Inevitable Online Travel Trend

9:42:34 AM | 8/7/2019

Online is an inevitable trend of tourism development in the digital age. Tourism businesses need to step up the application of new technology platforms to facilitate domestic and foreign consumers.

Mr. Nguyen Thanh Hung, Chairman of the Vietnam E-commerce Association, said that tourism trends and tourist behaviors have now stepped into a stage that tourists connect with products. They actively prepare for their travelling, from understanding destinations and booking services. Their comments and remarks on their own experiences are spread quickly, making destinations trusted more or less by other visitors. A new phase of travel business has been started.

The E-Commerce Index 2019, released by the Vietnam E-commerce Association, showed that e-commerce growth was over 30% in 2018 and this speed may be maintained in the coming years to reach a market size of US$8 billion. Online retail and tourism account for the highest share of the e-commerce market in Vietnam.

A Google and Temasek report showed that online tourism in Vietnam reached US$3.5 billion in 2018, up 15% from a year earlier, and expected to amount to US$9 billion in 2025. Booking air tickets, hotel rooms, tours and other tourism support services are faster and more conveniently done online for consumers.

According to Mr. Vu The Binh, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association, the world is staging the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Vietnam is also aware of the importance of the Industry 4.0 to the country: Developing online travel and digital platforms is an opportunity for tourism growth. Digitalized destinations help provide a variety of rapid and informative information on attractive services. In addition, online tourism development increases GDP and employment. It also provides an opportunity for everyone to participate in this market where service providers can sell more products and users can access better services.

However, according to Mr. Binh, Vietnam's tourism market size is ranked fifth among six ranked Southeast Asian countries. A lot of potential remains untapped.

Mr. Thanh Hung said that if enterprises have not grasped industry trends and visitor behaviors well enough, this will affect their tourism business more or less. They need to strengthen technology application to services, interactions, and transactions with customers to accelerate development pace.

Mr. Nguyen Binh Long, Director of Information Technology at Vietravel Company, said, by applying information technology to tourism, Vietravel has achieved impressive growth in online service booking. Accordingly, tourist arrivals grew by nearly 10% over the years and particularly are expected to soar 30% in 2019. Online revenue looked up 22% annually on average and was expected to climb 40% 2019. Compared to retail tourism market, online accounted for 14% of visitors and 11% of revenue.

Mr. Nguyen Tien Dat, Deputy Director of TransViet Travel Company, said that his company is upgrading mobile applications for greater convenience for users. In order to tap online travel potential, tourism service businesses in Vietnam have gradually seized this trend but foreign-led or foreign-owned companies are controlling tour and ticket booking segments.

According to economists, tourism is susceptible to quick and profound changes of technological advances. Mobile technology, cloud computing, big data, social networking, sharing economy, internet of things, blockchain and knowledge economy among other things will be motivating and challenging factors to Vietnam’s tourism growth in the digital age. To achieve the goal, applying technology to business operations is an inevitable trend. Technological application provides a wealth of opportunities to promote and expand the market and boost up online tourism and e-commerce growth. At the same time, it will create more new, attractive, competitive and well-reputed tourism products.

Giang Tu