(SURVEY) TikTok’s Undeniable Impact on Travel and Tourism
MGH recently conducted a national survey of U.S. TikTok users to uncover the social media platform’s impact on the travel and tourism industry, as TikTok has become a major resource for those who are seeking out new experiences, travel tips and more — in addition to those wanting to check out the latest destinations going viral on the app.
TIKTOK DRIVES TOURISM DISCOVERY AND ACTION
MGH's survey revealed that TikTok — with its recently announced 150 million users in the U.S. (or a little less than 50% of the entire U.S. population) — has an undeniable impact on the travel and tourism industry. In the national study of TikTok users, 60% said they have become interested in visiting a new destination (city, beach, park, etc.) after seeing a TikTok video about it.
But TikTok’s influence doesn’t just stop at the discovery stage for its users. The social media platform is driving actions as well: 35% of U.S. TikTok users — or approximately 52.5 million people — have traveled to visit a new destination (city, beach, park, etc.) after seeing a TikTok video about it.
MILLENNIALS ARE PARTICULARLY DRIVEN
While users spanning all generations are inspired by TikTok to visit new places, the millennial generation is particularly influenced by the social media platform when it comes to their travel plans, as 45% of U.S. TikTok millennials (aged 25-44) surveyed have traveled to a new destination they saw on TikTok. And TikTok’s influence on travel decisions seems likely to continue with younger generations, as many members of Gen Z are bypassing Google and turning to TikTok as their search engine.
ALL FACETS OF TOURISM BENEFIT FROM TIKTOK’S INFLUENCE
It’s not just destinations that can tap into TikTok’s influence on its users — specific resorts/hotels can benefit from the viral app as well. According to the survey, 32% of users have booked a stay at a new resort or hotel they saw on TikTok, and 28% have visited an attraction (waterpark, amusement park, aquarium, museum, historical site, etc.) they saw on TikTok.
Breaking down the impact of TikTok even further, the survey demonstrated that all facets of the tourism industry can benefit from TikTok’s influence as well. Of those surveyed:
- 18% have traveled to a new city they saw on TikTok
- 18% have traveled to a new beach they saw on TikTok
- 15% have visited a new state park, lake or nature reserve they saw on TikTok
- 12% have attended a festival or state fair they saw on TikTok
AN UNCERTAIN, BUT HIGH OPPORTUNITY FUTURE FOR TIKTOK
With TikTok’s CEO recently testifying in front of Congress and legislators weighing what to do with the platform, marketers should still consider the opportunities the network presents: “While TikTok's future hangs in the balance, this survey highlights the undeniable influence that TikTok is having on the travel industry. It's not only driving awareness of destinations, but it's actually taking its users to places they've never seen or been to before.” said Ryan Goff, EVP, Social Media Marketing Director at MGH. “While TikTok’s future is uncertain, marketers shouldn't ignore TikTok's short-term potential when there are very few tools left that have as big of an impact across audiences of all generations.”
With travel spending expected to increase in 2023 compared to 2022, as travel returns to pre-pandemic levels, and TikTok usage at an all-time high, it may be time for DMOs to reconsider their approach to TikTok marketing.
Download the full infographic here.
*Results are based on a national survey of 1,139 U.S. TikTok users. The survey was fielded July 16-18, 2022 using SurveyMonkey Audience. The margin of error is +/- 3.06%.