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Viral Vacations: Gen Z Inspired by TikTok Travel Trends

Viral Vacations: Gen Z Inspired by TikTok Travel Trends
2 November 2023 Samantha Anderson
  • Nine in ten Gen Z’ers use TikTok for travel inspiration and have discovered new destinations through the platform
  • Over half, 59 percent, have booked a vacation as a direct result of seeing it on TikTok
  • Seven in ten use TikTok to help them plan holidays

Whilst we all enjoy lusting after holiday destinations we’ve seen online, it seems that Gen Z has taken its ‘digital first’ approach to new levels, with research from StudentUniverse, the world’s largest youth and student travel agency, revealing over half, 59 percent, have booked a vacation as a direct result of seeing it on TikTok.

Will Jones, travel expert at StudentUniverse, says: “Gen Z were born into a world that was already online. They’ve never known a world without the internet so it’s unsurprising that they are so heavily influenced by the content they are viewing on their favourite social media platforms.

“In 2022 Brits spent, on average, 27 hours per month on TikTok . Whilst this is already a significant amount of time, it’s likely continued to increase for Gen Z’ers – 92 percent of which currently use the platform.

“To date, content tagged with #travel has received over 200 billion views on TikTok. It has a massive amount of influence over travel trends, with a destination’s ability to go viral and secure an influx of tourists dependant on how appealing it can look in around 15 seconds.

“In fact, 65 percent of Gen-Zers say TikTok is their preferred platform for travel inspiration compared to just 11 percent opting for a perhaps more traditional Google search.

“And this appetite for travel extends far beyond classic holiday destinations, with nine in ten also revealing they have discovered new destinations through the platform.

“So, whether you’re planning a long-weekend in Europe or a more exotic once-in-a-lifetime trip, it’s worth taking a leaf out of Gen-Zs book. TikTok could just be the perfect place to source some inspiration.”

Read on for Will’s round-up of TikTok inspired destinations to book now…


The capital of Thailand is a vibrant city and a true bucket-list destination. Take inspiration from TikTok and visit the opulent Grand Palace and the Wat Pho Temple with the famed reclining Buddha by day. Start your evening enjoying a feast of local cuisine on a dinner cruise on the network of canals fed by the Chao Phraya River, before heading for a refreshing cocktail or two at a dynamic rooftop bar.


The city of love is just a hop, skip and a jump away for Brits wanting a long weekend away. Paris is a classic for a reason – beautiful architecture, café culture and wine bars aplenty make it the perfect destination whether you’re after romance or a fun-filled trip with friends. Though don’t believe everything you see on TikTok – not every hotel room comes with a view of the Eiffel Tower.

Kuala Lumpur

A melting pot of cultures make Kuala Lumpur a dynamic city to visit and one loved by TikTokers. Explore the city on foot and take in the mix of art deco buildings peppered with modern architecture and, when the sun sets, head to Changkat Bukit Bintang to enjoy the city’s unique nightlife complete with bars, clubs, restaurants and coffee shops.

Don’t leave without visiting the Batu Caves – the most visited cave in Malaysia. Here, visitors can climb 272 steps into a truly stunning cave temple as well as an ‘art cave’ displaying colourful statues of Hindu Gods and deities.


A cosmopolitan metropolis, Istanbul has long been a favourite amongst tourists and its popularity shows no signs of slowing down with Gen Z. From ornate palaces adorned with colourful mosaics to bustling neighbourhoods filled with cafes, bars, boutiques and the famous bazaars, the city if full of intrigue.

A boat cruise on the Bosphorus Strait, which divides the European and Asian sides of the city, is a must. You’ll experience awe-inspiring views of the Ottoman waterfront mansion, the Bosphorus Bridge, the fishing village of Anadolu Kavağı and Byzantine palaces.


Dubai’s blend of ultra-urban and desert makes for a unique landscape and one that has proved popular on TikTok. From the glittering skyline made up of luxury hotels and shopping malls to the diverse range of delicious food and exceptional beaches, one thing’s for sure you’ll never be bored in this city.

For more information or for exclusive discounts when booking your next trip, visit


Notes to editors:
* Survey of 500 nationally representative adults between the ages of 18-25, carried out by Attest on behalf of StudentUniverse in September 2023.

For further press information, please contact:
Elsa Findlay | Rosie Crass | Peter Gregory
T: +44 (0)203 440 8927
E: [email protected]

About StudentUniverse:
Launched in 2000, StudentUniverse is a Boston-based tech company that operates the world’s largest student and youth travel marketplace. Through negotiations with a network of global partners, StudentUniverse offers exclusive pricing and terms for its members.

With operations in the US, UK, Australia, Canada and the Philippines, StudentUniverse empowers students and youth to travel more. Acquired in 2015, StudentUniverse is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Flight Centre Travel Group, one of the world’s largest travel companies. For more updates, follow our corporate blog and LinkedIn.