The global and Vietnam tourism sectors have struggled to overcome the turbulent year 2020 with many initiatives to adapt to changes in travelers’ behaviors and markets. To prepare for fast and sustainable recovery scenarios in the future, Vietnamese tourism businesses need to grasp outstanding travel trends in 2021.
The year 2020 has passed with many historically important changes in the global tourism sector. A turbulent year has made previous forecasts and plans irrelevant and requires tourism businesses to work hard to adapt. The global tourism sector in general and Vietnam tourism, in particular, had to reassess the market, travelers, and the impacts of the tourism industry on society and the environment.
The big change in the top priorities of travelers when traveling over the past year was health. Thereby, many new travel trends are forecast to emerge in 2021 to meet travelers’ new needs. According to the report “Vietnam Travel Trends 2021” by Outbox Consulting, four main factors that will contribute to shaping new trends in the Vietnam tourism sector in 2021 are vaccine, the government‘s tourism policies, the economy, and the environment.
Based on these four factors, the report “Vietnam Travel Trends 2021” analyzed four groups of tourism trends in 2021:
“Distancing” was one of the most-mentioned words recently. Not only “distancing” in social activities, but the travel trends in 2021 will also be influenced by this. Free independent travelers will tend to visit less-crowded destinations, while tour travelers will want to join smaller group travel to limit the risk of infection. This is the factor shaping the socially distant travel and small group travel trends in 2021.
In addition, the upheavals in 2020 put pressure on people, and thus, the need for rest and wellness retreat also increases. This contributes to boosting wellness travel become more popular this year.
In addition to personal health and safety concerns, travelers also are more aware and responsible for the communities and environment, as the epidemic and natural disasters in 2020 have greatly affected social life not only in Vietnam but also worldwide. Therefore, the report “Vietnam Travel Trends 2021” predicts that a new type of traveler who is more responsible for their travel choices to minimize negative impacts on the environment and communities will appear in 2021.
Planning and booking trends
Sudden changes in travel restrictions at destinations or related to flights, accommodations are unavoidable in the current context. Therefore, instead of booking services in advance long before their departure to save costs like before, travelers now tend to wait until the last minute to book. Travelers also want to update information regularly to be promptly aware of situations of destinations, flights or new regulations. Thus, in 2021, the need for a reliable source of information, acting as a “travel consultant” for travelers, will become more important than ever.
A new point in planning and booking trends mentioned in the report “Vietnam Travel Trends 2021” is the trend of choosing travel experiences that do not affect negatively the environment and contribute to the sustainable development of local communities.
Technology trends in tourism
In 2020, technology had become one of the factors that strengthen travelers’ confidence in traveling. Destinations, accommodations and services that are applied technology are trusted and assured by travelers. In the past year, many tourism businesses worldwide and in Vietnam have constantly built up technological infrastructure to offer solutions to improve safety for travelers. Therefore, in 2021, searching for technology-enabled experiences while traveling will be a prominent trend in travelers’ behavior.
The increase in the tendency to visit less-crowded and nearby destinations has contributed to the emergence of new destinations and domestic tourism trends. According to the report “Vietnam Travel Trends 2021”, in addition to the destinations which are loved by Vietnamese travelers such as Vung Tau, Da Lat, Nha Trang,… will still attract tourists, in 2021, it is predicted that many brand new destinations will emerge in Vietnam’s tourism map.
Meanwhile, traveling to international destinations is still dependent on vaccine implementation and the reopening policies of other countries around the world.