Tourists at a beach on Phú Quốc Island off the southern province of Kiên Giang. Islands, beach cities and famous tourist cities are expected to be popular this year. VNA/VNS Photo
HCM CITY — Small group travel, wellness travel and shorter booking timeframes are expected to set the trends for 2021, according to the Vietnam Tourism Trends 2021 report.
The report conducted by Outbox Consulting, an independent research and consulting firm, showed that travellers will be able to plan socially distanced vacations in sparsely populated areas and be safe from COVID-19 infections.
A regular tour in 2019 could accommodate 20 – 30 people, but this year the size will shrink to control the spread of the COVID-19 outbreaks.
During the pandemic, fatigue and stress have made wellness retreats more popular.
The increase in demand for wellness travel will be a good opportunity for Việt Nam’s wellness tourism market, especially as the country has emerged as a safe destination where COVID-19 has been controlled well.
Pre-COVID, Vietnamese travellers often planned their trips and booked services long before their departure to save money, especially for overseas tours.
However, in times of uncertainty, shorter booking timeframes will help mitigate the risk of travel policy changes and mobility restrictions.
To adapt to the shorter timeframe trend, tourism enterprises have offered more flexible booking terms and conditions.
With rapidly changing travel policies and regulations, allowing travellers to change hotel reservations or flight tickets at no extra charge appears to be the only way to give travellers a nudge to book confidently.
This year, the domestic market is still at the heart of tourism development, with islands, beach cities and famous tourist cities expected to be on top of mind of domestic travellers.
Vietnamese tourists often spend 2-3 days enjoying domestic tours when they have a long weekend or short holidays. Their preferred destinations are often in the proximity of their cities and have good traffic conditions.
Regarding beach cities, Vũng Tàu and Nha Trang are among the popular destinations that domestic travellers can visit at their convenience.
Hạ Long Bay, Sa Pa, Phú Quốc Island and Đà Lạt also enjoy a high number of tourists.
Following 2019-20 trends, travellers tend to opt for off-the-beaten-track destinations and second-tier cities.
Post-COVID, interest in travelling to these places continues to grow as prioritising safety and avoiding crowds will be the leading factors affecting travellers’ decisions.
These destinations also allow tourists to practice social distancing while exploring and reconnecting with nature.
Last year, Việt Nam welcomed only 56 million domestic tourists and 3.8 million international tourists, resulting in a decline of VNĐ530 trillion (US$22.9 million) in tourism revenue compared to 2019.
Nearly one-fifth of tourist accommodations have had to close temporarily, and the average occupancy rate dropped to a record low at only 20-25 per cent. Nearly 340 tour operators applied for the withdrawal of their business certificates. VNS