By the end of this November, a group of friends living in Hanoi would fly to Dong Nai province to attend their friend’s wedding. They are so excited since finding cheap flights has never been easier before.
Before the wedding, these people would spend two days exploring Ho Chi Minh City and then immersing in the ambience of Vung Tau, a seaside city. Some resorts that offer enacted hygiene standards, good quality and price are already in their list of considerations.
These group is just one of cases in Vietnam showing desire to travel in the next four months. A traveler survey conducted in the midst of Vietnam’s second wave of Covid-19 by Indochina Capital and Wink Hotels shows that 68 per cent of respondents stated they intend to resume traveling by the last quarter of this year. The survey totaled 700 participants from first tier cities, of which 90 per cent were Vietnamese and the rest were foreigners living in Vietnam.
Another survey conducted by Tourism Advisory Board (TAB) this September pointed out that half of 1,070 people answering were ready to travel this year, compared with 54 per cent in its mid-May 2020 survey.
A silver lining amid the Covid-19 pandemic is the fact that Vietnam travelers are as keen to travel as they were pre-pandemic. Domestic travel grew from 57 million to 90 million from 2015 - 2019 and previous surveys have shown that Vietnamese customers are increasingly willing to spend more on holidays.
Indochina Capital and Wink’s survey reinforces this trend as 99.7 per cent of respondents confirmed they travel at least once a year domestically for leisure purposes, while 83.7 per cent stated they travel at least twice a year.
After two waves of Covid-19, travelers in Vietnam show eagerness to travel and confidence in the Government’s handling of the pandemic. Demand for traveling by plane recovered, with 71 per cent and 92 per cent of respondents in the survey of TAB and Indochina Capital and Wink opt for air travel, respectively. In addition, the proportion of people choosing to travel by private vehicle increased compared to TAB’s survey after the first outbreak.
Michael Piro, Indochina Capital COO and Wink Hotels CEO stated that tourism and real estate are bound to be major building blocks for economic recovery. As Vietnam travelers are already planning their next domestic trip, the economy is going to rely on consumers to return to their pre-Covid spending levels, which should be enabled by travel. With borders slowly and carefully being reopened, the domestic market will be the main driver for economic recovery.
“The impressive handling of Covid-19 has pushed Vietnam’s position forward as a promising investment destination,” said Michael.
Surveys also shows that health and safety is travelers’ top priority when chosing destinations and accommodation. 94 per cent of Indochina Capital and Wink’s respondents believe that it is important or very important for hotels to have sanitizing stations throughout the property, while 89 per cent believe temperature checks with sanitization upon arrival and clearly explained and enacted hygiene standards are important or very important.
Ninety seven per cent also believe clean rooms and bathrooms are important or very important in making a good hotel experience with 94 per cent believing cleanliness of public areas are important or very important. Ninety per cent also think health and safety plays an important or very important role when choosing where to stay.
Equally important, financial factor also has a great impact on travel planning. 45 per cent of Indochina Capital and Wink’s respondents say that value for money was a very important decision-making factor when choosing an accommodation while 87 per cent of TAB respondents prefer choosing brands that offer direct discount. TAB said that, travel and airline businesses should connect to create cheaper travel packages, but still ensure their quality.
A report from General Statistics Office of Vietnam show that, Covid-19 hurts 31.8 million Vietnamese workers. The affected citizens aged above 15 have lost jobs and had salary cut from working hour reduce. The crisis created a direct impact on the budget of travelers.
Vietnam travelers’ preference for short leisure trips of less than four nights, with the majority of business trips lasting no more than two nights. On pricing strategies, just a quarter of Wink’s respondents is willing to spend above VND2 million per night on personal trips, and they spend even less on business trips.
Family travel is very common for Vietnam travelers as they are still concerned about the Covid-19. Children also create reasons for people to travel as some respondents stated ‘giving their children new experiences’ or ’letting their children explore new places’ as reasons to travel.
Especially, Vietnam leisure travelers largely prefer beach destinations, then city and mountainous areas/highlands.
The survey of Indochina Capital and Wink also highlights the dominance of online channels for brand touchpoint and accommodation booking. 64 per cent of travelers will use online travel agencies to conduct their bookings and 91 per cent rely on digital advertisements for their hotel browsing. Therefore, enterprises must consider to quicly take marketing transformation to digital platform.