The outbreak of COVID-19 also created many new tourism trends, in which digital tourism was considered a suitable direction for the current context.


Tourists check-in at a famous tourist destination in Phu Tho. Photo: Hai Nguyen

Businesses need support

At the Forum "Digital Transformation for Vietnam Tourism Development" held in Hanoi recently, the Standing Vice Chairman of Vietnam Tourism Association - Mr. Vu The Binh had frank discussions that, the COVID epidemic -19 shows that the tourism industry needs changes to keep up with new trends.

The danger and unpredictability of COVID-19 has caused tourists' behavior to change towards emotional direction, difficult to judge, constantly changing, abnormal ... Therefore, only when the business has an information system. For customers, for full products and services, proposing solutions, calculating costs, operating on the basis of analyzing data in a scientific way can meet the needs of customers. It also shows that only tourism businesses that deploy digital transformation can take advantage of the advantages of the 4.0 revolution can better serve customers. "Who is first in the application of technology solutions, that person will be successful" - Mr. Vu The Binh affirmed.

It is known that at present about 30% of tourism businesses have closed completely and this number continues to increase, forecasting to be 55-60% in 2021. In the context of businesses cutting staff, Digital transformation helps businesses continue to operate with a small number of human resources, reducing human costs but increasing efficiency. So that means, when implementing digital transformation, travel businesses will be able to reach more customers, maximize customer care, reduce costs and increase business efficiency at the same time.

Digital transformation will also increase the competitiveness of businesses. The COVID-19 pandemic will be a boost for businesses to transform faster if they know how to take advantage of it. However, this is seen as not easy when businesses are almost exhausted, human resources decrease, capital flows are exhausted, only the framework is left after being affected by prolonged epidemics. Therefore, businesses are in desperate need of support, the only standard legal corridors of the State and the Government in digital transformation, building big data systems, strengthening training funds...

Regarding the digital economic transformation, the views of the Party, the National Assembly and the Government are emphasized in the design of policy frameworks, enhancing the direction and leadership to develop an integrated economy, bearing connotations. This profound culture. With the congress documents, thematic resolutions, plans and action programs, the Party and State have oriented the development of tourism into a spearhead economic sector, with rapid and sustainable development; transforming digital economic development associated with tourism economic development. Specifically, the Politburo issued Resolution No. 52-NQ / TW dated September 27, 2019 on a number of guidelines and policies to actively participate in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, of which "digital tourism" is identified as one of the priority industries with a high degree of availability.

In addition, recently, on June 3.2020, the Prime Minister also issued Decision No. 749 / QD-TTg approving the "National Digital Transformation Program to 2025, with a vision to 2030".

As the State management agency for tourism development at the central level, at present, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism directs the General Department of Tourism to promote tourism marketing; Smart travel management; integration of industry digital data; calling on businesses to respond, create and apply information technology in tourism. How to make information technology accessible to all levels and branches, convenient for tourists, and support to tourism development. “In the new normal context, we hope that businesses and State management agencies and associations will unite together, create synergy, turn risks into risks, and achieve dual and medium goals. anti-epidemic and socio-economic development, continuing to affirm a safe and attractive Vietnamese destination to attract tourists. At the same time, we will also act faster, more urgently and more drastically in the digital transformation to develop tourism ”- Mr. Nguyen Van Hung - Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism stated his opinion.

Solve difficult problems

According to the statistics of the Vietnam Tourism Association, in 2020, the COVID-19 translation has made international visitors to Vietnam decrease by at least 70% compared to 2019, domestic visitors decrease by 50%, overseas visitors decrease 85%, Revenue (both inbound and outbound) decreased over 61%. Before this result, Ms. Nguyen Le Huong - Deputy General Director of Vietravel - said that the COVID-19 epidemic changed passenger psychology. And the second return of COVID-19 brings a lot of fear to everyone, especially when the epidemic is complicated, greatly affecting the current tourism industry. Facing the current situation, our country's tourism has to both stimulate demand and think of better solutions to deal with the impact, for example, transforming digital technology, not just applying a discounted charm. stimulus waves.

“If only using conventional solutions such as discounts, support requests is no longer appropriate, instead think in a new way, using artificial intelligence, accessing new technology to develop. Enterprises should convert their numbers to quickly overcome the consequences of the epidemic "- Mr. Vu The Binh said. Accordingly, digital transformation will contribute to help businesses restructure their computers according to compactness, optimal operation of the database, and build a modern management model, step by step automation. At the same time, digital transformation also helps innovate personnel, strengthen the link between departments and units in the enterprise, building a database to increase analytical capabilities and security (customer data , about partners, about products ...).

Mr. Robert Duglin - Vice President of American Travel Association (ASTA) - said that the US is one of the countries heavily affected by the COVID-19 epidemic, travel businesses face crisis when their customers request for refund, cancellation of tour, compensation ... This is also the first time that American travel companies need support and loans from the Government to survive and overcome difficulties. However, when adapting to the difficulties, American businesses take advantage of this time to restructure, promote the digital application in activities to stimulate domestic tourism demand, sell tours, promote beauty. tourist attractions...

From the lessons of American travel and tourism businesses, it can be seen that this is the right step and the right time for Vietnamese tourism businesses to promote digital technology transformation, actively link and combine. cooperation and sharing with countries with advanced and modern technologies such as the US, creating favorable conditions for tourism to recover and develop when the epidemic is under control.


Vietnam Tourism Association and E-commerce Association (VECOM) have jointly organized an online forum "Digital transformation to promote tourism development in Vietnam". Attending the meeting were Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism - Nguyen Van Hung and more than 200 delegates from departments, branches, branches and tourism businesses nationwide. At the forum, stakeholders have more opportunities to better understand the application of technologies to operational processes, innovate, and experience customers; rapid recovery and growth in post-pandemic tourism. The detailed contents of this Forum will also be carried out sequentially at the Vietnam International Tourism Fair - VITM Hanoi 2020 held from 18-21 at Hanoi Friendship Culture Palace.

Posted by: Sarah Coco | October 08, 2020

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