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Tourism in 4.0 era needs new approach: officials
The Saigon Times Daily
Saturday,  Jul 21, 2018,16:53 (GMT+7)

Tourism in 4.0 era needs new approach: officials

The Saigon Times Daily

Tourists are seen walking across a street in downtown HCMC. Officials say tourism in 4.0 era needs new approach – PHOTO: DAO LOAN

HANOI - With the trend of industry 4.0 preparations on the rise, the country’s tourism authority must change its approach to tourists and management activities, heard participants at a recent workshop on building major tourism products.  

Speaking at the workshop, Le Tuan Anh, deputy head of international cooperation at the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, was quoted by local news site VnEconomy as saying that the old approach had revealed many inadequacies, adding that new approaches should suit tourist behavior before and after their journeys.

According to Tu Manh Luong, head of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s Department of Science, Technology and Environment, Industry 4.0 has had a widespread impact on all sectors.

The prime minister last year issued Directive 16 on capacity enhancement for Industry 4.0, assigning ministries and agencies to further develop their primary products. For the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, one of the main products is tourism.

In particular, in the 2017-2020 period, the ministry is focusing on smart tourism products and cultural products.

Anh said Vietnam’s tourism is growing and has recorded high growth in international arrivals in the past.

The number of international arrivals picked up 2.1 times in the 2011-2017 period, from over six million to 12.9 million. There was also a significant uptick in the number of domestic tourists, from 30 million to 73.2 million. Tourism revenue climbed sharply from VND130 trillion to VND511 trillion.

However, there remain inadequacies with regard to tourism promotion, destination management and product development.

According to Anh, tourism products with technological applications will be primarily developed by enterprises and service providers with the support of State agencies. Some of the products up for investment are tourism based on virtual reality and augmented reality and multipurpose tourist cards.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ta Cao Minh, vice chairman and general secretary of the Vietnam Automation Association, noted that tourism needs to be developed in a smart way with the help of digital technologies to provide the best services for tourists and make them feel satisfied when visiting Vietnam.

Nguyen The Trung, general director of DTT Technology Group, remarked that State agencies as well as enterprises should work on increasing the promotion of Vietnam’s tourism images by combining promotion channels and improving the quality of services, integrating and making information on destinations and accommodation facilities transparent.

To achieve this, the quality of human resources in the industry needs to be increased to reach regional and international standards.

Data showed that up to 71% of international tourists to Vietnam consulted information on the internet and 64% booked and bought services online.

According to Vo Anh Tai, deputy general director of Saigontourist, the number of tourists making online bookings has surged. The company generated some VND130 billion from customers booking tours online. Though this figure is low compared with results from the conventional method, online bookings are on the rise.

Anh said that technological applications in the tourism industry are still limited. Once the ministry works out a long-term strategy for its major products, management agencies and enterprises will need to adapt to fit the strategy, particularly with regard to tourism promotion.

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