To catch up with the trend of digital transformation in tourism

According to experts, digital transformation is an inevitable need of Vietnamese tourism businesses, especially in the post-COVID-19 era. When the needs and habits of tourists changed, digital transformation will determine the existence and development of tourism businesses.
To catch up with the trend of digital transformation in tourism
Digital transformation is an inevitable trend for all industries if they want to develop in the 4.0 industry era and the tourism industry is no exception. (Source: LinkedIn)

An essential need

In 2018, the Prime Minister issued Decision No. 1671/QD-TTg approving the "Master plan on application of information technology in tourism for the period 2018-2020, with a vision to 2025".

In fact, digital transformation in the tourism industry can be understood as the shift from the traditional business and marketing model to a more customer-focused one, using a model of data-driven digital value chain.

Meanwhile, modern travel business models and online travel agencies like Booking, Agoda, Expedia, Traveloka, Klook, etc., are increasingly popular.

In addition to applying technology to tourism, digital transformation must also be adopted in other administrative procedures such as entry, visa registration, or more importantly, health apps, to reduce medical procedures, testing and at the same time help the host country can easily manage and ensure the health of tourists.

Mr. Hoang Quang Phong, Vice President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) said, the COVID-19 pandemic caused the tourism industry to experience "painful days". It was also an unprecedented purge. It is high time for all industries to focus on digital transformation if they want to thrive in the 4th Industrial Revolution.

It is worth mentioning that, if in previous years, only a few businesses and localities with sharp, flexible thinking and strong financial power focused on digital transformation in tourism, now COVID-19 forces everyone to choose between digital transformation or perishment?

Mr. Hoang Quang Phong realized: “Even though the pandemic was troublesome for the ‘smokeless industry’, but in other aspect, Covid-19 is a leverage for tourism to strive for a makeover, so that the whole industry has a stepping stone for stronger development in the new period."

Mr. Ha Van Sieu, PhD, Deputy Director of the General Department of Tourism said that, technology is one of the keys to help solve problems of businesses, and tourism is one of these problems. Therefore, digital transformation of the tourism industry is considered extremely necessary.

“From the perspective of the State’s management agency in charge of tourism, digital transformation is considered as the process of shifting, forming a platform, an environment for connection, transaction and interaction between entities in the tourism industry using digital tools, applications and data”, he added.

With the outstanding features of digital technology, transactions and interactions in the tourism industry can become more efficient and can create new breakthroughs in tourism activities.

To catch up with the trend of digital transformation in tourism

In addition to applying technology to the tour business, digital transformation must also transform administrative procedures such as immigration and visa registration. (Source: Vietravel)

Finding a right path

As one of cities hit hardest by Covid-19, Ho Chi Minh City's tourism industry has quickly renewed itself to catch up with the inevitable trend.

Specifically, over the past time, the Department of Tourism of Ho Chi Minh City has implemented a number of technology solutions such as organizing seminars on digitalization, smart tourism, etc., to support travel businesses as well as improve tourists’ experience.

In addition, the Department also quickly launched a website and tourism app. In which, there’s a main website to update new policies and regulations and another specializing in advertising and promoting tourism images and products, integrating 3D maps, 360-degree clips, etc.

A map of tourism resources in Ho Chi Minh City has been published, including 366 destinations, and posted on online GPS navigation platforms such as Google Map, Google Earth ...

Mr Le Truong Hien Hoa, Deputy Director of Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism stressed that, realizing the importance of digital transformation in state management and the operation of the tourism industry, the Department has been promoting the implementation of the Smart Tourism Project, most recently implementing a series of content on the application of digital technology in management activities.

“Since the needs for digital transformation of people and businesses of all sizes, including small and medium-sized enterprises, are increasing strongly, these solutions are required", he affirmed.

Or in Phu Tho, in the first 6 months of 2022, the locality welcomed over 1 million visitors, with an estimate tourism revenue of 1,600 billion VND. To achieve that result, one of the important solutions is the promotion of Phu Tho tourism in both the domestic and international market.

In the coming time, Deputy Director General of the General Department of Tourism Nguyen Le Phuc said that in order to find the right direction in digital transformation, the tourism industry will gradually form a smart tourism ecosystem.

“Accompanying startups in the field of tourism is our priority task thereby creating a playground for young businesses to promote innovation, creativity and contribute new ideas".

Ms Nhu Thi Ngan, CEO of HanoiTourism said that, there are businesses who rushed in digital transformation without careful preparation. This caused them to waste a lot of financial resources, and overlapping pressure on the process and procedures for transferring documents. From there, it created problems that critically affect business performance, not to mention slowing down the growth rate of the business.

Therefore, in order to realize the digital transformation of tourism, Ms. Nhu Thi Ngan said that businesses need to be financially ready to maintain the system and ensure continuous upgrading. At the same time, personnel must be properly and fully trained to ensure proper technical operation. In addition, the working process must be clear, stable, scientific and consistent with the system's orientation and resources.

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