Avani Hotels is targeting young people with the launch of a TikTok social media channel, sharing travel content made by influential TikTokers. Olivia Palamountain reports
It was only a matter of time before hospitality brands jumped on the TikTok bandwagon – a trend predicted by Globetrender it our Gen Z Horizons report. In a sign of the times, Avani Hotels and Resorts has launched its own channel on the video sharing app, reaching a younger generation of travellers through the #TikTokTravel hashtag.
Designed as a way to offset cabin fever while international borders remain closed, this initiative encourages users to upload their favourite travel memories and share the stories behind them, attracting more than 32 billion views (so far) in the process.
Under @AvaniHotels, the group will profile “under-the-radar journeys and experiences” in the locations of its 30 properties in 15 countries worldwide, through curated content and collaborations with leading TikTokers.Users of the platform can watch behind-the-scenes hotel tours and get styling tips on the perfect selfie – think glamorous photoshoots in the lagoon pools of Avani+ Hua Hin Resort, and cruising around the famous island of Koh Samui.
Guests are invited to share their short video journey and experiences when staying with Avani by mentioning @AvaniHotels in their TikTok – the best content will reshared on Avani’s own channel.
Who’s tuning in? As of March 2021, data from Statista shows that users in their teens accounted for 25 percent of TikTok’s active user accounts in the US. According to App Ape, users aged 20 to 29 years accounted for 22.4 percent of the video sharing app’s user base on the Android platform.
One of South East Asia’s fastest-growing hospitality brands, a foray into TikTok makes sense for Avani. The group targets “travellers who are socially conscious, curious about cultures, open-minded and adventurous” – buzzwords that encapsulate Gen Z.
According to Booking.com’s Destination Gen Z report, 65 per cent of Gen Zers ranked “travel and seeing the world” as the most important way to spend their money. While the travel industry is still decoding the needs of millennials, Gen Zers are already starting to shift the sector in other directions – and one of the optimal ways to connect with them is on TikTok.Fortunately, travel and hospitality brands don’t need to start from scratch to meet the needs of Gen Z. While there is a overlap between millennials and Gen Zers’ travel traits – they are socially and environmentally conscious, they want a mobile-first approach, and they desire authentic local experiences – these two generations are far from forming a cohesive cohort, says Meghan Carty, a research associate at Skift Research and the lead on Skift’s 2019 Millennial and Gen Z Traveler Survey.
They’re active on different social media platforms, they spend their money differently and they have their own viewpoints on how they impact the world through their explorations.
A survey by IHG Hotels & Resorts (IHG) of 9,000 people across the US, UK, Germany, Greater China, the UAE and Australia found that 60 per cent of respondents agree that they want to be more environmentally and socially conscious on their travels.
However, when broken down by generation, it was found that 69 per cent of Gen Z travellers (aged 18 to 24) felt strongly about responsible travel, compared to just 48 per cent of 55s and over. Find Globetrender’s full report here.