The future is here. And that future involves TikTok. It’s all everyone talks about as it’s no longer just a dancing app for teenagers, or that app we might have downloaded during the lockdown to keep us entertained, it’s now the new phenomenon with nearly 1 billion monthly users worldwide .

And if that stat surprised you, then you should know it’s also the largest of the Big Five worldwide social networks (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and Twitter) with an incredible video consumption of over 1 billion videos watched every day. At this point it’s safe to say that TikTok is not going anywhere anytime soon.


TikTok data on its users worldwide 2020 -2025

Source: eMarketer, November 2021

But how did this video sharing platform, initially popular among young teens doing dance challenges become the fastest growing social media platform in 2023? TikTok has a different approach to engagement. It creates a space where a variety of video styles, users and subjects can easily gain popularity and ultimately go viral.

As opposed to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, where success is measured based on the number of followers you have. With TikTok you don’t need followers to go viral, you need a good hashtag strategy and engaging content. What you see on your For You Page (aka your feed) is tailored to your needs and customised for each user based on an algorithm that considers the previous videos you’ve watched, liked and shared.

In a nutshell, unknown or more niche content will still show up in feeds, and it will already be targeted towards users who’ve shown interest in similar content. And so, it helps create an excellent low-cost marketing tool for numerous businesses, your tour business included.

With the highest social media engagement rate per post, it’s no surprise that more and more businesses are moving into this space. The revenue generated by TikTok from in-app purchases in Q1 2023 amounted to a whopping $497.7 million meaning it’s the second non-gaming app to achieve this feat.

TikTok content creators

Is TikTok really changing the tourism industry?

The impact of TikTok goes far beyond any viral dance challenges and it’s slowly but surely taking on the tourism industry. Its future in our industry is nothing short of mind-blowing. Travel content on TikTok is growing at an unprecedented rate, the platform is becoming a go-to resource for wanderlust inspiration. A Skift article highlights that in 2022, 34% of travellers were inspired by content they found on – you guessed correctly – TikTok.

For years travellers have been searching for trip ideas online, but as you can see, in recent years, TikTok has taken over as the primary source of inspiration. The proof is in the numbers. The hashtag #TikTokTravel already has over 23 billion videos and counting and that’s a lot of potential customers right there!

Studies predict that by 2025, over 50% of global internet users will be consuming video content. And here is where TikTok is really winning. Why? Because it encourages short-form videos that are extremely addictive. It allows its users to both create and watch short video content, that is primarily 15 seconds in length. Think about it: people crave micro-entertainment and short bursts of video distraction, and this is one of the main reasons for the app’s popularity. Content in short, fun and on-trend.

So, does TikTok have the potential to shift the way travellers discover and buy experiences? Yes. The age of TikTok Marketing & Tourism is here.

Anna Paull TikTok travel tips

Source: @anna..paull

Are your travellers booking experiences through TikTok?

Your Gen-Z and Millennials travellers will surely be on TikTok, getting inspired by either TikTok-ers or other content creators. According to Hotelmize, 80% of TikTok users were inspired to book a trip and travel their problems away after watching content from their favourite accounts. And what really amplifies this desire is the constant tips, relatable advice, and hidden secrets about their favourite destinations that everyone is sharing on TikTok. It creates an authentic and genuine community that we all want to be part of.

It gets better – nearly half of Gen Zers use TikTok as a search engine over Google. This platform has now become a mode of discovery for future generation, which will inspire decision-making among other demographics too. This trend will continue to rise when the purchase of inspiration is just a tap away, made possible via TikTok Shop.

And it isn’t just Gen-Z but Gen Alpha too, both of whom might comprise your future customer base. Remember that Gen-Z travellers are particularly trusting of information that they find on TikTok and other social media channels, so they are easily motivated by what they see online. On the other hand, we know that millennials are more willing to splurge when it comes to travelling and experiencing new stuff. From investing in luxurious experiences over material things, to making impulsive decisions, their priorities are slightly different.

What about older demographics you might ask? Well, 11% of current TikTok users are over the age of 50. That being said, if your target demographic is formed of Gen X and Baby Boomers, targeting an older generation on TikTok doesn’t mean you will not experience success on the platform. 11% of one billion is still 110 million users.

Source: Marketing Science Global Time Well Spent conducted by Kantar, March 2021

Practical strategies for TikTok success with examples:

1. Showcase your unique experiences

The easiest way to leverage your TikTok account is to make sure you showcase the distinctive aspects of your products. Create short videos that highlight exactly what’s unique about your tour or activity featuring trending sounds.

