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Tourism is changing around the world, Vietnam included, according to a report presented by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) at the “Tourism Development Trends of the World and Impacts on Vietnamese Tourism” seminar held on August 20 in Hanoi.

Old habits of travelers around the world are being replaced by demands that match the new technological age. “Green tourism and sustainable tourism on the basis of green tourism will be the development paths over the next ten years for Vietnam’s tourism industry,” the report noted.

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) reports that by 2030, people traveling for the purposes of visiting, health, and religion will account for 31 per cent of all tourists, with those traveling for the purposes of sightseeing, convalescence, recreation, and entertainment accounting for 54 per cent and those for work or career 15 per cent.

Global tourism will continue to grow, especially among middle-class travelers from China. This trend presents significant opportunities for Southeast Asian countries to earn more tourism revenue. With a population of around a billion and a half, the country has become the world’s largest source of tourists and will have a strong impact on the tourism development policies of many countries.

During the 2018-2028 period, tourism demand will increase 4 per cent annually; faster than global economic growth. The Asia-Pacific region is expected to lead the way, welcoming 535 million international visitors by 2030.

Though most people travel for sightseeing, relaxing, and entertainment, many new purposes will be created in the future. There are more and more travelers interested in experiencing the traditional culture of the destination country, enjoying nature, and experiencing creativity and high-technology. Medical and healthcare tourism in particular are becoming increasingly common.

The UNWTO estimates that the development of low-cost aviation will bring great benefits to the tourism industry worldwide. Cruise holidays also continue to rise in popularity.

Industry 4.0 has had a major impact on tourism management and business methods, creating new tourism trends such as smart tourism and creative tourism. Different from traditional tours, smart tourism focuses on the interests of visitors but ensures lower costs and safer and more convenient trips based on new technology applications in modern devices.

Traveling without cash

Changes have also been seen in recent years from cash payments to card payments or the use of payment applications on smartphones. Airline and hotel booking services through smartphones are increasing sharply.


Digital technology will dominate growth in the Asia-Pacific region, with 80 per cent of trips booked online, while 87 per cent of young people believe that smartphones are the perfect tool for a great trip.

According to many experts in the service industry, information technology and social networks will be the future of tourism.

Tourist spending is also changing markedly. In previous years, the majority of money was spent on basic services such as dining, drinking, and transport, while the new trend is to spend on services such as shopping, souvenirs, and entertainment.

The global tourism industry is witnessing the development of many different tourism trends, such as self-designed tours, high-end tours, adventure tours, experiential tours, and leisure tourism with modern equipment and facilities. In order to catch up with this wave, domestic travel providers have to invest more in building special tourism products that meet demand.

Around the world and also in Vietnam, simple vacations are no longer popular among tourists, who are now more interested in the quality of the experience. Guests will stay longer if the destination has more interesting things for see and do. Marine tourism was popular in the past, but nowadays travelers are fond of staying in mountain resorts or experiencing the local culture.

New generation tourists love the environment and feel responsible for its protection, so the trend of finding unique cultural values and pristine ecology is also becoming popular.

High-tech tourism such as smart tourism, virtual reality tourism, and electronic tourism, etc., in modern entertainment areas, parks, and entertainment complexes are also increasingly popular and attracting large numbers of travelers.

Vietnam’s tourism is also changing to match global trends. According to UNWTO, Southeast Asia will become the fourth-largest destination in the world, and Vietnam is one of the ten fastest-growing destinations. VN Economic Times

Jessica Nguyen

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