Vietnam Travelers Among Top Five Global Spenders During Sakura Season: Visa data

3:38:33 PM | 6/19/2024

As the captivating beauty of Japan's Sakura (cherry blossom) season comes to an end this year, Visa, a global leader in digital payments, today revealed data demonstrating the vast impact of the Sakura bloom on Japan’s economy. Data analysis by Visa Consulting & Analytics (VCA), Visa's payments advisory arm, using VisaNet data1, delved into the spending patterns and travel behaviours of visitors during this cultural phenomenon, which unveiled a 50%  increase in overall inbound tourism spend.

Japan remains a popular travel destination for many Vietnamese travellers. Visa’s Green Shoots Radar study reveals a resurgence in travel from Vietnamese travellers, with 41% of Vietnamese respondents planning leisure trips in the coming six months. During Sakura season, these travellers had a 22% surge in per-card expenditure, notably in Japanese department stores, pharmacies, and luxury establishments. Most of Vietnamese expenditure took place in Tokyo, Osaka, Chiba, Shizuoka, and Aichi.

Ranking fifth for spending during Japan's Sakura season, Vietnamese tourists spent 74% of the total expenditure of Singaporean travellers, and also exceeded the average tourism spending by Southeast Asian and East Asian travellers. Over 45% of their expenditure occurred on the first day of their holiday. Spending habits varied by income levels. Wealthy travellers allocated 20 to 30% of their total expenditure on accommodation, and subsequently shift toward shopping experiences on the latter half of the trip. Conversely, budget travellers focused predominantly on dining and shopping.

There is also a rising trend in contactless payments, with a 14% overall usage increase during Sakura season. Vietnamese travellers increased their use of contactless payments by over 5% during this period. This trend suggests a growing demand for seamless payment solutions, driven by adoption in sectors like restaurants and grocery stores.

Travellers from Asia Pacific countries with established contactless payment systems quickly adopted contactless methods during their Sakura season travels. However, those from countries with less mature contactless payment systems displayed a plateau in usage after the fourth day, likely due to shorter trip durations.

Ms. Dung Dang, Visa Country Manager of Vietnam and Laos, said: “The power of data lies in its ability to transform raw numbers into meaningful insights, driving informed decision-making, and strategic planning. Our analysis of the Sakura bloom's impact on tourism and spending patterns highlights how data can help us better understand complex phenomena, identify trends, and make predictions. In this case, the data has not only provided us with insights into tourist behaviour and spending patterns but also enabled us to identify opportunities for service improvement and targeted marketing at a specific demographic and prefecture level.”

“Visa’s data unlocks more than just current trends. Solutions such as the Visa Destination Insights can empower players in the tourism industry as well as local merchants to predict future behaviours and inform strategic planning. By analysing the impact of the Sakura season, Visa equips businesses large and small, with valuable insights to optimise their offerings and deliver a seamless travel experience for visitors.”

The data leverages anonymized aggregate transaction data of spending patterns across 17 prefectures across the Sakura bloom. Visa Destination Insights and Visa’s Consulting &  Analytics capabilities can provide clients with key insights to help them thrive in today’s competitive business environment.

Visa remains committed to its annual "Cashless Day" campaign in Vietnam, designed to boost knowledge and provide incentives for cashless payments in diverse sectors, including tourism and entertainment. In a bid to enrich the travel experience, Visa has joined forces with industry giants like Vietnam Airlines, Japan Airlines, Agoda and These partnerships enable Vietnamese consumers to enjoy additional travel benefits such as discounts and bonus miles on purchases and bookings. As tourism rebounds in Vietnam and across Asia Pacific, convenient, secure, and contactless payment methods play an increasingly important role in ensuring a seamless travel experience for tourists.

T.H (Vietnam Business Forum)