Vietnamese travel sales shifting online

While only 7 percent of online travel sales in Vietnam were made on mobile devices last year, the number grew rapidly at a 58.1 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in the 2013-16 period, presenting a major growth opportunity, according to a Euromonitor International study.

More Vietnamese are using their mobile devices for travel purchases, presenting a growth opportunity for online travel agents (Photo: Hostelworld)

More Vietnamese are using their mobile devices for travel purchases, presenting a growth opportunity for online travel agents (Photo: Hostelworld)

Euromonitor, a provider of strategic market research, surveyed a sample of 150 Vietnamese to analyse the online travel landscape as well as browsing and purchase behaviours. Commissioned by performance marketing firm Criteo, the survey was conducted to help travel businesses and online travel agents identify and adopt digital strategies that will attract customers.

“Travel expenditures in Vietnam will rise rapidly due to increasing disposable incomes and growing middle-class affluence," said Alban Villani, general manager of Criteo Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan. "Vietnam is a mobile-first society, and for 2017, the number of smart phone users in the country is expected to reach 28.5 million, and 37.8 million by 2020."

Last year, Vietnamese took 6.9 million international trips and 52.8 million domestic trips, while expenditures on leisure and recreation from now to 2020 are expected to grow at a 7.7 percent CAGR.

In the 2011-16 period, online travel sales grew at an 18.3 percent CAGR and totalled over 27 million USD in earnings in 2016. Mobile travel sales, which outpaced the growth of online travel sales, are expected to see a 22.4 percent CAGR from now to 2020.

Villani said that travel websites and online travel agents should focus on providing a user-friendly mobile experience that is easy to navigate with add-on features and secure payment methods.

To drive transactions, they need to engage with shoppers during the discovery, search and booking phases, and re-engage them across all devices after they leave websites, he added.

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