Summer is finally here. As we prepare for a summer with limited COVID restrictions, people are looking for exciting adventures in new locations. However, instead of crawling through thousands of search engine pages, many are turning to TikTok.
TikTok has long been recognised as a key platform for users to discover and learn about almost anything. Travel accounts on TikTok grew to popularity towards the end of the first lockdown restrictions, where international travel wasn’t yet allowed, but people could take stayscations and explore their own countries more. From there, travel content on TikTok has flown to new heights, with many users posting flight and travel hacks, dream travel locations, local tours, and hidden gems.
TikTok is a social platform that rose to popularity due to its uncut and authentic nature. TikTok’s authenticity has resulted in the platform becoming a culture-hub, where people share their experiences, rituals and celebrations. When inserting this authenticity into a travel context, TikTok users are able to discover (or share) new destinations in a completely transparent way.
TikTok offers the travel industry a new channel to be unfiltered and will be playing a huge part in getting people to travel again. The platform offers itself well to tell authentic and engaging stories in a digestible way. This is a big opportunity for the travel industry because it has to portray itself as a model of responsible tourism, thereby encouraging travellers to be responsible too.
As we have entered a time where consumers are considerably more conscious, responsible tourism is going to be incredibly important. The travel industry needs to realise that TikTok is a natural partner that can maximise the potential for brands to thrive in the online space.
While TikTok has a very wide user base of all ages, the majority of users are under 35. This means the travel industry has the chance to target the new generations of travellers and holidaymakers. The new generation of travellers are excited to see the world, but want a unique experience compared to what’s been offered before. Younger generations want to be immersed into a cultural experience, not just look in from the outside; TikTok can help travel brands achieve this.
Younger generations are tired of the glossy-magazine aesthetic that has been popular for decades. TikTok offers travel brands the opportunity to step away from this and marketing their products, destinations and services in a new, relevant and unfiltered way.
The move to consumers using TikTok as a travel guide isn’t entirely surprising. Social media users have gradually been using social platforms as discovery and research tools more frequently over the past few years. What is surprising, however, is the sheer volume of people using TikTok for travel ideas.
The official TikTok hashtag for travel (#TikTokTravel) has over 30 billion views by itself. This isn’t even including the other travel hashtags, such as #travel, #traveltok or #traveltiktok, which also have billions of views.
There are travel TikToks for almost every destination imaginable, and they really do inspire people to get out there.
While some travel brands have taken TikTok under their wings and are flying high on the platform (Ryanair, we’re looking at you), there is still an underwhelming amount of travel brands active on the platform. If you’re a travel brand targeting anyone under the age of 55, Costa del TikTok should be your go-to destination.
If you’re interested in hearing more about how TikTok can help the travel industry, our very own Head of Strategy, Lloyd Williams, will be hosting a talk at the TravelTech Show in London on 29 June at 3PM. It’ll definitely be a talk you don’t want to miss!