The Visa Global Travel Intentions Study (GTI) 2023 offers valuable insights into the evolving travel habits of tourists, presenting a roadmap for businesses to cater to their needs while showcasing the country's unique charms.
Dung Dang, Visa's country manager for Vietnam and Laos said, “For more than a decade, the Global Travel Intentions Study has equipped Visa and its partners with unparalleled insights into the travel and payment landscape. This invaluable knowledge allows operators in the industry to plan and execute effective strategies to satisfy consumer demands and grow their businesses, all while reinforcing Visa’s commitment to creating a cashless society.”
Emerging trends powering the travel boom
The GTI 2023 revealed an ongoing trend in the Vietnamese travel industry, with the rise of Gen Z and families with children as significant contributors to the growth. In terms of leisure trips, families travelling with kids and the older generation made the most trips over the past 12 months, with an average of 2.4.
Gone are the days when travel was solely about ticking off landmarks from a checklist. Vietnamese travellers are now placing a strong emphasis on leisure-focused and experiential journeys. Relaxation was the main driver for travel (68 per cent), followed by shopping (43 per cent), and exploration or trying something new (43 per cent).
As the country blossoms into a playground for adventure seekers and culture enthusiasts, tourists are opting for personalised experiences that enable them to immerse themselves in local customs, traditions, and cuisine.
As environmental awareness takes centre stage, Vietnamese travellers are demonstrating a remarkable interest in sustainable travel. 73 per cent of people said they were either interested or very interested in sustainable travel options, while half actively looked for them when planning their travels.
With an increasing number of travellers seeking eco-conscious options, the industry is witnessing a shift towards greener travel practices, supporting local communities and preserving natural resources.
With a growing middle class and increasing disposable income, these demographics are embarking on more domestic and international trips, seeking unforgettable experiences and bonding opportunities. Almost a fifth mentioned visiting friends or family as a key motivation for travel over the next year.
As consumer spending power rises, travellers appear to view shopping as an integral part of their travel experience, seeking unique souvenirs and indulging in retail therapy to enrich their journey.
A strong recovery is on the horizon
As Vietnam's tourism sector rebounds, domestic tourism has proven pivotal, with locals exploring their own country and bolstering local businesses.
In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, security and acceptance are crucial in shaping Vietnamese travellers' payment preferences. The study highlights that tourists seek seamless transactions and robust security measures, emphasising the importance of trustworthy financial transactions while exploring.
The digital revolution is transforming how we pay, and Vietnamese travellers have embraced the convenience of credit, debit, and pre-paid cards. Almost all Vietnamese respondents in the GTI 2023 indicated that they intended to use these cashless payment options (92 per cent credit cards and 87 per cent debit cards) during their journeys, streamlining their transactions and enhancing the overall travel experience.
With 64 per cent of Vietnamese respondents saying they brought their digital wallets for travel, the ease of use, security, and wide acceptability are driving them to embrace this innovative payment method. The growing popularity of digital wallets signals a shift towards a more tech-driven and connected payment ecosystem.
“We are entering a new era for the travel industry in Vietnam, and the role of digital payments will advance side by side with the industry as customers demand more efficient and secure payment services. Adapting swiftly, hotels, restaurants, and tour operators must cater to evolving traveller needs, supported by the growing use of cashless payment methods for added convenience,” Dang added.
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