This comment was made by Outbox Consulting – a company specialising in providing in-depth research and consulting solutions for the tourism and hospitality sectors in Vietnam in a report on Vietnam’s Travel Trends in 2021, announced on February 24.
Changing travel habits
Before COVID-19, exploring a crowded city, strolling through bustling markets, enjoying dinner at a bistro brimming with locals, or touring major attractions were Vietnamese tourists’ favourite activities. However, as the epidemic has still been fully resolved, tourists are now giving their top priority to their safety in the new situation.
Therefore, socially distant travel is expected to be the trend once again in 2021. Travelers will select sparsely populated areas nearby so that they can set plans and tours that align with their travel demands and ensure protection from the pandemic.
Vietnamese tourists often spend 2-3 days, especially weekends or short holidays, travelling to domestic destinations. This year once again, they will choose destinations that are easy to move and near their cities they live.
Coastal and island destinations are still the Vietnamese tourists’ favourite, with Vung Tau and Nha Trang emerging as popular destinations for domestic tourists. In addition, other famous tourist sites such as Ha Long, Sapa, Phu Quoc and Da Lat will attract a large number of visitors.
If socially distant travel is how independent travelers will adapt to the new situation, small group travel is the choice for people who want to travel as a group and adapt to the current situation.
Different from regular trips in 2019 that could accommodate 20 – 30 visitors, sizes have shrunk down to control the spread of infectious diseases.
According to Outbox Consulting, the COVID-19 pandemic will make wellness travel an emerging trend this year. Wellness travel is not a new trend in the tourism industry; however, during the pandemic, fatigue and stress have become familiar to almost everyone. So, after the pandemic is controlled, visitors will find wellness retreats useful after a long period of repressed travel demand.
Vietnam was considered an emerging destination in the wellness travel trend in the Asian Pacific region in 2019. This, combined with an increase in visitors’ demands for wellness travel trends in 2021 will present an opportunity for Vietnam’s wellness tourism market, especially as Vietnam is emerging as a safe destination in terms of controlling the pandemic.
Another feature that has emerged during the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic is that visitors tend to book accommodation at the last minute because they they perceive it may be harder to cancel and get a refund for hotel bookings as opposed to flight tickets.
Pre-COVID, Vietnamese travelers often planned their trip and booked services long before their departure, especially when it came to overseas tours, in order to save money. However, in the face of the complicated developments of COVID-19, shorter booking timeframes will help mitigate the risk of travel policy changes and mobility restrictions.
Contactless technology to inspire traveler confidence
The use of technology in tourism has long been popular across the world and in Vietnam in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic sped up this digital transformation in 2020.
This year, technology will be a leading factor helping visitors regain their confidence. A survey conducted by Censuswide tshowed more than 4 out of 5 travelers said that technology would increase their confidence to travel in the next 12 months. They noted that a mobile app that provides warnings and updates during trips, for example local outbreaks or the government’s latest guidelines, will be essential this year.
In addition, contactless payments (for example, Apple, Google Pay, PayPal, and Venmo) will help tourists travel more confidently within next 12 months. In 2021, safety will be of paramount importance, and simple technological solutions will be the driving force for travelers to explore the world more confidently. Vietnamese tourists are part of the general global technological .
Commenting on the roadmap for the recovery of Vietnam’s tourism, the Outbox Consulting report said it will depend on foreign countries’ ability to control the epidemic. Beside vaccines, the speed of tourism’s recovery depends partly on factors that boost destinations reopening timeframes.