Travel firms urged to stimulate demand with Internet

E-commerce has brought new opportunities for tourism development. However, Vietnamese travel firms have not paid appropriate attention to the issue.

A Google’s survey has found out that over 98 percent of travelers make online searching before booking tours.

Internet – the effective marketing tool still being ignored

In 2010 and the first months of 2011, it was estimated that there were some 600,000-800,000 searches for resorts in Vietnam via Internet a month. In peak months, the figure was up to one million. Meanwhile, there were 2-3 million searches for tourism products and itineraries a month. Especially, the number of searches for tours was the highest, about 5-7 million a month.

The Web in Travel (WIT) has predicted that by 2013, the revenue from online hotel room rate booking, tour booking and air ticket booking in Asia Pacific would account for up to 50 percent of total revenue. The figure shows that Internet is really an indispensable marketing channel for travel firms.

However, Tran Tien Nghi, Secretary General of the Tourism Association, said that Vietnamese travel firms have not fully exploited the tool. He has pointed out that only big travel firms and luxurious hotels have been using Internet as an advertisement tool.

There are 900 international travel firms and more than 1000 hotels operational in Vietnam.

Agreeing with Nghi, the representative from the Vietnam Hotel Association, said that a lot of websites of travel firms or hotels just serve domestic clients, while there are not many websites serving foreigners. Especially, the information on the websites has not been updated regularly.

The inappropriate attention by travel firms to develop their websites has been attributed to the lack of understanding about the importance of the advertisement channel.

Ken Tan, Business Development Director of PayPal in South East Asia has noted that a lot of enterprises, after making thorough investments in their websites, do not pay attention to advertising their websites later.

E-wallet – why not?

Experts have pointed out that besides the developing and upgrading of websites, the using of “soft tools” in buying and selling tours has also become very useful. E-wallet is an example.

Mr Ken Tan said that he would have a two-week trip to Africa in September and October, adding that he himself searched for information on Internet and book tour also via Internet. He stressed that he only chose to access the websites of companies which can provide effective online payment services.

The expert went on to say that the introductions about the destinations now are no more the biggest interest of travelers, while they pay more attention to the quality of services. Therefore, good online payment portal should be seen as a good channel to attract travelers that travel firms should not ignore.

Nguyen Hoa Binh, General Director of PeaceSoft, also said that travel firms in neighboring countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia all have been using e-wallets. Especially, they have been using the advertisement channels with online payment tool in Vietnam to approach to Vietnamese travelers. Why don’t Vietnamese travel firms think of using the same tool to attract more clients, then?

Source: Vietnam net

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