Update: 08:41 | 12/09/2019
Solo travel could boost the growth of Ho Chi Minh City's tourism industry, Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, deputy director of the city's Tourism Department, has said.
Speaking at a recent conference in the city, Hoa said the solo travel community had expanded greatly in the past few years. In January last year, “solo travel” and “travel alone” were the most popular keywords searched on Google.
More people are choosing to travel solo.
According to Klook, a travel activities and services booking platform, the number of solo travelers on its platform increased from 31 percent to 38 percent last year.
In a survey published by Agoda and YouGov last year, HCM City was on the list of top 10 favourite destinations of the solo travel community.
Solo travellers make their own decisions on services and activities during their trips and focus on personal experiences. Travel agencies should learn more about solo travellers’ specific requirements to exploit the market, Hoa said.
With mobile devices that assist planning on the go, and a constant flow of travel inspiration and advice received via social media, millennials in Asia are the best-prepared generation yet to travel freely, he said.
This is also fuelled by an increasing middle class in Asia, and greater connectivity, led by the growth of low-cost carriers, online travel agents, and other disruptive technologies.
The freedom to explore, the rise in technology, and ability to work remotely are factors driving the rise of solo travel that travel agents need to know, Outbox Consulting’s chief research officer, Nguyen Anh Thu, said.
May, October and November are the top months for solo travel.
Marketing activities should focus on establishing an online presence, storytelling and tapping into influencers, she said.
Building great relationships with repeat customers is also needed. “Finances, flexibility and time all contribute towards the solo traveler’s ability to take multiple trips,” she added.
The conference attracted international and local travel agencies, online travel agencies, accommodations, airlines, tourism authorities, destinations management organisations.
It was held on the sidelines of the 15th annual International Travel Expo HCM City held from September 5-7 at the Saigon Exhibition & Convention Centre in District 7.