14 Best Travel Brands on TikTok

It’s like TikTok is made for travel brands – short-form video gives viewers immediate access to a range of destinations and experiences. But who are the best travel brands on TikTok? And what are the secrets of their success in going viral on the world’s biggest app.

Here are the 14 travel brands doing TikTok best today:

1Ryanair – 2.1m followers

Ryanair’s strategy on TikTok is all about humour-driven content – and to great success. They often make fun of themselves, most notably using the now iconic imposing eyes and mouth on a Ryanair aircraft, an angle that’s used regularly on TikTok by mostly Gen Z-er’s; as such, engagement explodes with the very audience they want to talk to.

You won’t see anything corporate or polished, quite the opposite. In fact they shamelessly point out areas they regularly get a roasting for: not enough leg room, baggage allowances, seats without windows. Ryanair creates content people can relate to by turning criticisms into comedic content and this has won over their audience.  

2San Diego Zoo – 2.5m followers

As one of the most followed attractions on TikTok globally, the behind-the-scenes videos and up-close cute animal videos gave San Diego Zoo a head start on TikTok. As an early adopter, they quickly became a market leader building a huge following. The videos are cute and educational, appealing to the emotions of viewers. Armando the Armadillo is irresistible!

3Hostel World – 51k followers

There’s nothing that hostellers love more than sharing travel experiences with other fellow hostellers and backpackers –  find us one who doesn’t, you won’t! TikTok’s platform is the perfect place to share hostel life with budget-friendly travel tips and hacks, with the potential to go viral.

There’s lots of relatable content featuring the joys of communal travelling and this strategy seems to be working well like this post about dormatory noise which has seen 241k views!

4Visit Singapore -1.6m followers

If you’re thinking of visiting Singapore, regardless of what budget you’re on, their TikTok account is all about beautiful content. Keen to move away from the stereotype reputation of an expensive holiday destination for rich business people. On the contrary, Visit Singapore highlights hidden gems, adventurous trips and best places to go/visit/eat on a budget or for free so aiming to reach out to younger travellers and backpackers, gap year travellers and the like.

The content will be appealing to many of us right now with the current economic challenges / cost of living crisis; on TikTok the brand does really well to try to move away from an expensive holiday destination.

5Visit London – 228k followers

Visit London showcases everything that’s great about this magnificent capital city. The content is focused on top tips with Buzzfeed-esque lists for travellers as well as lots of ‘walk through’ vids to get the most out of your trip.

Once again a lot of the content is geared towards visiting a destination that has the reputation of being over priced and expensive – far from it actually if you take the time to plan ahead.  

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6Disney Parks – 5.7m followers

With a monumental number of followers, and the promise of ‘The Happiest Place Online’, Disney Parks creates unique content that draws in viewers from featuring staff who work there at the various parks, as seen here in this viral video of character Maleficent interacting with a child and another video showing staff name badges being made. The magic of Disney never fails.

7Virgin Voyages – 70k followers

If you’ve never been on a cruise and wondered what it’s like, Virgin Voyages takes you along for the ride. For example, showcasing their bars and restaurants, like this video of the pre-paid bar tab and making the most of it.

Content targeting solo travellers shows us how they can have just as much fun travelling alone, promoting ‘mixes’ events as well as users sharing their solo traveller experiences and tips on things to do as a single on board.

The room tours with secret room hacks are great too. Interspersed with showcasing locations on their excursions, the content all adds up to appealing to a younger audience looking for exclusively adults-only cruises.

8The Met – 214.3k followers

If you’ve ever been you’ll know this place is huge so there’s lots of handy insider videos from staff on making the most of your visit which have really helped drive engagement. The dedicated playlists such as The Met Gala 2023 features guests such as Giselle and Roger Federer, have each amassed almost 300k views. As one of the first major museums to join TikTok, this is the perfect home to engage an audience with their huge collection of over 1.5 million objects and therefore drive visitor numbers through the doors of this cultural institution.

