Here’s What a TikTok Ban Could Mean for the Travel Industry

The potential ban could have wide-ranging consequences.

Karsten Winegeart/Unsplash
Karsten Winegeart/Unsplash

Karsten Winegeart/Unsplash

Members of Congress are currently seeking to exert an unprecedented amount of control over internet access that could effectively ban TikTok from American users. There’s plenty to fear in terms of consequences-TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew even testified before Congress as part of this ongoing political battle.

But a less expected consequence could impact the travel industry. A recent study from the company MGH found that about 60% of surveyed TikTok users have become interested in a new travel destination after seeing a TikTok about it. This data is in line with a previous survey showing that 60% of Gen Zs and 40% of millennials used social media for travel purposes, as reported by CNBC.

All of this is no surprise if you are a regular FYP scroller. Nearly every time I open the app I’m shown stunning footage of a place I had never heard of before. I now use TikTok location-based videos along with my arsenal of other travel apps to make sure I’m exploring a new destination as much as possible.

And that’s not something only I do. The survey found that 35% of US TikTok users have traveled to a new destination after watching a TikTok about it. Millennials are the most influenced by TikTok when it comes to travel, with 45% of respondents sharing that they have based travel on TikTok videos they viewed. A ban on the app for US users could mean much less exposure to under-the-radar travel destinations.

“[TikTok is] not only driving awareness of destinations, but it’s actually taking its users to places they’ve never seen or been to before.” said Ryan Goff, EVP, Social Media Marketing Director at MGH, in a statement shared with Thrillist. “While TikTok’s future is uncertain, marketers shouldn’t ignore the platform’s short-term potential when there are very few tools left that have as big of an impact across audiences of all generations.”

While it’s not the most pressing issue related to the onslaught of attacks on American freedoms, it is yet another marker in just how influential TikTok can be. Depending on how you feel about the app and others like it, you might find this data exciting or terrifying. Personally, I plan on seeking out videos of cute cat caf√©s and secret grottos¬†as travel inspo as long as possible. You can read the complete results of the study at

If the government bans TikTok, I guess we will all just have to watch Mamma Mia! and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants for ideas for our next trip.

Looking for more travel inspo?

If you’re ready for an adventure but not sure where you’d like to go or what to do, we’re on it. The best new hotels opening up around the world. The most Instagram-worthy Airbnbs. The latest details on our remarkable national parks. It’s all here along with all the travel news you need to stay informed and inspired.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on¬†Instagram,¬†TikTok,¬†Twitter,¬†Facebook,¬†Pinterest, and¬†YouTube.

Opheli Garcia Lawler is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.


Mad Mex’s New Menu Item Is Inspired by a Popular Mexican Street Food

mad mex chicken al pastor

Mexican restaurant chain Mad Mex has dropped a new protein, and it’s one of the most popular street foods in Mexico.

Enter, Chicken Al Pastor. It’s traditionally made with pork and grilled on a spinning rotisserie with a pineapple sitting a top, but Mad Mex has put its own spin on it, serving chicken bathed in an Al Pastor marinade with a touch of juicy pineapple.

You can order the protein-packed filling in your favourite burrito, bowl, quesadilla, nachos, or in a taco.

As always, these things are here for a good time, not a long time. Pop into your local Mad Mex restaurant, order delivery or through the Mad Mex app today.

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