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How TikTok Will Revive Travel and Tourism

The Travel Industry took a huge hit in 2020 due to the global pandemic. With borders all over the world closed, hotels, restaurants, airlines, and other businesses were closing down. The key to saving the travel industry is unexpectedly placed in the hands of the younger generation – and the Chinese video-sharing app TikTok.

TikTok

Related Read: TikTok Marketing Benefits for Travel Bloggers

TikTok Travel During Lockdown

As borders all over the world were closed, Gen Z was traveling from the living room couch. Old vacation videos were re-edited and shared on TikTok. Everyone with limited skills could create a TikTok, buy TikTok hearts, and share their short video with millions. Leisure travel was an especially common theme for these videos. TikTok’s hashtag system made the spread of such videos easy. The #travel hashtag proved widely successful, with almost 20 billion views. 

The Travel Industry Needs Gen Z 

Before TikTok, users turned to Instagram for beautifully taken photos and other travel-related media. However, as TikTok is more popular amongst Gen Z, the travel industry targeted the app to attract younger consumers. In fact, several tourism boards all around the world joined with TikTok to create specific hashtags to revive travel to their countries. The popularity of TikTok amongst the younger generation is especially important because market research shows that Millennials and Gen Z are more willing to travel without fear of COVID-19 risks. This makes these generations the saving grace of the travel industry, even as they change the market.  

Brands on TikTok

Several brands from other industries have utilized TikTok as a tool to raise awareness of their brand. Using the app’s unique hashtag challenge, brands were able to reach millions of users seemingly in an instant. Tiktok trends undoubtedly work, and businesses within the travel industry have already started to market their brands through the platform. Especially when combined with the already successful #TikTokTravel campaign – success is inevitable. 

A Brief History of TikTok’s Success Story

Tiktok was launched to the international market in 2017. It gained wide success after joining with another app, musical.ly. In less than half a decade, TikTok was able to accrue over 20 billion downloads. Its wide popularity makes it the perfect tool for marketers looking to reach a larger target audience, especially of the younger generation. The app uses an algorithm to suggest videos to its users based on their previously watched videos. The algorithm, combined with the app’s short video format, is the main reason users describe the app as being ‘addicting’. Some researchers hypothesize that the short videos give a dopamine reaction, and every time a new video is watched people get a dopamine hit – thus the addiction.

Content creators on TikTok find the app easier to use than others, with a lot more room for creativity. The app gives users the opportunity to record, edit and upload the videos directly from within the app. With no need to learn any major video editing skills, the average user can easily create a viral TikTok. With this streamlined process, more content is being created for TikTok every day. 

Influences: Not Limited to Instagram

Travel-related media was not the only thing that TikTok took from Instagram. Previously, Instagram was the main app for Influences – opinion leaders that are employed by marketing professionals to generate the desire for their products. However, recent research shows the influences have more engagement from their followers on TikTok. The travel industry can easily utilize these influences to help revive their businesses. More engagement from followers translates to more reach from marketing campaigns run by influences on TikTok, and thus better results. Also, videos on TikTok have the propensity to reach viral status more easily than on other apps – making influences out of any user. 

Vaccination and Travel

Essential to the opening up of borders and resuming normal travel activity, is widespread vaccination campaigns. Without large portions of the world’s population vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, it is unlikely that travel will be able to return to previous levels. TikTok has been used by many institutions to debunk misinformation about vaccinations against COVID-19. The app can also be said to spread awareness of the benefits of these vaccinations. By the end of 2020, the app was making efforts to stop misinformation. As vaccination campaigns around the world started, users shared short videos of them being vaccinated. Also, videos elaborating on users’ experiences post-vaccine started spreading through the app. 

Hope For The Travel Industry

Although it seems far away at the moment, there is hope for the travel industry in the near future. Businesses operating within the travel industry should focus on developing their brands, strategizing to market to their target audiences. TikTok will be a major tool for these businesses, helping them recover from their too-long break. Soon, they can get back to business – and start off their travel season with a bang. 

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