9Booking.com – 801k followers

The content here feels more experimental and not long after joining the platform, in July 2022, Booking.com launched their hugely successful and now much talked about #TikTokmademebookit campaign. They asked users to tag their holiday companion and to like and share the post for a chance to win a holiday of up to $10k anywhere in the world; the result was a video with 3.2m views and over the space of a few months, they accumulated thousands of followers as a result.

Since then they’ve continued to post varied, creative content like promoting their great Genius points programme, ’15 minutes in…’ videos (in various locations) as well as videos in lavish holiday spots – alongside funny TikTok-esque content. The variation of content gives the company the chance to see what works.

10Virgin Atlantic – 233k followers

By championing its airline crew and making imaginative, fun content, Virgin Atlantic put their staff very much front and centre of their TikTok account like this post. Interspersed with videos of the perks of travelling Economy Delight, (a souped up version of regular economy), Virgin Atlantic are reaching out to the younger target audience they want to sell flights to.

11Visit Dubai – 294k followers

Visit Dubai is the #1 viewed destination on TikTok, according to Statista in May 2023 and other sources, with a reported 140 billion views (New York City and London followed behind, with nearly 102 billion and 73 billion TikTok views, respectively).

Dubai gives us everything, from whopping skyscrapers, stunning beaches, desert adventures and insane shopping malls. Where else can you swim in a pool hundreds of feet up with this view? You get the picture.

Visit Dubai immerses you straight into the destination with beautiful content that’s makes you want to visit immediately. Many of the videos they post see a huge number of views and massive engagement. Throw in a bit of tongue-in-cheek humour like this post which saw 1.2m views and it adds up to an enticing showcase of this unique desert city.

12On the Beach – 76k followers

On the Beach addressed last summers flight cancellations rather effectively with their ‘ask the CEO’ videos; tackling the issue head-on at last gave us holiday makers some comfort knowing that someone at the top in travel ‘got’ the chaos we saw at airports last year.

Amongst lots of handy content and ‘best of’ list videos, On the Beach go straight for the jugular again with these Is Rhodes Safe video? (in two parts). This direct content makes the customer feel like a brand is on top of the latest of travel issues and gripes we might have. After all, a little empathy from brands will always win a customer’s heart.

13UK Hidden Gems – 914k followers

We all love a secret find don’t we? Hidden coves and beaches, secret waterfalls, undiscovered caves, off the beaten track trails and hikes, we could go on, this TikTok account is literally that – an absolute gem of a resource for amazing locations across the UK.

Some locations are vague or not given at all so you have trawl the comments to work out where some of the places are like this hidden cave. Everyone loves a mystery, and, the challenge of actually finding the places featured is part of the fun, so it’s easy to see why they’ve garnered over 900k followers.

14Expedia – 1.2m followers

Expedia, the leading online travel agency, leverages captivating travel clips to engage with travel enthusiasts on TikTok. They share content centered around specific destinations, like a video showcasing Paris’s largest Christmas market, sparking the desire in viewers to explore these places.

Expedia also posts useful guides, such as spending a day in Porto, Portugal or navigating a day in Napa Valley, both of which gained massive traction online. This travel-centric content has deeply connected with their audience, amassing over 1.2 million followers for the profile.

How the Best Travel Brands Succeed on TikTok

  • Don’t take themselves too seriously
  • Use humour
  • Authentic and raw content
  • Educational content
  • Take you behind the scenes
  • Jump on trending memes, sounds and hashtags
  • Work with creators
  • Diverse content strategy: a mix of content around core pillars
  • Share useful information
  • Share situations people can actually relate to
  • Sharing user generated content with real experiences
  • Community engagement: responding to comments
  • Investing in TikTok ads to promote their posts and profile

TikTok has proven to be a powerful platform for travel brands to engage with audiences, particularly younger ones. The most successful brands create varied content that is useful, authentic, humorous, and participatory.

By embracing TikTok trends and the visual language of that platform, responding to users, and experimenting with different approaches, travel companies can build avid followings and turn social engagement into bookings (and therefore revenue).

To learn more about marketing and TikTok, follow me there and check out my digital training courses.