Nguyen Duy Vi, marketing and media director of Vietnam Adventure Tours (tugo.com.vn), said when setting up Tugo four years ago, the founder of the firm could see many problems in the traditional tourism model, especially in marketing the staff.
The traditional firms have to spend big money on marketing, but could not measure the effects of the marketing campaigns. To access more clients, the firms have set up more offices and increased the number of workers, leading to higher operation costs.
Therefore, Tugo decided to use technology to fix the problems of the traditional tourism model. Vi said that the company’s business performance wouldn’t be good if it did not develop online booking services.
Online tourism has made a great contribution to the revenue growth of Saigontourist. Vo Anh Tai, CEO of Saigontourist, said revenue from travel was VND4.25 trillion in 2017 and from online tourism in the last 10 months VND130 billion.
The statistics shown at the 2018 Vietnam Online Tourism Forum (VOTF) showed that some tourism companies were gaining high growth rates even among stiff competition in the market because they can attract high numbers of tourists through online sales.
Le Tuan Anh, deputy director of the VNAT’s International Cooperation Department, said 71% of foreign travelers to Vietnam in 2018 checked information about the destinations on internet, and 64% booked services online for their trips to Vietnam.
He cited Google’s Consumer Barometer in 2016 as saying that the number of smartphone users in Vietnam was just equal to 72% of the US, but 48% of Vietnamese used smartphones to look for hotels, while the figure was 18% in the US.
While 42% of Vietnamese searched for tourism information at the destination, only 25% of Americans did. Around 37% of Vietnamese searched for information about flights, but the proportion was 18% for Americans.
At the forum, Truong Sy Vinh, deputy director of the Tourism Development Research Institute, said Google and Temasek Holdings predicted a sharp increase in the value of the SE Asian online tourism market from US$21.6 billion in 2015 to US$89.6 billion by 2025. Of this, Vietnam’s online tourism accounted for 10%, or US$9 billion.
Euromonitor International predicted that revenue from online tour sales would maintain a 12% growth rate in 2015-2020.
Vietnam’s online tourism grew by 50% in 2017, according to the Vietnam E-commerce Association (VECOM), twice as much as the growth rate of the entire e-commerce sector.