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Unveiling the power of short-form videos in tourism promotion

Unveiling the power of short-form videos in tourism promotion

Mar 11, 2024
15 min read

Did you know that the average human attention span is 8.25 seconds? In such a short time, short-form video has become a crucial marketing tool on social networks such as Instagram or YouTube Shorts.


In fact, research shows that short video platforms are becoming the preferred channel for tour and activity operators to engage with their audience. This is due to the shareability of this type of content as well as opportunities for engagement with potential new customers to increase bookings. 


Before you start creating short form videos, it’s important to understand how powerful they are. Let’s talk about why short-form videos are important and some best practices for creating them. 

Understanding the power of short-form video

First, it’s important to understand the power of short-form videos for tour operators. It’s amazing what a mere 30 seconds of content can achieve if it goes viral and is shared with millions of people. When done properly, they are a great addition to a tour business’s marketing strategy.  

Here are some examples that went viral:





Along with being great at engaging your audience, short-form videos save you time and money. They require much less energy than a long-form video that could require a whole production team to complete. Here are some of the top benefits of using short-form video:


Holds user attention 

As we mentioned earlier, the average attention span in adults is 8.25 seconds. That means you don’t even have a full 10 seconds to make sure they’re interested in your content. With short-form videos, you are packing a lot of information into a short amount of time, which should be engaging enough to hold their attention. 


Great for visual storytelling 

Videos have an incredible ability to tell stories differently from plain text. Through a combination of visuals, sound, and text, tour operators can craft compelling narratives that resonate with their audience. 


Easily shareable 

Short form videos are easy for users to share. They don’t take long to watch, and are typically uploaded to popular platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. If you like a video, you can share it directly with another user. This is a fantastic way to ensure your content is shared. 


Search engine optimization (SEO)

Short-form video content can improve SEO since videos are often prioritized in search results. They also increase the time visitors may spend on your site learning about the tours you offer, and whatever else you’re displaying in the videos. 


Best formats of short-form videos for tour and activity operators 

The tour and activity industry is a goldmine for video content. There are several formats that you can use to make content that will generate buzz. 

Behind-the-scenes (BTS) videos 

Users absolutely love behind-the-scenes footage. It makes them feel like they’re getting an exclusive tour of what you do, enticing them to book your tour or activity. 


Example: Have one of your tour guides record a video of how they prepare for the day and get ready to take guests out. 

‘Day in the life’ videos 

Day in the life short-form videos can be through the perspective of tour guides or a participant to take them through and visualize being there for a day. 


Example: If you do boat tours, act as if you’re the one going on the tour as opposed to running so they can get a POV of what it’s like. Show getting on the boat, what it looks like on the boat, and how the tour guides interact with guests. 

Influencer collaborations 

Collaborating with influencers gives you the opportunity to share user generated content (UGC) from people with large followings. They will also share the content on their platforms, expanding your reach. A good way to do this if you’re on a budget is offer them a free tour in exchange for their post. 


Example: Invite an influencer to come on your guided tour of a top attraction. In exchange, ask for a video about their experience, how they would rate it and a CTA for their viewers to book. 


Tips and tricks

Create short-form video content with travel hacks, tips and tricks. This can be packing essentials, photo tips, or local advice. 


Example: If you’re running a tourist agency in an area that’s popular for solo travelers, create a "solo traveler hacks for ____” video to show that you’re the expert on the area. 

Destination highlights 

Create short destination guides that highlight the must-see areas and attractions that are near your tour. Users love to see ‘hidden gems’ in areas they are going to travel to. 


Example: If you’re running tours or activities in an area that’s on the coast, create a video highlighting the hidden gem beaches nearby they can visit. 

Top tips to get the most out of short-form videos 

Top tips to get the most out of short-form videos 


Keep it short and sweet

Remember, you’re making short-form video content. Videos should be short and easy to understand. The rule of thumb is that to be considered short-form, the video needs to be under 60 seconds

Be concise 

Since you only have a maximum of one minute to tell a story, make sure you’re being concise. Your content should get straight to the point and deliver your message within the first few seconds. That way, you ensure most viewers who are interested will stick around. 

Focus on quality over quantity 

Short-form videos for tour operators are quick to create, but you should focus on quality. One well curated short-form video will do much better than ten poorly made ones. 

Use captions/subtitles

It’s crucial that your videos are accessible to everyone. Ensure that you include captions or subtitles for viewers who may be hearing impaired or can’t watch with sound. 

Optimize for mobile 

Given that short-form video content is typically going to be viewed on a smartphone, make sure your content is optimized for it. That means recording in square or portrait formats with large text and clear visuals. Make sure you test content on mobile devices before scheduling posts. 

Include a call to action (CTA)

The end of your video should prompt your viewers to take action. This could be booking a tour, signing up for your activity or simply heading to your website to check out what you have to offer. 

Promote across channels 

Share your short-form video content across all platforms that allow it for optimum exposure. Tailor content to each platform’s requirements and target audience, as well.

Track and analyze performance 

Once you’re posting content, always be tracking and analyzing the data. Most social media platforms, such as Tik Tok, have built analytics tools so you can see how your posts are doing. If something isn’t working, tweak it and try it again. 


Short videos are a powerful way to engage your audience. They're not just cost-effective and quick—they're at the forefront of visual storytelling, enabling companies to share their story vividly and succinctly. 

However, mastering travel and activity marketing doesn't stop at video creation. Exploring various channels is critical to truly connect with potential customers, as each offers unique engagement opportunities. Choosing the right platforms for your content is as vital as the content itself. For a deeper dive, download our e-book on marketing channels for tour and activity operators. Start your journey to amplify your business and make a significant digital impact.


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Devin Bohbrink
Posted by Devin Bohbrink
Content writer interested in all things travel and tourism. When she’s not writing, Devin is either snuggled up with her cats, or planning her next trip.
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