Vietnam’s tourism industry goes digital

06:00 | 18/09/2021 Culture & Tourism

(VEN) - The hard-hit tourism industry must switch to new models and business methods and create novel and unique products by speeding up its digital transformation in order to adapt to the difficult circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Urgent solutions

Given the uncertainty and complications of the pandemic, information technology (IT) has become a vital solution for business, in general, and tourism business in particular to enrich the experience and better serve customers. Since the pandemic broke out in early 2020, the number of firms building communication channels with customers has increased sharply, while many tourist destinations and businesses have been developing virtual and interactive multimedia tours complete with sound effects.

CEO of Travelogy Vietnam Vu Van Tuyen said that IT applications help businesses optimize personnel and system management to improve efficiency and competitiveness. In addition, technology links firms, fostering transparency and sustainable development, he added.

Technology experts say tourism businesses can apply technology to personally adapt travel experiences to specific customers and boost sales. Efficient database systems allow businesses to better exploit customer data to that end.

Vu The Binh, Deputy Chair of the Vietnam Tourism Association, recommended that businesses focus on facility improvement, online training of human resources, step-by-step digital transformation, and maintaining their operational systems in order to recover as soon as the pandemic is controlled. Through digital transformation, tour companies could reach more prospective travelers, provide better customer care, reduce costs, and increase efficiency and competitiveness, Binh added.

Ha Van Sieu, Deputy Director General of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), said digital transformation relies on a smart tourism ecosystem based on digital transformation. This means that tourist destinations and businesses must cooperate to create a consistent business environment. The acceleration of digital application is vital to supervise tourism activities and support Covid-19 prevention measures, as well as ensure the sustainability of the sector, he said.

vietnams tourism industry goes digital
Vietnam’s tourism is widely promoted through digital platforms

Business model transformation

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism have been promoting the development and use of numerous technologies to ensure visitor safety. These include the Travel Vietnam Safety app making it easier for visitors to check out how safe destinations are, including digital maps containing information on restaurants, accommodations, entertainment venues, transport providers, hospitals and pharmacies that have submitted their safety status to authorized agencies. Visitors can look up information about the current Covid-19 situation in the locality they plan to visit as well as details about the number of infections and recovered patients there. Tourists are free to send their feedback on the service quality of places they visited and note whether places met the safety standards described on the app.

To pilot the vaccine passport for foreign visitors to such tourist centers as Phu Quoc Island in Kien Giang Province, which have contained the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnam’s tourism authority has created a vaccine digital certification system (https://travelpass.tourism.vn) in preparation for reopening inbound activities amid Covid-19. The website is one of VNAT’s efforts to prepare recovery plans for the travel industry this year. Other new platforms promoting Vietnam's tourism are available on https://trangvangdulichvietnam.vn/.

According to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, under the action program for tourism development in the 2021-2025 period, Vietnam will give priority to digital transformation, turn tourism into a spearhead economic sector, and gradually make Vietnam a top-50 tourism destination.

vietnams tourism industry goes digital
Tourists have increased online searches for travel destinations and services
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism has cooperated with Google on a project entitled “Google Arts & Culture - Wonders of Vietnam”, allowing viewers to appreciate arts in interesting new ways. Vietnam was selected by Google to be the new destination of the project, introducing 35 online exhibitions with nearly 1,400 photos of tourist attractions, cultural heritage sites, history and culinary offerings. In addition, VNAT is promoting cooperation with YouTube so that videos and clips about Vietnam tourism can be uploaded onto this channel.

Hoa Quynh