A pentadic analysis of TikTok marketing in tourism: The case of Penang, Malaysia

Aaron Tham*, Shu Hsiang Chen, Levi Durbidge

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Several destinations have jumped on the TikTok bandwagon to explore consumer reactions and motivations towards visit intentions, though these are largely limited to point-in-time surveys. Using the example of Penang, Malaysia, this research contributes to the paucity of knowledge surrounding TikTok in tourism by analysing contents generated from the destination management organisation, travel influencers, and other tourists participating in a TikTok competition for the destination. Drawing from Burke’s Pentadic analysis, the findings reveal the sociological interactions where the performativity of the short videos are staged by different users with the destination as the backdrop. Theoretical and managerial implications are highlighted to inform current and future practices of TikTok (re)presentation in tourism, and how the platform can be used distinctively to socially interact with various target markets and stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-103
Number of pages29
JournalTourist Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • destination image
  • micro-videos
  • social media
  • travel influencers
  • user generated contents


Dive into the research topics of 'A pentadic analysis of TikTok marketing in tourism: The case of Penang, Malaysia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this