media content and easily shared with peers online.
Tweens buy experiences, not products. They believe in causes and a green planet. And, they value some of the same things as their adult contemporaries—escaping everyday life, discovering other cultures and having interesting learning experiences.
Just as importantly, Generation Z is more connected with their parents than prior generations. In fact, Gen X parents and Gen Z kids are watching the same television shows and developing affinities for the same brands, according to a Grail Research study. And with parents looking to increasingly use travel as a way to spend more quality time with their kids, there’s an opportunity to build unique experiences around things that both generations enjoy.
It all adds up to an audience that’s young in years, but mature well beyond their age. For travel brands, they represent an interesting segment of the children’s market.”