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How TikTok Is Changing The Way Gen Z Travels

TikTok is all the rage these days, so we had a chat with Contiki about how the social media platform is paving the way for more raw and real travel content.

TikTok is all the rage these days, so we had a chat with Contiki about how the social media platform is paving the way for more raw and real travel content.

There’s no doubt that social media has changed the way young people dream about and document their travel experiences; with TikTok and Instagram reels taking over the days of Facebook photo albums and even perfectly polished, unrealistic grid photos.

So how can more ‘candid’ platforms, such as TikTok burst the flawless bubble of what we once thought travel influencing was all about and, instead, pave the way for something far more authentic, fun, and exciting?

We chat to Lottie Norman, Head of Content for Contiki global, to find out what she thinks.

How long has Contiki been using TikTok for and what is it about the platform that the brand loves?

We started using TikTok in August 2019 and launched with the hunt for a TikTok creator campaign, under the premise that we should nurture the content creators already on the platform and recruit them to showcase what Contiki is all about.

We used the campaign tag of #contikifindyourpeople which now has 1.7million views.

The platform for us allows Contiki to bring its brand personality to life and aligns with the core Contiki values around having fun! From a marketing perspective, it allows us to reach a new audience of young people who may not know the Contiki of today.

It also allows us to prioritise engagement as a success metric as opposed to conversion, which is super refreshing and allows us to build and foster a community within the platform, focusing on exciting young people, the awesome places they go, and epic experiences they can have.

Contiki’s social strategy focuses on pushing ‘in-feed intimacy’ to facilitate meaningful connections to travel. Breaking the broadcast mindset is key and TikTok is a great channel to support this strategy.

Has Contiki seen a shift in the way 18-35-year-olds capture their travel memories?

Definitely, Gen Z is a generation of creators, they have more access and knowledge of editing platforms than ever before and therefore showcase their memories in innovative ways.

We’ve seen a huge growth in both TikTok videos and Instagram Reels tagged with Contiki.

The pandemic, in particular, has inspired more and more people to start packaging up their memories into shorter more social story formats – #contiki on TikTok has 1.6million views.

We’ve seen the trend for a number of years now of young travellers moving away from Facebook as a place to share their travel content. Instagram has firmly replaced that platform and now we are seeing the trend of more raw, instantaneous content being shared through formats such as stories
rather than the polished grid photos.

Do you think there has been a rise in travellers opening their eyes to the world of candid and wanting to share more ‘real’ content, rather than heavily edited Instagram shots? 

Definitely, we’re seeing more ‘in the moment’ content for sure, and this is fuelled by these new formats and channels. Gen Z has a bigger ‘BS’ filter and wants both brands, influencers and peers to be as authentic as possible.

There is a growing trend of getting off the beaten track and discovering something new has also influenced more storytelling content that’s stripped back and less staged.

The rise in travel influencers on new channels such as TikTok who are more real, raw, funny and relatable.

How do you think TikTok can positively affect the travel industry, post-COVID-19?

Contiki Tik Tok

By providing a platform that showcases not just the beauty of a destination but the fun of travel in general to a new audience in an innovative and entertaining way.

It enables brands, creators and travellers to show the fun of traveling with others, having shared experiences and exploring the world together.

TikTok has a huge education arm to it which is evolving, young people are using it to learn new skills and educate themselves, this provides an opportunity to educate young people about everything from geography, cultures, global cuisines, travelling sustainably and more.

How do you think these new forms of social media are changing young people’s desire to travel? Let us know – email [email protected]

Click here to check out Contiki on TikTok.