How Gen-Z is Using TikTok to Travel, and What it Means for Hotels?

TikTok has grown tremendously over recent years and has garnered an astounding one billion users. It is estimated that over 60% of those users are part of Generation Z. What started out as an app for short, attention-grabbing entertainment, turned out to become a platform to promote food, fashion, music, and more. In particular, travel-related TikToks have become popular content. The hashtag, #TikTokTravel, contains a plethora of videos on the app adding up to a total of 31.9 billion views. Videos under the hashtag exhibit gorgeous travel destinations, thrilling activities, and undiscovered restaurants. 

TikTok grants users a place to share their travel experiences, which in turn is great exposure for certain locations. A viral TikTok has had tourists in Paris rushing to get a taste of Carette’s hot chocolate. The multitude of videos displaying the drink has not only made the restaurant popular but the surrounding area as well. This is just one example of how TikTok attracts millions of people to travel hotspots.

Why is TikTok so appealing in terms of travel? 

The answer to that question may lie in the actual format of the average TikTok. TikTok’s are usually less than 60 seconds, quick and to the point. There is no need to exert extra attention or effort when scrolling through the app. In this sense, a 30-second video showcasing a popular hike in San Francisco may be more effective in attracting attention than per say a longer detailed video on another platform. 

Quick examples that might intrigue you

This video quickly addresses popular areas to visit in San Francisco, inadvertently encouraging travelers to not only stop by these places but to also stay in housing near them.

There is no need to be an influencer in order to go viral on TikTok, which could be the reason travel reviews and experiences come off as more honest to users. There is no apparent bias or advertisement; creators pull in viewers through authenticity. 

Airbnb hosts are already utilizing TikTok to promote their locations to a wide audience of travelers. They are not advertising, but showcasing any unique features or services they offer. Hotels and companies may be able to follow steed, and perhaps emphasize proximity to a popular location. A quick video showing off the interior of a room or building could gather a large audience of interest. 

https://www.tiktok.com/t/ZTRByKYhj/?k=1

This short TikTok has numerous people expressing their interest to visit Palace Hotel in San Francisco.

Conclusion

Gen-Z is not only using TikTok to find travel destinations but to also find the easiest way to book housing in these destinations. A common search on the app is “booking hacks”, indicating that younger travelers are constantly searching for comfortable ways to stay at hotels.

StayFlexi is a system that makes checking in and out of hotels and Airbnbs a simple experience. Implementing systems like StayFlexi would not only give hotels the opportunity to accumulate younger customers but also give those customers a pleasurable experience.

A particular feature of the system is quite unique. The “magic link” allows customers to check in at any time online through their own specialized link. Usually, hotels do not allow check-ins and check-outs early in the morning or late at night. With the magic link, customers can check in at their convenience with no need for an employee to check them in manually. This feature may be appealing for Gen-Z consumers, considering their love for technology. As mentioned earlier, younger customers love sharing their travel experiences online.

Interesting booking features like the magic link may prompt them to spread the word about a hotel that uses it through TikTok, and other social media. Self-check-ins and flexible bookings would be worth sharing direct booking links on social media, allowing hotels to receive more website traffic. 

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