The newly released survey called ‘Return to Travel’ survey by Agoda showed that 27% of people in the country intend to travel within two to four months of restrictions lifting. Then, chilling at the beach, in nature, or spending quality time with the family are their choices for the first-ever trip after the pandemic.
|InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort, Phu Quoc Island, Kien Giang Province. Photo courtesy by the resort.
Going to the beach or exploring nature, which is more interesting?
After long boring days at home implementing social distancing orders, beach tourism and nature exploration in Vietnam are top the wishlists of tourists who took part in the survey by Agoda.
Most of them say that they enjoy traveling to the sea. “Having a gentle breeze from the ocean or immerse oneself in the clear blue water can be a great relief from the stress and unhappiness,” said Alan Smith, a U.K expatriate in Hanoi. “Moreover, an expansive view of the ocean water, often referred to as ‘blue space’ by psychologists, actually help to calm my mind,” he added.
The beach destinations in Vietnam that are on the travelers’ wish list include Phu Quoc island, offshore Vietnam’s southernmost province of Kien Giang, which has been ranked 4th among 10 super cool vacation spots.
According to The Travel, the sand in Phu Quoc is soft and white, the beaches are serene, silent, without being congested by tourists. “These islands are warm year-round boasting an average of 80 degrees. The best part is that luxury hotels are being built on these islands, making it a go-to spot for tourists looking for a new sunny place to vacation,” The Travel wrote.
|Hoang Su Phi rice terraces in the mountainous northern province of Ha Giang, Vietnam. Photo: Duong Nguyen
Meanwhile, tours to discover nature are also an interesting choice. “Getting closer to nature can evoke pleasant feelings and reduce a negative mental state along with emotions of anger, hopelessness, anxiety, and fear”, according to travel experts.
In the northern part of Vietnam, Moc Chau Plateau in Son La Province, Dong Van Karst Plateau, or Hoang Su Phi rice terraces in Ha Giang Province is all popular destinations for tourists who want to explore nature.
When is the right time to travel?
The ‘Return to Travel’ survey by the travel accommodation platform Agoda also showed that there’re about 14% of travelers expect to “head off on their next voyage within the first month of the removal of restrictions”. Five percent said that they “can’t wait to get the bags packed and get out the door immediately thereafter”.
Meanwhile, quite a few travelers showcased their concern about the coronavirus by saying that they will wait from two to four-month for the pandemic dust to settle. Other 16% have said that they plan to wait until vaccination rates reach 80% and the nation hits herd immunity before they will book their next travel.
|Many Vietnamese families planned to travel right after the restrictions are lifted within the country. Photo: Agoda.com
While waiting for the “right time” to welcome tourists, travel businesses should also be prepared, according to Agoda.
The survey on travelers’ desires indicates that folks from Danang are twice as likely to travel immediately (11%) as the country’s average. Hanoian (17%) have the highest intent to travel within a month on the removal of restrictions, compared to other major cities like Ho Chi Minh City (13%), Can Tho (5%). Vietnamese in Can Tho are most likely to travel within 2-4 months (35%), followed by Haiphong (32%) in Hanoi (30%) and Ho Chi Minh City (29%)
Promotions can help stimulate domestic tourism
In the context that Vietnam has not yet determined the exact time to open its door for international travelers, domestic tourism is still a lifeline for the tourism industry.
Enric Casals, Agoda’s Regional Vice President, Southeast Asia, and Oceania said that there are many optimistic signs indicating that Vietnam’s tourism will recover quickly, as soon as the Covid-19 pandemic is better controlled.
“Vietnam has bounced back and recovered quickly multiple times over the past year. We see the largest optimism among Vietnamese (41%) to travel domestically within four months of restrictions easing,” he stated.
|The little ethnic girls in Moc Chau Plateau in Son La, northwest province of Vietnam. Photo: Lam Linh
According to the survey, appealing deals and packages seem to be the primary motivator for travelers to get back on the road, with 37% of respondents citing appealing special offers that include either food and beverage, spa, or excursion value-adds, and a further 25% saying great local travel deals will help unlock the key to their next vacation.
Meanwhile, flexible booking terms ranked as the third incentive, reflecting those respondents are conscious of the way in which the past year has upended previous itineraries.
In addition, the use of technology will help travelers to be sure about their trips, according to Enric. Accordingly, smart features of some mobile apps such as Hygiene Plus may help travelers to choose the places where the pandemic-safety measures are well implemented or GoLocal would help them in domestic travel deals; or Agoda Special Offers, to make the most of their trip with value adds like food and beverage, activities or entertainment value adds.” said Enric.