Travel planning is highly reliant on the websites of tourist bureaus, professional travel writers and experienced (non-professional) travelers. This study examines the search preferences of Chinese speaking Generation Z (alternatively known as Post-Millennials, the iGeneration, Founders, Plurals, or the Homeland Generation) as they plan a trip to a destination unfamiliar to them. The findings indicated more than 70% of the websites they frequented were well-known international sites, including user generated content (UGC) and the sites of business entities. The sites most preferred by Generation Z were UGC websites, with 100% of the participants saying they frequently use them while travel planning. The Destination Management Office (DMO) website was not a popular source, being frequently used by only 13% of participants. Of the nine dimensions of destination information, the two rated most important were natural resources and natural environment, which suggests that travel planners strongly associate Kenya with these qualities. Leisure and recreation information ranked least important. The results indicate, firstly, the perceived destination image affects the perceived importance of the destination information, and secondly, with the exception of popular world-wide travel websites, travelers prefer using local sites which share the same language and cultural background.
DMO website Destination information Generation Z Post-millennials Search behavior Preferred websites
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Funding for this study was provided by a research grant from the Macau Science and Technology Development Fund (grant number 081/2014/A).
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