From planes to yachts...
To travel to the Arctic Circle, the North Pole of the Earth, visitors go through many stages of travel in many forms, from planes to yachts to reach the most famous destinations such as Greenland, North Pole ( Arctic)... Depending on the tour price options, there is an Arctic Circle tour up to 30,000 USD/person (about 750 million VND).
However, the price of this tour is still nothing, many Vietnamese tourists are even willing to spend from 1 billion VND to several tens of billions of VND for tours that bring unique, individually designed experiences. . For example, the 7-day Japan Winter Wonderland itinerary designed by TJC includes Hokkaido, Tokyo with the experience of walking on ice, sledding with husky dogs... or the Northern Thailand tour with an overnight experience at Jungle Bubble Lodge; or an in-depth trip to the heart of Paris to experience Michelin restaurants in France; "private shopping" of famous brands and staying at the world's leading hotels such as The Ritz Paris or Bvlgari Paris.
TJC and Tugo are the two leading units in exploiting the high-end segment of prominent destinations in Asia (Japan, Maldives, Singapore, Bali...), Europe, and high-end beach resorts in South Korea. America. Meanwhile, FIT tour focuses on exploiting locations with many cultural and historical elements such as Pakistan, Bhutan, Ladakh or Nepal... In 2022, this unit organized the only EBC trekking tour at base camp. Everest base from Vietnam with the legendary Kami Rita - the record holder of reaching the top of Everest 26 times.
Depending on whether the tour is long or short, with few or many people attending, the tour price has certain fluctuations. However, according to Mr. Bui Anh Tuan, CEO of Tugo, there is a big shift in customer needs.
“The most noticeable change is the trend in service quality and destination of Vietnamese tourists when looking for high-end trips.
In the past, Vietnamese tourists were no longer unfamiliar with mid-range hotels and package trips to Thailand or Singapore. Now, they aim to experience "bespoke luxury" hotels, traveling with Business class airline tickets more often. Activities during the trip are also of more interest to Vietnamese tourists. For example, every trip to the Maldives will be indispensable for the experience of watching the sunset with dolphins in the Indian Ocean on a private yacht," Mr. Ryan Le, co-founder of TJC, shared.
Mr. Tuan of Tugo also said: "If before the COVID-19 epidemic, customers chose luxury tours and exclusive experiences for only about 30%, and the remaining 70% were for general customers, then after the epidemic this ratio is reversing." .
Regarding the number of tour days, instead of just stopping at 7 days, tourists often choose longer trips, about 10-20 days to increase the experience at the destination they visit, instead of just "riding horses to see flowers" with The purpose of visiting many places in one tour.
Explaining this shift, tour operators all share the same opinion that the epidemic has changed human needs, including travel activities. "The tendency of people with money is to live deeper, more slowly and experience more," Mr. Ryan said.
Mr. Ryan said that designing luxury tours is now like "tailoring" an outfit for guests, requiring precision and a personal touch, ensuring experiences that are both unique and comfortable. comfortable and most satisfied. The more personal, unique and valuable the experience is, the more valuable it is. This is the reason why the prices of luxury tours are extremely high and often not fixed.
Confidence in a gloomy economic context
Vietnam is an emerging market in operating luxury tours compared to regional countries such as Thailand and Singapore, according to many international hotel groups. And because it is an emerging market, when popular tours are gloomy due to the epidemic and economic recession, the luxury travel segment has still grown steadily from 2018 until now. The annual growth rate is considered very impressive by international hotel groups, with the growth rate next year being 2-3 times higher than the previous year. This is also a general trend of the international market and an opportunity for tour organizers in Vietnam to transform if they can adapt.
According to Mr. Ryan, Vietnamese travel businesses need to be more flexible in the face of changes in the tourism industry in general and the high-end segment in particular. "Be more flexible from the form of cooperation with strategic partners to the experiences that can be brought to customers," he added.
Virtuoso luxury travel agency network shows that global tour sales in 2022 will increase by 47% compared to 2019 - the time before the epidemic. In fact, three-quarters (74%) of guests from Virtuoso's survey say, “Creating a travel experience that meets expectations is more important than price,” with plans to increase spending per person to 34 % in 2023.
Vietnamese tour operators all agree that 2023 will still be a year of strong development for the luxury tourism industry despite the gloomy economy. Mr. Tuan revealed that Tugo's high-end tours are fully booked until the end of June 2023. Meanwhile, TJC continues to launch tailor-made tours to Africa such as Kenya, Tanzania... where visitors can truly immerse themselves in nature, during the largest animal migration season on the planet. FIT tour designs Silk Road tours and Caravan tours across Asia and Europe (expected to start in Ho Chi Minh City and end in Paris or Venice).
When China's luxury tourism industry reopens after a long time due to COVID-19, Mr. Ryan believes that demand will explode. Therefore, Vietnamese tourists need to plan their trips earlier because "services are considered "unique" such as visiting the Coco Chanel Suite at The Ritz Paris or experiencing culinary experiences at restaurants. Japan's Michelin restaurant only has a few seats and will quickly be fully booked.