As Vietnam’s tourism industry ramps up on its recovery post-pandemic, it’s important to understand how confident our domestic travelers are to explore the world again, and whether they would welcome inbound travel.
According to the Travel Confidence Index commissioned by leading online travel company Booking.com, which polled 11,000 travelers from 11 countries and territories¹ across Asia and Oceania between April and May 2022, Vietnam emerged as the second most confident with 85% of Vietnamese travelers stating they intend to travel in the next 12 months; second to India (86%) and followed by China (79%).
This indicates that among APAC travelers, Vietnamese were one of the most willing travelers to put up with and/or overlook key travel deterrents in order to hit the road – which included enduring disruptions and travel costs; as well as confidence with their home countries/territories in receiving inbound travelers. This signifies great potentials for domestic tourism to leverage in its next era of growth.
The majority of Vietnamese travelers plan to book 1 – 2 trips this year (62%). Overall 45% of respondents stated that they planned to take regional trips (of up to 8 hours) to popular holiday destinations closer to home, instead of short (less than 3 hours) and long hauls (over 8 hours of travel time).
Another highlight from the research is that the majority of Vietnamese respondents are comfortable with Vietnam opening borders back up (82%), and 75% are confident with welcoming international travelers.
Top travel motivators
When it comes to travel motivation, the need for a mental wellness retreat (55%) emerged as the top motivator to travel for Vietnamese consumers after two years of lockdowns and a rapidly evolving travel landscape.
Interestingly, for as many as 45% of respondents, the motivation behind these trips is because they have planned for them for a long time, since before the pandemic, and now it’s finally time to hit the road! While 32% would book a trip to visit a specific destination they are interested in, the exact same percentage (32%) would travel simply just to get away from home, regardless of the destination.
Top travel deterrents
When asked about their top concerns and what would prevent them from booking a trip, ‘cost’ was listed as the number one deterrent by 53% of all respondents. However, it is clear that uncertainty due to the constantly evolving Covid-19 situation continues to plague travelers, as this was followed by the ‘fear of having to undergo quarantine’ (36%) and the possibility of falling ill whilst traveling (32%).
Another top concern for Vietnamese travelers is the processes and administrative hassles involved in planning a trip, which has increased in complexity with Covid-19 (31%). However, when asked whether travelers accepted disruptions as being part and parcel of travel now, almost half of Vietnamese respondents said yes, meaning that people are embracing these essential changes in order to travel.
Noticeably, as many as 39% of Vietnamese respondents are willing to share personal information for public health and safety, and 29% for personalization – a key element in most countries’ COVID-19 management strategies.
Sustainable travel remains important & top of mind
According to Booking.com’s 2022 Sustainable Travel Report, 81% of global travelers affirm that sustainable travel is important to them, with 50% stating that recent news about climate change has influenced them to make more sustainable travel choices.
In APAC, Vietnam once again ranked second in the index in terms of intent to travel sustainably, with 83% of respondents agreeing on the importance of making sustainable travel decisions. Among them, 73% are actually willing to pay more during their travels for sustainability, while 70% agree to have less options, as long as they are sustainable.
In their upcoming travels, it is clear that Vietnamese travelers will be much more mindful about their environmental and societal impacts, with 71% emphasizing eating locally-sourced food in their accommodation, followed by 65% wanting to join tours and activities organized by locals, or as simple as bringing reusable bottles (52%) and turning off the AC in their hotel rooms (41%).
With the country slowly shifting toward endemic living with COVID-19, Vietnamese look determined to make up for lost time and are ready to do their part to care for the places they visit – with a few considerations to keep in mind.