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Gen-Z visiting Italy in their own fashion


Touristitaly comment on the differences in visiting Italy among the generations.

In essence, Tourist Italy‘s insights as an industry observer underscore a significant paradigm shift in travel preferences among Gen. Z. It’s not merely about where they go but how they authentically experience and share the beauty of Italy, shaping a new era of travel characterized by individuality and unique encounters.

In the dynamic landscape of Italian tourism, the evolving preferences of Generation Z travelers (aged 18-26) are reshaping the way we approach tourism in our iconic Italian destinations. Our observations at Tourist Italy shed light on significant shifts between millennial (27-40) and Gen. Z travelers, reflecting a distinct inclination towards unique and immersive experiences among the youngest generation of adult travelers.

We’d first like to address where each of these generations likes to travel. We’ve found that millennials and Gen Z are most interested in the iconic Italian cities – Rome, Milan, Venice, Florence – in equal measures. Where the generations differ is the style of experiences they choose to get in these cities.

Gen-Z is 35% more likely to book a sunrise tour (i.e of Lake Como) rather than Millennials, showing they prefer less of a hassle and have a more chill approach to travel

We are seeing a shift away from traditional day tours in the younger generation, in favor of off-the-beaten-track encounters. Taking Florence as an example, we see a big difference in the type of tours booked. Our ‘Florence Without Museums Tour’ has become iconic with the younger generation, boasting a 60% higher booking rate for younger travelers than traditional city tours which do enter the Florence Duomo and Uffizi Gallery. Our younger travelers tend to choose to visit the museums on their own, and pay for day tours which can show them parts of Florence they can’t find by themselves. For our millennial travelers, we see more of an even split between people who choose a Florence city tour with versus without the museum visits.

Stepping out of the city, a stand-out experience among Gen Z is the ‘Original Coffee Experience’, which is actually our most popular Tuscany day tour for this demographic – in fact, customers under age 26 accounted for 42% of all bookings for this tour in the last 6 months. We’re sure part of the popularity is down to the coffee trends of the last few years on social media, as well as the lower rates of interest in wineries for the younger generation, compared to millennials who favor trips to the Tuscan wine country. Many millennial travelers specifically come to the region to spend the day at a Tuscan winery, although Gen X (aged 40-60) are still our biggest buyers of wine tours. 70% of wine tour bookings were by customers over the age of 38.

Regarding nature tours, Gen Z on the whole tends to be attracted to our sunrise tours, available to Lake Como or Tuscany. Millennials book these tours 35% less than Gen Z does, favoring daytime slots rather than the early morning trip. This data underscores Gen. Z’s aversion to crowds, opting for the tranquility of early mornings to capture special moments and social media-friendly content.

Regarding the question of whether Gen Z travels more than millennials, our statistics reveal some fascinating patterns. In terms of booking patterns, a staggering 72% of Gen Z travelers secure their trips within two months of the departure date, 25% of whom even book a multi-day travel package within three weeks of departure date, showcasing a more spontaneous approach. This contrasts with millennials, who due to a variety of factors like family and more rigid workplaces, exhibit a tendency to book earlier – about 60% of millennial travelers book their experiences three to six months before their departure date. Conversely, millennials are opting for shorter packages, averaging 2 days less than Gen Z travelers. This divergence in duration reflects Gen Z’s commitment to a more ‘slow travel’ focused exploration of Italy’s offerings. Tourist Italy has about 15% more bookings by Gen Z travelers than millennials, which may be down to the wider range of availability for last-minute tours that Tourist Italy boats over some of its competitors, as well as the company’s ethos, Italia con Passione, or Italy with Passion, closely aligning with the travel preferences of the younger generation.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.