The Rise of Digital Natives: A New Era for the Tours and Attractions Industry

Geraldine Lee
August 25, 2023

In the fast-paced, digital-driven world we live in, one demographic stands out as a game changer in the tourism industry - Digital Natives.

This is a group that has grown up in the age of the internet, smartphones, and social media, and their influence is reshaping how businesses operate, particularly in the tours and attractions sector.

Digital Natives are individuals born into or raised during the era of digital technology. These are not just tech-savvy individuals; they are tech-innate. They have been brought up with smartphones, tablets, and laptops as an integral part of their lives, and as such, they expect seamless digital experiences in all facets of life, including tourism.

As we delve into this topic further, we will examine the profound impact digital natives are having on the tourism industry and why understanding and catering to their needs is crucial for businesses aiming to thrive in this digital age.

But before we explore their impact on the tourism industry in detail, it's essential to understand - who exactly is a digital native?

Who is a Digital Native?

Digital Natives are typically defined as those born after the year 1980. The majority of this group has grown up with technology being a major part of their lives, from learning about the world through screens and engaging in social media to streaming services and mobile banking. These individuals are natively digital - they have been born into a world where accessing information is effortless, and technology is always accessible.

As digital citizens, they are not intimidated by modern technology; instead, it’s a source of comfort for them. They expect to be able to access anything anytime with ease - from booking tickets online without worrying about opening hours or waiting in lines to using their smartphone as a virtual wallet for purchases.

Daily screen use time has increased to eight hours and 39 minutes by 17 percent.

According to a study by Pew Research Center, nearly 100% of people aged 18-29 own a smartphone and spend more time online on social networks than any other age group. Screen use among American teens and tweens has increased by 17 percent from 2019 to 2021, from seven hours and 22 minutes to eight hours and 39 minutes.

It's clear that we need to be future-forward with digital natives and consider the following:

How is your business adapting to meet the demands of digital natives? Are we crafting experiences that truly cater to this tech-savvy generation?

Are you prepared to face the challenges and embrace the opportunities they bring?

How Digital Natives are Shaking Up Tours and Attractions

When it comes to tourism, Digital Natives expect more than just a service - they want an experience. They crave personalization, immediacy, and convenience.

According to a survey conducted by Epsilon, a staggering 87% of consumers are inclined to make a purchase when travel websites or apps offer personalized experiences. Surprisingly, only 64% of these platforms are currently meeting the expectations of customers with personalization.

Moreover, they demand seamless digital experiences from start to finish. This includes easy ticket purchase, smooth check-in processes, and efficient customer service, all accessible through a few taps on their devices.

Challenges and Opportunities of Catering to Digital Natives

The primary challenge for tours and attractions catering to digital natives lies in meeting their high expectations for convenience and speed. For instance, almost two-thirds of millennial tourists book a guided tour or purchase tickets directly from their smartphones.

Does your ticketing platform deliver a smooth, automated experience? Can customers purchase tickets quickly and easily on their device of choice? How often do technical glitches or delays cause your customers to abandon their purchases and opt for a competitor?

On the other hand, these high expectations also present immense opportunities for businesses in marketing, sales, and customer service. Digital natives heavily rely on social media to make purchasing decisions, making it crucial for businesses to establish a robust presence on these platforms.

Does your attraction have a robust presence on all relevant social media platforms? How effectively are you leveraging them to influence their purchasing decisions?

For businesses looking to adapt and grow with these changes, understanding their level of digital maturity is crucial. The RocketRez Digital Maturity Matrix for Attractions provides an excellent framework to assess this.

The Importance of Seamless Digital Experiences

From researching destinations to booking tickets and sharing experiences, digital natives expect a smooth digital journey. Businesses must integrate technology solutions that offer seamless experiences throughout the entire customer journey - from purchasing tickets to the actual visit. Creating seamless digital experiences is a key part of digital maturity, a concept explained in this RocketRez article.

To meet these expectations, businesses must ensure that their websites and apps are updated with the latest technologies and design trends. Successfully catering to this demographic can foster loyalty, boost revenues, and enhance brand reputation.

Can you confidently say that you're successfully catering to digital natives? Or are you at risk of losing this tech-savvy demographic to competitors who are better equipped to meet their digital needs?

Leveraging Technology to Meet Expectations

The key to meeting the high expectations of digital natives lies in leveraging technology. Modern guest experience platforms can deliver exceptional experiences that meet the demands of digital natives.

In conclusion, digital natives are not merely a demographic; they're a powerful force driving the digital transformation in the tourism industry. By understanding their needs and leveraging the right solutions, businesses can stay ahead of the curve and ensure their guests have an exceptional experience every time they visit.

Are you ready to wow your guests and deliver standout experiences, or are you lagging behind? Talk to our experts and let us help you unlock the full potential of your business in the digital age.

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Guest Experience
Digital Maturity
Geraldine Lee
Content Marketing Specialist