Leveraging TikTok as a Destination Marketing Platform

How do you position your travel destination with the next generation of travellers?

Highlights

  • Approximately 50% of TikTok’s global audience is under 34 years, and 26% fall between the age group of 18 to 24.
  • Key hashtags like #Travel and #Tiktoktravel have more than 25 billion views.
  • Destinations like Dubai have initiated their own TikTok campaigns like #ThisisDubai which has over 109.6 million views and #MyDubai with over 3.6 billion views.
  • Tips & ideas on how to implement a TikTok strategy as a hotel, country or traveller.

TikTok needs no introduction. What once emerged as a fun distraction during the Great Lockdown of 2020, has now grown into the world’s most downloaded app that offers entertainment, tips and tricks, life hacks and great marketing opportunities!
While this social platform existed (in similar forms) well before, it only appeared on everyone’s radar in early 2020, when basically anyone who stayed in their homes was considered a ‘hero’. We were saving the world, one dalgona coffee at a time, and also building a platform of highly engaged users who were hopping on trends and eager to share content.

The Value of TikTok to Promote Travel

GenZ are the most frequent users on the app. Approximately 50% of TikTok’s global audience is under 34 years, and 26% fall between the age group of 18 to 24. Young adults have a big influence on planning family trips, group and solo travel. They are most likely to influence their parents on where to go, what to experience, etc.
While not many destination marketers have jumped onboard the platform, many travel enthusiasts have pioneered the sector themselves to create content for selected destinations. Some key hashtags like #Travel and #Tiktoktravel have more than 25 billion views overall.
It’s just logic at this point – If there are 25 billion views for travel, would it not be the perfect place to talk about your hotel, country or experience?

Destination Marketing with TikTok

In 2019, this burgeoning platform launched a #TikTokTravel campaign. Their purpose was to inspire and encourage users to share content from their holidays around the world, and several tourism boards – from Dubai to Vietnam, Los Angeles to Japan – joined the conversation.

The social media platform has evolved into an exciting marketing channel, where travel topics are some of the most popular. Using TikTok in tourism marketing kickstarted with some destinations like Dubai, Japan, Thailand and Seoul who are active under the #TikTokTravel, as well as their own hashtags. It gives creators the opportunity to entice and offer suggestions on future trips for young travellers.

However, this is still a niche area, as very few brands use TikTok as a marketing platform. The upside? It provides a great advantage for newcomers, as the platform is not flooded with marketing content.
Destination marketers can create hashtags relevant to their destination, experience, etc. to garner the attention of travellers from around the world.
A tip from the experts – TikTok videos should be entertaining and educational. Additional points if you can tug on heartstrings!

What’s Next?

As Sri Lanka and a few other countries open up tourism, how should we leverage this next-gen platform to entice new travellers?

  1. Showcase your hotel, location, surroundings and unique features.
  2. Jump on board trends (or start one) but keep it relevant to your brand.
  3. Genuine travel influencers can increase visibility.
  4. Create a hashtag and ask enthusiasts to use it.

Destination Marketing from a country-level

Start a trend, create a hashtag, encourage travellers to use it, share content, partner up with travel influencers, create a jingle – remember, TikTok is your oyster and if you’re not on it, chances are you’re missing out on this easy, fun and engaging platform. Dubai’s #MyDubai has 3.6 billion views and #ThisisDubai has garnered 109.6 million views.

Destination Marketing as a Hotel

@avanihotels Hello Krabi, follow @tapttapp #TikTokTravel & discover the best places to swim. #avanihotels #tiktokkrabi #travelife #AmazingThailand #thailand ♬ original sound – Avani Hotels

As hotels, be it, boutique or large resorts, your aim should be to have a mix of enriching content about the destination and about your brand. From room tours and shadow service to onsite facilities like spa, pools, etc. guests want to know ‘why you’. Create content that evokes the feeling of being present in the hotel, from being served ice cream while sunbathing on the beach or a safari experience from start to finish in 15-30 seconds. How can you sell your experience and the destination using the platform is a good first step to deciding your content strategy.

Destination Marketing as a Traveller

@khemric Vacation Mode ✈️ #traveltiktok #tiktoktravel #greece #mykonos #travelblogger #greekislands #euro #bucketlist ♬ Still Don’t Know My Name – Labrinth

As a content creator, your aim is to showcase the destination, from historical and cultural sites, nature, cuisine etc. in the most authentic way. Creating a hook to entice other travellers with a video can be your first step, i.e. what secret tip should a first time traveller be aware of? What are the hidden spots that’s not mass-marketed by travel companies but are well worth a visit? And if it’s a famous tourist attraction, what piece of information can you share that will enrich their experience as a whole? While dance trends are all the rage on the platform, there’s a very small fragment that’s venturing to the other side – where the grass is not just greener, but more wild, more authentic.

Interested in using TikTok as a destination marketing platform but not sure where to start? Get in touch with Antyra Solutions.

Share this on :