Foreign websites dominate Viet Nam’s online tourism market

Tuesday, Sep 05, 2017 10:03

A view of Da Lat City, Central Highland Lam Dong Province. Foreign online travel agencies have been dominating the online tourism market in Viet Nam. — Photo

Foreign online travel agencies have been dominating the online tourism market in Viet Nam.

According to the Viet Nam e-Commerce Association, online tourism was growing rapidly and might generate opportunities for the tourism industry to make breakthroughs. However, majority of the international tourists to Viet Nam used services provided by the foreign booking websites, and even local tourists tended to make their bookings through foreign platforms, rather than the local ones, the association noted.

Vietnamese online travel agency said that the market share of room bookings made online had seen a significant rise recently, accounting for some 30 per cent to 40 per cent of the total tourists.

The travel agency said that the online room booking sector was dominated by foreign platforms, adding that two of them — agoda and booking — were together estimated to account for more than 80 per cent of the online hotel booking market. They accounted for bookings made by both the Vietnamese tourists travelling abroad, as well as those travelling domestically, and for foreign tourists coming to Viet Nam.

Ngo Minh Duc from the Tourism Advisory Board said that the online tourism industry was not easy, especially as foreign firms were more experienced and advanced in technology.

According to a representative from travel agency Vietravel, hotels preferred to co-operate with online travel agencies owing to their well-established brand value and the high ratio of revenue sharing. Besides these, the foreign firms had better financial capacity, so they can afford to reserve rooms in good locations.

Nguyen Ngoc Dung, Deputy President of Viet Nam e-Commerce, said that to compete with the foreign websites, Vietnamese platforms must focus more on meeting the demand of tourists.

“The Vietnamese online booking platforms must be more user-friendly,” Dung said.

Also, competitive prices were among the most decisive factors, Dung added.

Le Van Son from Nha Trang Tourism Association urged the local platforms to improve their financial capacity, and invest more in technologies and online advertising.

In addition to this, co-operation with banks and insurance firms must be enhanced to develop convenient and secure payment solutions for users.

The local platforms should also focus on market researches to create appropriate products with competitive prices for tourists, he added.

A study by Google found that the value of the Southeast Asian online travel market was expected to jump to US$90 billion by 2025 from $22 billion in 2015, with Viet Nam set to account for around 10 per cent of it. At least 85 per cent of the value would be poured into room and flight ticket bookings.

According to the General Statistics Office, the foreign tourist arrivals to Viet Nam reached a record high of nearly 1.3 million in August, rising by 18.5 per cent over the previous month and 35.1 per cent over the same month last year.

During the period between January and August, foreign tourist arrivals totalled nearly 8.5 million, up 29.7 per cent over the same period last year.

Viet Nam has planned to attract around 17 million to 20 million foreign tourist arrivals, and 82 domestic tourists by 2020, with the tourism industry contributing 10 per cent to the gross domestic product by generating a revenue of $35 billion.

By 2030, Viet Nam has planned to become one of the leading tourism countries in Southeast Asia. - VNS

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