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Championing Social Impact: The Influential Gen Z

Sep 2023

In the ever-evolving landscape of travel and tourism, a new force has emerged, setting the course for a more socially responsible and environmentally conscious future. Generation Z, born between the mid-1990s and early 2010s, has ushered in a paradigm shift in how we explore the world. The recently released "Muslim Gen Z: the Next Generation of Travelers" report by Mastercard-CrescentRating highlights how these young travelers are becoming champions of advocating sustainable practices in travel and tourism. Here, we explore the key findings of the report, revealing three distinct characteristics that encapsulate their activism—Intentional Spenders, Environment Enthusiasts, and Social Activists.

Gen Zs as Advocates of Change

At the forefront of this transformative wave are Gen Z travelers, a generation constantly exposed to social, environmental, and community causes through the power of social media. Their commitment to advocating sustainable practices is evident in the choices they make during their journeys. Gen Z Muslims are, in essence, Intentional Spenders, demonstrating a preference for establishments that support local communities and practice sustainability.

During their travels, Gen Z individuals tend to channel their activism into their spending habits. They consciously choose to patronize businesses that align with their values, ones that either source locally or contribute positively to the communities they visit. The message is clear - these young travelers are not merely tourists but conscientious consumers who believe that their choices should leave a positive footprint.

Environment: Sustainable Practices’ Enthusiasts

Perhaps one of the report's most striking findings is that nearly half of Muslim Gen Z identify themselves as environmental enthusiasts. This group is acutely aware of the ecological and social implications of their travel decisions. While a quarter of Gen Z travelers may not factor environmental and social concerns into their trip planning, the remaining individuals are unaware or unconvinced of such issues.

In a resounding commitment to environmental sustainability, almost a third of Muslim Gen Z are willing to reduce their air travel, and a notable 11% are even prepared to pay more for carbon offsets. Furthermore, 14% express a preference for shorter-haul journeys to minimize their carbon footprint.

This environmentally conscious mindset extends beyond travel and into daily life. Gen Z's heightened concern for climate change and global crises has spurred their participation in environmental and social campaigns, ranging from recycling and advocating for single-use plastic bans to supporting local businesses and opting for sustainable products. Their choice to purchase second-hand items to reduce waste underscores their dedication to a more sustainable future.

The tourism industry must take heed of this generational shift and prioritize sustainable tourism practices that not only provide enriching experiences but also raise awareness about environmental and social concerns associated with travel.

Social: Generation Give-back

Beyond environmental stewardship, Gen Z travelers are driven by a profound sense of social responsibility. The "Muslim Gen Z: the Next Generation of Travelers" report reveals that more than half of Gen Z Muslims are interested in engaging with local causes during their travels. Remarkably, 49% are willing to dedicate up to half a day to participate in local initiatives while on the road.

This presents a unique opportunity for the tourism industry to harness the transformative potential of travelers. By encouraging and guiding travelers to engage with local communities positively, the tourism sector can create a win-win situation. Gen Z, known as conscious travelers, is passionate about making a meaningful impact on the places they visit. They understand the importance of their travel experiences translating into tangible benefits for local communities.

Moreover, Gen Z is open to the concept of voluntourism (volunteer tourism) and expresses a willingness to participate in such endeavors in the future. This underscores their commitment to leaving a lasting, positive legacy in the destinations they explore.

To ensure that these good intentions translate into meaningful actions, a strategic partnership between the tourism industry and local communities is crucial. This collaboration can facilitate culturally sensitive and productive interactions, ultimately benefiting travelers, the host communities, and the destination.

Economy: Intentional Spenders

In the realm of economics, Gen Z travelers stand out as Intentional Spenders. They attach great value to every transaction they make, with over 75% of Muslim Gen Z indicating a willingness to spend more on sustainable practices. This willingness ranges from a 5% increase in costs to more than a 15% premium.

As they plan their journeys, 60% of Gen Z travelers defer to the social norms of the areas they intend to visit. Additionally, approximately 45% are influenced by the ethical practices and economic impact of tourist attractions or businesses. For Gen Z, sustainability takes precedence over brand names, and they are more inclined to choose a sustainable product over a branded one.

These "new kids on the block" are reshaping the consumer landscape by making purchase decisions based on their values and principles. Despite having limited disposable income, they are keenly aware of how sustainable practices impact their shopping habits and purchase decisions.

For the tourism sector to meet the expectations of these next-generation consumers, there is a pressing need to accelerate sustainability measures. Gen Z's eagerness to spend more on sustainable products presents an opportunity for businesses to adapt and thrive in an increasingly socially conscious marketplace.


In conclusion, the "Muslim Gen Z: the Next Generation of Travelers" report illuminates the growing influence of Generation Z on the travel and tourism industry. This generation, defined by their commitment to sustainability, community engagement, and ethical spending, is reshaping the way we explore the world. Their actions are driving demand for meaningful and responsible travel experiences, compelling the tourism sector to adapt and champion social impact. As we look to the future of travel, it is clear that Gen Z's values and principles will continue to shape the industry, paving the way for a more conscientious and responsible approach to tourism worldwide.

Visit this link to download the full Muslim Gen Z Report!

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