Tour OperatorsDiscova’s resident Vietnam expert Bach Tran discusses 2022 travel trends and shares what it’s like to travel to in the country.

What Vietnam travel will look like in 2022

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After reopening the beach destinations of Phu Quoc and Nha Trang as part of a pilot project, Vietnam will reopen to international tourists from 15 March.
After reopening the beach destinations of Phu Quoc and Nha Trang as part of a pilot project, Vietnam will reopen to international tourists from 15 March.

Vietnam is now gearing up for full opening of its borders from 15 March 2022, requiring international tourists to meet medical criteria on vaccination and testing on their arrival to the country.

From his Hanoi base, Bach Tran, global network director and Vietnam country manager at Discova shares his insights from the ground on what overseas travel partners can expect.

What’s your first reaction to the news of Vietnam’s March 15 reopening

Since the original roadmap earmarked July 2022 for Vietnam to fully open its borders, I was thrilled to hear the announcement of a 15 March reopening for international tourists.

The pilot project for Phu Quoc and Nha Trang has gone well over the last three months — the travel industry in Vietnam has been able to learn lessons from this experience of welcoming travellers once more.

We’ve also watched and observed success stories in neighbouring countries, with encouraging examples of openings in Thailand and Singapore. I believe this has helped to bring forward the easing of travel restrictions. Regardless, the decision is widely well-received and we’re looking forward to a healthy start to the Year of the Tiger.

Active travel, sustainability and beaches will be some of the most sought-after experiences for Vietnam, according to Bach Tran, global network director and Vietnam country manager at Discova.
Active travel, sustainability and beaches will be some of the most sought-after experiences for Vietnam, according to Bach Tran, global network director and Vietnam country manager at Discova.

How are travel partners overseas responding?

Our overseas travel partners are very positive about Vietnam’s reopening plan, and we have some postponed groups who will travel as soon as they can. Our partners are focusing efforts on promoting our destination which should generate more inquires and result in increased demand soon.

However, they are still awaiting more concrete communication on guidelines and procedure. Over the coming months, clarity will play a significant role in bringing travellers back to Vietnam.

What is the travel experience like in Vietnam as we enter Covid endemic stage? What should travel agents know about selling Vietnam now?

Our experts on the ground will make sure the travel experience will be enjoyable and hassle-free. We know that health and safety will be critical considerations for travellers and we’re happy to say that key transportation companies, local restaurants, and local service providers will be ready with improved health and safety procedures in place.

Most of our preferred accommodation suppliers have resumed operations and we have added new, exciting hotel offerings in beach destinations such as Phu Yen, Quy Nhon, Cam Ranh, Phu Quoc, and Long Hai. It’s true that some smaller suppliers are more hesitant with reopening but we are working closely to help prepare as best they can.

What new or notable trends do you see emerging for Vietnam travel this year?

Active travel and sustainability seem to be key themes for travellers — we believe these trends are here to stay. Travellers are eager to rediscover the charms of Vietnam — the culture available in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City for its nightlife, and Hoi An for its unique atmosphere. We also notice more and more inquiries for Vietnam’s increasingly popular beach resorts. Travellers will have more options to combine these different experiences operated by Discova this year.

The acquisition of Grasshopper Adventures will expand Discova's sustainable bicycle tour offerings.
The acquisition of Grasshopper Adventures will expand Discova's sustainable bicycle tour offerings.

What offerings are you most excited about for Vietnam?

With the new acquisition of Grasshopper Adventures, we are excited to bring these sustainable bicycle tours into our product line, and to expand upon these to create immersive outdoor active experiences.

There’s certainly growing demand for these experiences in the family and active travel segments. Grasshopper’s strong reputation of being a quality and premium operator and their focus on safety and sustainability made them our first choice and underlines our “own to operate” core value, allowing us flexibility for total customisation and control to better meet each partner’s requirements.

We are working hand in hand with our sister brand, Cross Hotels and Resorts, to expand their footprint in Vietnam. In addition, we are very proud of our owned and operated educational product offerings that our travellers have come to love. This strategic combination will help us provide unique, rich, and immersive products with evermore control over the entire customer journey.

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