Tourism industry lags behind in digital operations

08:47 | 13/03/2018 Travel

(VEN) - The fourth industrial revolution, also known as industry 4.0, is having a tremendous impact on the country’s socioeconomic development. In an attempt to catch up with the opportunities it offers, the tourism industry is strengthening its application of digital technology.

tourism industry lags behind in digital operations
Da Nang has launched its Chatbot Danang Fanstaticity application to improve visitor service

Positive signals

Under Prime Ministerial Instruction 16/CT-TTg issued last October instructing government offices to prepare for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has promoted activities to improve business awareness of industry 4.0 in compliance with international trends and domestic practices.

The southern central coastal city of Da Nang launched its Chatbot Danang Fanstaticity application in late 2017, which allows users to search for names of hotels, restaurants, and routes, among others things.

The Center for Scientific and Cultural Activities of Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam has put into operation an automatic multi-language guide to serve domestic and foreign tourists. The system provides service in Vietnamese, English, French, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Thai and Chinese. Visitors just use headphones to listen to the information.

A number of other localities are preparing for smart tourism development. The Department of Tourism and Department of Telecommunications of Ninh Binh Province, for example, recently signed a cooperation agreement on smart tourism, which will allow visitors to conduct digital searches using their voice.

Phan Thi Thai Ha, Deputy Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT)’s Tourist Information Center, said the tourism industry has been promoting information technology (IT) application to provide online public services and build the sector’s database system, including data about international tourism businesses, 3-5 star accommodation facilities and tour guides nationwide.

Limited IT application

Deputy Chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association, Vu The Binh, said all tourism companies are highly interested in using the internet for advertising and other business activities. However, the IT application remains poor, and the technology hasn’t been fully exploited to improve competitiveness, attract customers and upgrade management and administration, he said.

There are just over 10 companies in Vietnam offering online tourism services, including Ivivu.com, chudu24.com, mytour.vn, tripi.vn, mytour.vn, gotadi.com, and vntrip.vn. These companies mainly serve domestic visitors with a relatively low transaction volume.

Experts say the tourism industry will lag behind the times if it is not strong enough in digital technology application. Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Pham Dai Duong said industry 4.0 provides many opportunities for the tourism sector. The tourism industry needs to catch up with the current technological development trend to turn those opportunities into real values, he said.

Implementing Prime Ministerial Instruction 16/CT-TTg, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will prioritize smart tourism development based on research and application of new technologies and equipment in order to modernize tourist infrastructure and facilities.

Thanh Tam