TikTok influencing American’s tourism discovery, shows survey

TikTok has created an undeniable impact on travel and tourism across the U.S., with the short-form video hosting app influencing travelers’ travel choices.

According to the latest national study by MGH, a full-service marketing communications agency specializing in tourism marketing. TikTok has become a significant resource for travelers looking for new experiences, travel tips and more, with those looking to explore the latest destinations going viral on the app.

With 150 million users in the U.S., 60% of the surveyed TikTok users have become interested in visiting a new destination (city, park, beach, etc.) after seeing a video about it on TikTok.

The social media app’s influence doesn’t merely stop at the discovery stage; it also drives actions. About 35% of American TikTok users, around 52.5 million people, have traveled to a new destination after seeing a video about it on the app.

While TikTok has impacted all generations to travel to new destinations, millennials (aged 25-44) have been mainly influenced in travel plans, as 45% of the surveyed millennials said they had traveled to a new destination they saw on TikTok.

Along with inspiring people to visit new destinations, TikTok has also motivated people to visit specific hotels/resorts or attractions they’ve seen on the app. Approximately 32% said they had booked a stay at a new property they saw on TikTok, while 28% visited an attraction (amusement park, water park, museum, historical site, etc.) after they saw it on TikTok.

Additionally, the survey showed that all facets of the tourism industry could benefit from the app’s influence on American users:

  • 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

“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 the platform’s short-term potential when there are very few tools left that have as big of an impact across audiences of all generations.”

The survey was conducted on 1,139 U.S. TikTok users between July 16-18, 2022. The margin of error is +/- 3.06%.