Social media – effective tool for tourism companies
Updated : Sunday, April 15, 2018 9:57 AM (GMT+0700)

Socialplatforms are effective channels where online tourism firms interact withpotential customers, and the travel industry must transform to keep pacewith technological changes, experts have said.

Visitors learn about tours at the HCM City Tourism Fair - Photo:VNA

La Quoc Khanh, deputydirector of the HCM City Department of Tourism, said the fourth industrialrevolution is making its way into people’s lives, with almost every devicebeing connected with the internet, representing a new way of communicating anddoing business.

With Industry 4.0, thetourism industry must figure out how to adopt new technologies to engage with acustomer and gain market share, he told an online tourism forum held on April13 in HCM City as part of the HCM City Tourism Fair.

Vietnam ended 2017 with GDPgrowth of 6.8 percent, Huynh Bich Tran, deputy director of Nielsen Vietnam, aglobal information and measurement company, said.

The service sector also sawsignificant growth, and contributing to this was increasing tourism and anumber of government initiatives, she said.

The number of domestictourists reached 73 million last year, a year-on-year increase of 20 percent,while the number of foreign tourists rose by 30 percent to 13 million. 

Vietnamese consumerconfidence finished 2017 on a high note as Vietnam continued to be ranked asthe seventh most optimistic country in the world, according to the latest issueof the Conference Board Global Consumer Confidence Survey done in collaborationwith Nielsen.

There was a sustained highconfidence level among Vietnamese consumers through 2017, the survey found.

Vietnamese consumers wereeager to spend on big ticket items to enhance the quality of life. Nearly halfof all consumers were willing to spend their spare cash on buying new clothes(49 percent) and on holidays (44 percent).

There were 23 million“connected” spenders – referring to people who have access to the internet --in Vietnam in 2015 and the number is expected to nearly double to 40 million by2025, according to Nielsen.

By 2025 their spending isexpected to account for a half of all consumer spending.

Smartphones sustain thegrowth momentum as usage and ownership keep increasing in Vietnam.

According to the 2017Nielsen Vietnam Smartphone Insights Report, the number of people usingsmartphones accounted for 84 percent of all phone users in 2017 compared to 78percent a year earlier.

In secondary cities, 71percent of people use smartphones out of the 93 percent that use mobile phones.

More notably, in ruralareas, while 89 percent of the population own a mobile phone, 68 percent ofthem possess a smartphone.

Social media could be achannel to bring customers to online tourism enterprises, and optimising accessfor connected customers holds the key to success, Tran said.

Some sources that customersconsult before using services include social media (60 percent), friends andrelatives (48 percent) and online travel forums (45 percent), she said.

The feedback and comments onforums from earlier customers have a strong effect on the decision of newcustomers, she added.

According to Jennifer Chau,business manager of Facebook Vietnam, on average Vietnamese customers spendthree hours a day on mobile phones, more than on newspapers (56 minutes),television (1.4 hours) or radio (43 minutes).

It is expected that by 2021half of online tourism revenues would come from mobile phones.

"There are 59 millionactive Facebook users in Vietnam, with 97 percent of them using smart phones tobrowse", she said.

All travellers are users ofsocial platforms and Facebook is the top social platform, according to Chau.

Creative videos with goodcontents are the most effective way to touch potential customers.


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