Vietnamese travelers shift to exploratory tours in post Covid-19: Google

Flexible booking is also one of the top deciding factors for Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Vietnamese travelers when it comes to the booking process in the present time, aside from price and safety.

Vietnamese travelers are shifting away from all-inclusive packages towards exploratory activities, besides the usual interest for essential travel to major cities in a new normal stage, according to the latest report by Google.

Vietnamese travelers, post Covid-19, Google  Vietnamese travelers are shifting away from all-inclusive packages towards exploratory activities. Photo: Cong Hung (Kinh te & Do thi)

The report revealed the outlook for travel in APAC, pointing to the hot spots of emerging demand, and the key priorities for consumers; recommendations on how travel businesses should be re-assessing their engagement and response.

Strong and growing pent-up demand for travel

Travel demand in Vietnam has shown steady recovery as travelers overcome an initial scare of Covid-19.

The report has also highlighted a rising interest for Vietnamese tourists to travel to nature and beach destinations such as Dalat and Phu Quoc to spend their year-end holidays. In particular, recovery in demand has been twice faster for backpacking relative to packaged tours in Vietnam.

Mountainous destinations such as Mount Fansipan are becoming top local attractions, along with Ba Na Hills. Besides that, Cu Chi Tunnels, Ha Long Bay will keep luring Vietnamese travelers even in the period post-Covid-19.

Vietnamese travelers, post Covid-19, Google  Number of Vietnamese travelers looking to beach destinations surged five times in July compared to March in 2020. Screenshot: NM

New fragmentation + new demands = new strategies

"There’s no one-size-fits-all approach for marketers looking to reignite travelers’ wanderlust. Instead, each market requires a tailored itinerary to suit regulations, restrictions, and shifting traveler sentiment," the report wrote.

The report uncovered three key learnings to help local travel businesses plan their travel recovery itinerary in the region including Vietnam, and suggest the businesses to connect and engage with their new travel audience.

Safety is the new brand, but perception of safety differs by country

According to Google’s consumer surveys, travelers in APAC ranked cleanliness and hygiene among their top three considerations, well ahead of travel brand reputation or loyalty programs. However, people’s perception of safety tends to vary from country to country, which impacts the booking choices that consumers make in each market. 

In Vietnam, factor affecting local travelers’ choice is brand trustworthiness when making a travel purchase.

Vietnamese travelers, post Covid-19, Google  Booking considerations among APAC travelers. Screenshot: NM

This implies that travel companies will need to go beyond knowing the general considerations to understand how each consumer is interpreting these booking considerations and tailor the way they reach out to them.

New way of doing business: the need to reignite MICE travel

While excitement for leisure travel is building, Google saw some uncertainties surrounding the desire for business travel, particularly within the MICE segment which remains critical for travel businesses in the region, there is an opportunity for travel businesses to collectively play a huge role in positively shifting consumer sentiment.

Google suggested that instilling customer confidence is key to reigniting demand within MICE. 

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