Oh, the Places TikTokers Go!

lgbtq travel

As TikTok becomes a younger generation’s Google for planning travel, destinations driving the most visits in 2023 included Mexico, Dubai and New York.

Words by Marc Graser
Photos provided by Booking.com’s Travel Proud campaign.

If you’re a traveler of a certain age you’re likely turning to TikTok to plan your next journey — or to choose where you should go next. With over 1.5 billion active users globally (expected to reach 2 billion by the end of 2024), and 150 million in the United States, TikTok has replaced Google as the preferred platform for inspiration. So when the video app revealed its most popular destinations, we couldn’t help but want to know where our fellow travelers were exploring.

With over 180 billion global views, Mexico ranked as the the most popular destination on TikTok in 2023, while Dubai took the top spot for TikTok’s most popular city of 2023, defeating runner-up Paris by 29 billion views.

Boosted by New York City, New York was the most documented state in the U.S. According to data collected by TikTok between January through December 2023, and AFAR magazine, posts containing #Mexico saw an increase of nearly 60% from 2022.

See Also: Great Escape: Mexico City

Source for Travel

Given the visual nature of travel, it’s no surprise destinations are popular in TikTok videos. TikTok has become a major resource for those who are seeking out new experiences, travel tips and more — in addition to those wanting to check out the latest destinations going viral on the app, according to tourism marketing agency MGH, citing over 54,000 posts with #travel are shared every month.

A study of U.S. TikTok users found that 60% felt inspired to travel to a new place after seeing a video about it on the app, while 35% turned that inspiration into action, booking trips to destinations they viewed.

“It’s 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.

Most-Watched Countries on TikTok:

  1. United States | #USA: 357.4 billion views
  2. Mexico | #Mexico: 348.9 billion views
  3. Argentina | #Argentina: 217.0 billion views

TikTok also touts itself as LGBTQ+ friendly, launching a “You Belong Here” campaign in 2023, and a LGBTQ+ Visionary Voices List to empower queer travelers to use the platform as a safe and inspiring space to express themselves freely and embrace their identities. See below for the full list of where TikTokers went in 2023:

The most popular country hashtags on TikTok

  1. #Mexico: 180 billion global views
  2. #France: 72.6 billion global views
  3. #Japan: 53.7 billion global views
  4. #Canada: 47.9 billion global views
  5. #Italy: 43.7 billion global views

The most popular U.S. state hashtags on TikTok

  1. #NewYork: 42.4 billion global views
  2. #Texas: 33.8 billion global views
  3. #California: 32.3 billion global views
  4. #Colorado: 6.4 billion global views
  5. #Arizona: 7.9 billion global views

The most popular city hashtags on TikTok

  1. #Dubai: 76.8 billion global views
  2. #Paris: 47.8 billion global views
  3. #NewYorkCity and #NYC: 54.6 billion global views
  4. #Miami: 32.1 billion global views
  5. #LosAngeles: 22.9 billion global views

The numbers are even higher for Mexico, but also the U.S., according to travel service Bounce, which conducted its own research, finding that while Mexico was still popular, it was outpaced by videos with the hashtag United States on TikTok. Here are the company’s findings and top travel influencers:

The most visited countries on TikTok

  1. #USA: 357.4 billion global views
  2. #Mexico: 348.9 billion global views
  3. #Argentina: 217 billion global views
  4. #UK: 207.4 global views
  5. #Chile: 181 billion global views

The top 5 travel influencers on TikTok

  1. Alex Ojeda (@alexojeda): 8.5 million followers
  2. Julia Thompson (@juliathompson): 3.7 million followers
  3. Jorden Tually (@jordentually): 3.6 million followers
  4. Thomas Lotter (@lotterlive): 1.8 million followers
  5. Terplanet (@terplanet): 1.7 million followers

TikTok Users

So who uses TikTok? According to Statista, 44.4% of TikTok users in the U.S. are aged 24 or under. Around 49.2% of TikTok users worldwide are women. While growing, only 13.7% of TikTok’s user base in the U.S. is aged 45 and over.