As one of the sectors most heavily affected by Covid-19, the tourism sector has seen many changes in Vietnamese consumer expenditure for travel over the past year. Embracing these changes is essential for tourism businesses to shape the path of recovery.

One year of efforts to cope with the Covid-19 breakouts has changed the Vietnamese lifestyle and habits a lot, especially in their expenditure. In February 2021, Deloitte just launched the Vietnam Consumer Survey, which explores the key changes in Vietnamese consumer behavior in the Covid-19 context.

The survey shows that, in the current uncertain context, the socio-economic impacts of Covid-19 have made Vietnamese consumers more cautious about their expenditure, change their prioritized products and services as well as channels of purchase. In which, activities related to tourism are one of the most clearly affected aspects.

The following article selects the changes in Vietnamese consumer expenditure for the Leisure & Holiday products mentioned in the survey.

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Changes in Vietnamese tourist expenditure

Through the lenses of representatives of four key consumer segments in Vietnam, the survey analyzes the effects of Covid-19 that lead to changes in Vietnamese consumer’s hearts, wallets, and minds.

In general, the survey of Deloitte shows that Vietnamese consumers still maintain a quite positive sentiment (Heart) thanks to the timely responses and measures to Covid-19 of the Vietnamese government. However, there is a difference that consumers in the northern cities (Hanoi, Da Nang) are less optimistic than in the south (Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho). Especially, consumers in Da Nang are the least optimistic compared to the other three cities as it was severely affected by the second Covid-19 outbreak.

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In terms of expenditure allocations (Wallet), Vietnamese consumers spend more carefully, prioritize basic necessities and limit discretionary spending. This leads to a decrease in spending on Leisure & holidays, from 4% to 0.4% from the 2019 level. In addition, regulations for closure of non-essential services and social distancing to control Covid-19 has caused the greatest cutbacks in expenditure on Leisure & Holiday, Dining, Karaoke & Nightclub activities compared to other categories. This shows that consumers classify Leisure & Holiday activities as discretionary spending and can easily cut it down if economic crises occur.

In household monthly spending plan, 89% of consumers cut their monthly spending on Leisure & Holiday, 9% of consumers still keep the same spending plan as before and only 2% of consumers increase their monthly budget for this activity. The survey also shows that only about 57% of consumers have spent on Leisure & holidays in the past 12 months. In which, Gen Z and Millennials are the two consumer segments that cut their expenditure on Leisure & Holiday the most out of the 4 consumer segments.

In terms of purchasing drivers (Mind) on Leisure & Holiday activities, 29% of consumers prioritize price, 21% of consumers choose comfort, 12% of consumers choose brands as the factors that motivate them to spend on activities in this category.

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In addition, the E-commerce / Online channel is the preferred purchasing channel for consumers to spend on Leisure & Holiday in the context of Covid-19. In particular, the Millennial consumer segment is the one who likes to purchase via this channel the most, with 82% of the Millennial consumers interviewed prefer to purchase Leisure & Holiday services on this channel. However, geographic factors also make a difference in shopping preferences through online channels. Consumers in big cities like Hanoi (14%) and Ho Chi Minh City (13%) are more likely to prefer purchase via this channel than Da Nang (7%) and Can Tho (2%).

In addition, Vietnamese consumers also expressed a desire for better purchasing experiences. This need takes precedence over major discounts or promotions. Therefore, if tourism businesses know how to meet the needs of channels and purchasing experiences for consumers, this is a potential channel to access markets in the future.

Source: Destination Review 

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