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Indonesia keen to attract Vietnamese tourists

Released at: 13:58, 05/12/2018

Indonesia keen to attract Vietnamese tourists

Photo: Jessica Nguyen

Particular focus placed on middle-class Vietnamese, conference in Batu, Indonesia, hears.

by Jessica Nguyen

The “Technical Meeting on Promoting Indonesia’s Tourism Brand to the Indochina Market” conference was held on December 3 and 4 in Batu, East Jawa, Indonesia, with the country hoping to attract more middle-class Vietnamese tourists.

“The number of tourists coming from Vietnam has increased rapidly in recent years, and Indonesia hopes to welcome more in the future, especially middle-class tourists,” said Mr. Anang Sutono, Senior Advisor to the Minister for Economy and Tourism. “Middle-class Vietnamese tourists are classified as a group that all tourism markets are eager to welcome, not just Indonesia, because of their spending.”

A recent report on the Vietnamese market prepared by the Indonesian ministry noted that, in 2012, only 8 million people in the middle class were willing to spend large sums on tourism, entertainment, and personal needs, outlaying $201 billion. It is expected, however, that by 2020, Vietnam’s middle class will increase to 44 million people and spending on entertainment will top $310 billion.

According to ANZ, the growth in Vietnam’s middle class is the fastest in Asia, increasing by 2 million people each year. Such an increase adds to purchasing power and changes in consumption patterns and lifestyles. The middle class tends to spend more to buy things for themselves, especially food, gadgets, cars, and vacations.

The increase in the middle class has also contributed to the growth in outbound travelers. According to the “Future of Outbound Travel in Asia Pacific 2016 to 2021” report released by MasterCard, the growth of outbound travelers from Vietnam between 2016 and 2021 is estimated to reach 9.5 per cent - the second highest in the Asia-Pacific, after Myanmar’s 10.6 per cent. By 2021, it is estimated that the number of Vietnamese traveling abroad will reach 7.5 million compared to 4.8 million in 2016. About 48 per cent of trips abroad in 2016 were carried out by households with annual incomes of more than $30,000.

However, according to a report from ASEAN Travel in February, the total number of international trips made by Vietnamese travelers in 2012 was only 4,200, but by the year 2018 was estimated at 8,600. Among the outbound trips Vietnamese made in 2017, China was the most popular destination, followed by Cambodia and Thailand. Indonesia did not appear on the list.

“But with the increasing number of flights from budget airlines such as Vietjet Air and Jetstar Pacific from Vietnam and Air Asia and Scoot from Singapore, there is a growing tendency for Vietnamese to prefer holidays abroad because of the more competitive travel costs compared to domestic tourism,” Ms. Febrina Budiman, General Manager of Bali Megah Wisat Tour & Travel, told the conference. “Hanoi - Bangkok and Hanoi - Singapore ticket prices start from $100; almost the same as Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh City or Nha Trang.”

The conference also featured speakers from Indonesia’s tourism industry leaders, entitled “Indonesia’s Tourism Policy and Strategy for 2019”, “Introduction to East Java’s Tourism Potential”, and “Tips for Success in the Indochina Market - Sharing Experiences of Tourism Representatives from Bali, Yogyakarta and Vietnam”.

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