Gen Z and Social Media: It’s complicated

For Gen Z, Instagram is the top source of inspiration when deciding on a vacation destination

  • 53% of Gen Z trust the recommendations of those they don’t know in person such as influencers and celebrities
  • One third (33%) of ‘snap happy’ Gen Zers take over 50 pics a day while on vacation and love to share their pics publicly, with 57% sharing on social media
  • However, over half (56%) of Gen Z think that too much emphasis is placed on social media when travelling

There’s much speculation about Gen Z and their use of social media. Are they tiring of it? Are they still sharing content? Are they really all that reliant on influencers? New research from, the digital travel leader connecting travellers with the widest choice of unique places to stay, reveals that while Gen Z travellers are visual vacationers and social snappers, their motivations aren’t limited to a 108px frame.

Seeing is Staying

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and for Gen Z those words must include ‘#travel’ and ‘#inspo’. 70% of Gen Z like to see travel posts and pictures on social and when it comes to deciding which destinations to visit Gen Z head straight to their social feeds, with 44% listing it as their top travel inspiration source.

Gen Z women are even more likely to be visualizing their next vacation while scrolling (46%). This reliance on Instagram is far higher than the Indian average (35%) and even Millennials (40%). When it comes to selecting new destinations to visit, more than two thirds (64%) of Gen Z say that they are influenced by social media influencers and 53% say they generally trust influencers when it comes to travel recommendations.

Inspiration for Gen Z isn’t just coming from smartphone screens though, with 39% of respondents influenced by destinations they see in films and TV shows then wanting to see the locations in person. Travel recommendations still come from their social interactions offline too though, with 31% looking to their friends for intel.

Social Snappers

From influencers’ feeds to their own, 57% of Gen Zer’s say they’re interested in travelling somewhere that’ll look good in pictures. Over half (57%) Gen Z say that when they travel they always upload pictures from their trips on social media – the second highest demographic to do this, after Millennials (63%).

During their last vacation, 50% of Gen Z took more than 50 pictures, 24% of them took between 30 to 50 pics each day, an equal percent took between 10 to 30 pics a day, and 12% took less than 10 pics a day while only 7% took none.

Being the first generation who grew up as Digital Natives, it’s no surprise that Gen Z is a generation who do not desire a life unplugged, with 32% valuing Wi-Fi the most during a stay, higher than any other demographic and their top favored accommodation amenity.

(Not) just doing it for the ‘gram

Instagram isn’t their only motivator though. Gen Z is aware of the importance of holiday experiences with more than 7 in 10 (73%) saying they prefer to focus on what is in front of them and enjoy the moment, rather than spending time taking photos for social media, suggesting pics for the feed are a bonus to their trip. And for this experience focused generation, they’d prefer to live life offline, with 56% saying they believe that too much emphasis is spent on social media when travelling, so while there’s no denying that Gen Z “like” social media, scrolling isn’t going to come between their real life travel experiences any time soon.

Commenting on the research, Ritu Mehrotra, Country Manager for India, Sri Lanka and Maldives at said, “It is exciting to see this research reveal how the Gen Zers are a generation of determined travellers, having mapped out their future travel plans already. This first generation of digital natives are influenced by comfort and inspiration that technology brings to their travel which perfectly fits with our ambition to learn and deliver an even more seamless, connected trip experience. At, we want people across demographics to travel without dependency, empowered by technology that enables seamless travel experiences.”

Notes to the Editor

*Research commissioned by and independently conducted among a sample size of 21,807 respondents aged 16 or over (25% of whom were aged 16-24) in 29 markets (including 1,000 each from Australia, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, China, Japan, Brazil, India, US, UK; and 600 each from Russia, Indonesia, Colombia, South Korea, New Zealand, Thailand, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Croatia, Taiwan, Mexico, Netherlands, Sweden, Singapore and Israel). Fieldwork was undertaken between 1 and 16 May 2019. The survey was carried out online. All research and recruitment, unless otherwise stated, was carried out by Vitreous World, with analysis by Ketchum Analytics. [FB22]