|Tourists to Ky Co island, Quy Nhon city, the central province of Binh Dinh__Photo: VNA|
Vietnam is rapidly embracing technology to develop digital and smart tourism, aiming to create fresh and attractive products, lure tourists, enhance competitiveness, stimulate growth, and achieve sustainable development.
According to experts, digital tourism and smart tourism both rely on the application of information technology, digital communication, and data. The Party Central Committee’s Resolution No. 52-NQ/TW dated September 27, 2019, regarding certain orientations and policies for proactive participation in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, has set a focus on the development of priority sectors with high readiness level, including digital tourism.
The Prime Minister has also approved an overall plan for IT application in the tourism sector for 2018-20, with a vision to 2025, which aims to develop a smart tourism ecosystem that connects various stakeholders.
Vietnam's tourism development strategy until 2030 has set directions for accelerating the sector’s digital transformation, serving the establishment and development of a smart tourism ecosystem.
As a result, many localities such as Hanoi, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Khanh Hoa, and Ho Chi Minh City have actively joined the development process of digital and smart tourism.
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism reports that advanced and modern technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality, and 360-degree imagery have been used in destination management to introduce new and impressive products that attract tourists.
Some tourist destinations in Hanoi have adopted electronic ticketing systems, such as the Van Mieu (the Temple of Literature) and Quoc Tu Giam (the first university in Vietnam) site, President Ho Chi Minh's relic site at the Presidential Palace, and Quan Thanh Temple. This technology allows tour groups to use a single electronic ticket, reducing printing costs and waste, hence bettering environmental protection.
Da Nang, meanwhile, utilizes the "Da Nang Fantasticity" chatbot application, the first of its kind in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.
The City Tour Hop On-Hop Off double-decker bus service in Ho Chi Minh City has applied new technology, combining digital data on transportation and tourist preferences to design suitable tour routes, sell tickets and accept payments virtually, integrate free wifi, and provide automatic multilingual narration.
Moreover, the digital platform "Google Arts and Culture - Wonders of Vietnam" has contributed to promoting the country’s outstanding cultural and heritage values, such as Son Doong Cave, Hoi An Ancient Town, My Son Sanctuary, and the Imperial City of Hue.
The Vietnam E-commerce Association (VECOM) recently reported that over 60 percent of domestic visitors book hotels and tours online, while more than 75 percent of international tourists use these services.
At a high-level forum on digital transformation in tourism development promotion, Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung underscored a focus on smart tourism to enhance state management efficiency, make tourists the center of attention, attract more international visitors to Vietnam, and stimulate domestic tourism growth.
Experts believe that travel companies need to capture trends from research and real-life activities, offering adaptive solutions, actively promoting creativity, and increasing investment in digital transformation. They consider this the key to stronger and more sustainable development.- (VNA/VLLF)