You have 15 secs to really sell it to them, from breath-taking views, to exhilarating adventures to unforgettable moments, that your travellers can expect from your experiences. By portraying the essence of your experiences, you can pique the interest of your potential customers and inspire them to book with you.

Guide to Iceland TikTok tour idea Reykjavik

Source: @guidetoiceland

2. Storytelling through visual content

TikTok’s video-centric nature enables operators to engage viewers through compelling visual storytelling. Craft well-edited and concise videos that tell a story, capturing the imagination of the audience. Consider weaving in narratives that evoke emotions and convey the excitement and authenticity of your tours or activities. Remember to incorporate relevant hashtags and captions to enhance discoverability.

TourGuide Srilanka TikTok

Source: @tourguide_srilanka

3. Collaborate with content creators

Partnering with TikTok influencers in the travel niche can amplify your brand’s reach and credibility. Identify influencers whose content aligns with your offerings and collaborate on campaigns or sponsored posts. Influencers can create captivating content showcasing their experiences with your tours or activities, giving their followers a firsthand glimpse and fostering trust in your brand.

emelia beattie tiktok

Source: @emiliabeattie

4. Engaging with Challenges and User-Generated Content

TikTok thrives on challenges and user-generated content. Create branded challenges or encourage users to share their experiences using unique hashtags related to your tours or activities. This interactive approach invites users to participate, generating a buzz around your brand and increasing engagement. User-generated content acts as social proof, reinforcing the desirability of your offerings and encouraging others to book.

Mermaid.Kayleigh tiktok

Source: @mermaid.kayleigh

5. Leverage TikTok Ads

TikTok offers advertising options for businesses, allowing tour and activity operators to further amplify their reach. Explore TikTok’s ad formats, such as in-feed ads or branded effects, to promote your offerings to a targeted audience. With precise targeting options based on location, interests, and demographics, you can reach potential customers who are more likely to convert into bookings. TikTok Ad


Bókun tips:

Don’t forget about Call-to-Action Buttons (CTAs)!

You will want to link your website from your main page, as well as integrating it during relevant videos to motivate people to book with you. Think about it: once you have their attention, you want to keep them engaged with your brand, directing them to your website.

Don’t be afraid to play into TikTok trends

TikTok trends are a great way to tap into the platform’s algorithm and get your content seen by a wide audience. You will have to monitor the newest trends closely and hop on board as soon as you notice something going viral.

You can look into trending sounds, hashtags and filters to make your videos as engaging as possible. Remember that TikTok curates content based on a user’s preference. What we have seen to work very well for tour operators, is collaborating with other popular accounts and TikTok-ers to increase exposure and reach.

Unleash your creativity

TikTok users love exclusive content, behind-the-scenes looks, ‘did you know?’ and reviews type of videos. So, consider creating different types of videos as part of your wider TikTok content strategy and don’t be afraid to try new things. Only by creating content you will be able to understand what works and doesn’t work for your brand.


You may still be questioning if creating a TikTok for your business is the right move and the truth is the answer will depend on you, your business and your target demographic. But as a tour and activity operator, you have front row seats to this digital revolution. By embracing TikTok now, you’re not just catching the wave, you’re riding it to new heights of success.

With TikTok’s infectious energy and limitless possibilities, the tourism industry will never be the same again. It’s time to take the leap, experiment, get creative and understand what works for your tour business on TikTok so you can reach new audiences.

Accept and manage your TikTok bookings effortlessly with Bókun

As TikTok continues to inspire a wave of enthusiastic travellers, it’s crucial to stay ahead of the game. To ensure you’re fully prepared to capture those TikTok bookings that are coming from your videos, you will want to have the right tech in place. Here’s where a booking software like Bókun can help streamline your operations and understand how your bookings are performing on channels like TikTok.

📲 Real-time availability at your fingertips

With Bókun, you gain the advantage of offering real-time availability to your potential travellers. Say goodbye to manual updates and frustrating double bookings. Seamlessly manage your bookings and avoid the headaches associated with conflicting schedules.

💳 Secure online payments for peace of mind

Trust and security are paramount when it comes to online transactions. Bókun provides a robust and reliable platform for processing secure online payments, putting your customers’ minds at ease. Eliminate the hassle of handling cash or relying on outdated payment methods. With Bókun, you can offer a seamless and secure payment experience, safeguarding both your business and your valued travellers.

📠 Effortless communication with automatic confirmations

With Bókun you can send automatic confirmations to your travellers, ensuring they have all the essential details at their fingertips. Save time, effort and make the most of the convenience of an automated system that removes the need of constant manual updates.

🤩 We’re here when you’re ready to take your tour and activity business to the next level. Start your FREE 14-day trial with Bókun and witness the transformative power of cutting-edge technology in the palm of your hand.