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How streaming platforms affect travel behaviour

The summer vacations have just ended, and after the past years' restrictions, the desire to travel is now stronger than ever for many. However, recent years have shown that streaming platforms like TikTok and Netflix are now playing a bigger role in influencing travel trends.

With a wide range of content, including series with exciting plots and breathtaking locations, Netflix and others are influencing our leisure behaviour and possibly even our travel habits. Club Med, an online provider specializing in package tours around the world, has investigated exactly how streaming platforms affect travel behaviour.

A list of the most popular series of the years 2022 and 2023 was compiled, and Google search queries were analysed for filming locations and accommodation prices to create a ranking of the 15 most influential shows on streaming platforms like Netflix and similar services. The aim was to try and see how those shows could impact travel behaviour. TikTok views were also considered, as social media platforms such as YouTube and Pinterest are increasingly used by younger generations for travel planning and inspiration. According to TravelWeekly, the influence of TikTok on travellers has risen by ten percent in the past year alone.

New ways of finding potential vacation destinations

According to a US survey, 40 percent of Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, consider the Instagrammability of their vacation destination when making their choice – locations from popular TV series are, of course, an absolute classic in this regard. 97 percent of Millennials share vacation photos on social media.

"Today, people research their vacations in a completely different way than they did 20 years ago. We gather ideas and tips from various sources, and of course, we often find inspiration from the media we consume on a daily basis: whether it's a movie or our favorite TV series, Instagram feeds or Pinterest boards filled with dreamy pictures, TikTok reels or travel vlogs on YouTube – the influence of such platforms should not be underestimated," says travel expert Daniel Topitz from Club Med in response to the report.

The top three most influential TV shows

Pop culture has a significant impact on us and our daily lives: Popular TV shows and movies can influence the fashion world, language usage, and even the naming of children – but also our travel behaviour. The most well-known examples are probably the surge in visitors to Dubrovnik after the airing of Game of Thrones and the crowds of tourists searching for Lallybroch in the Scottish Highlands, following the footsteps of Outlander.

VERMISCHTES Die einflussreichsten TV Serien 2022 2023

The ranking reveals which places have been particularly popular recently and which could become trendy destinations this summer. In the top spot is the Netflix original series "Outer Banks" (Outer Banks, USA), followed by "Bridgerton" (Bath, UK) and "Emily in Paris" (Paris, France).

1st Place: Outer Banks (USA) - Paradise on Earth

At the top of the ranking is the Netflix original series "Outer Banks." Viewers from around the world are captivated by its action-packed storyline and unique locations. The series follows a group of friends on the hunt for a legendary treasure. While "Outer Banks" is set mostly on the island chain of the same name in North Carolina, the filming was moved to Charleston, South Carolina, for legal reasons.

Many fans wonder where John B and his crew's sunny "paradise on earth" is located, and with over 155,000 Google search queries about the filming location, the interest is evident. Additionally, the hashtag #Northcarolina has garnered 6.5 billion views on TikTok. Staying overnight at relevant filming locations for the series such as Charleston (South Carolina), Savannah (Georgia), and North Carolina costs an average of 260 euros.

VERMISCHTES AdobeStock 288981641Nags Head, Nordkarolina, Outer Banks © Noel, AdobeStock

Of course, this isn't solely due to the series, but it undoubtedly contributed to making the unique landscape of the island chain, particularly popular among surfers, internationally recognized. In Germany alone, search queries for North Carolina increased by 41 percent after the release of the third season in February, significantly surpassing the previous year's figures. Whether this ultimately translates into increased tourism this summer remains to be seen.

2nd Place: Bridgerton - Historical splendour

In second place comes the Netflix phenomenon "Bridgerton," which transports its fans into the world of English high society in the early 19th century. Based on Julia Quinn's bestselling novels, the series follows the Bridgerton siblings on their quest for love in London's high society. As one of the most successful Netflix series of all time, it's no surprise that it's also influencing English tourism. Parts of the series were filmed in Bath, a city in the southwest of England that has always been popular among tourists from around the world.

Bath is renowned for its Georgian architecture and the Roman baths that gave the city its name. On TikTok, there's a surge of reels (#Bath has 7.2 billion views) featuring travel inspirations. The offerings are complemented by numerous Bridgerton-themed tours, making it a perfect destination for a city trip this summer and a lovely alternative to London.

VERMISCHTES AdobeStock 142293833Pulteney Bridge, Bath, United Kingdom © mrnai, AdobeStock

3rd Place: Emily in Paris - The charm of the City of Love

"Emily in Paris" has also secured a spot on the podium of the most influential series. Emily, a marketing expert from Chicago, lands her dream job in Paris. An adventure awaits her as work, friends, and love prove to be a culture shock. It's no wonder the series has claimed the third spot. The show's imagery makes you yearn to wander through the streets of the French capital, explore the luxury boutiques and neighbourhoods, and admire the architecture.

Paris has now garnered 64.9 billion views on TikTok, and the hashtag #paristravel sits at 285.6 million - making the City of Love the undisputed leader in our social media ranking. Paris remains a timeless trend destination, and the hit series can only contribute to that. Corresponding tours are already offered here as well. Netflix clearly leads in terms of travel inspiration and its influence on the tourism industry, particularly regarding resulting travel behaviour.

In addition to the aforementioned series, fans were also interested in the locations of hit series such as "Virgin River" (Vancouver, Canada) with over 48,000 search queries and "The White Lotus" (Sicily, Italy) with over 18,000 search queries. One thing is clear: the travel behaviour of many people is influenced by Netflix and similar platforms.

A complete overview along with information about average accommodation prices in the most popular destinations can be found on the Club Med website

This article is from the 3/2023 issue of the magazine "Life Abroad".

The magazine is published four times a year free of charge with many informative articles on foreign topics.

It is published by the BDAE, the expert for protection abroad.