Non-sharing mindset holds back digital transformation in tourism

July 16, 2022 - 08:29
Sector-wide digital transformation has been set in motion for a while but many tourism firms are holding back the process with a reluctance to share data.

A tourist surfs the net for travel destinations. Insiders said a non-sharing mindset had been holding back digital transformation in the industry. — Photo

HÀ NỘI — Sector-wide digital transformation has been set in motion for a while, but many tourism firms are holding back the process with a reluctance to share data.

Vũ Tiến Lộc, chairman of the Vietnam International Arbitration Centre, underscored the non-sharing mindset as a setback for the development of big data in tourism.

He called for a governmental initiation of data collecting to set the ball rolling and follow-up favourable policies to make firms more open about their figures.

"It's not an easy task to establish a common database in tourism due to a non-sharing mindset. The Government must take the initiative and collect the data, and introduce favourable policies to encourage data-sharing among firms," he said.

Nguyễn Lê Phúc, deputy general director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), revealed that a national tourism database would be developed in the short term.

The database will require the installation of a digital platform in every tourism firm. Firms with the platform will access the database, whereas those without the platform will be helped with installation.

Nguyễn Trọng Đường, deputy general director of the Enterprise Management Department, suggested a different idea.

He held that firms should be allowed to develop their own platforms accessible to external users.

As one single platform, he believes, attracts up to 1 million users, the interconnection of those platforms would create a gigantic data source for practical use.

"Data is generated by user transactions on those platforms. The more users, the more data, and thus more beneficial to tourism," he said.

Ngô Minh Quân, CEO of Rikkeisoft, highlighted data incoherence as one of the main reasons for tourism firms' failure to leverage digitalisation since incoherent data was of no use to the firms.

"Firms, even with data-processing software, cannot extract any useful information from incoherent data," he said.

The CEO also said that data privacy and transparency were factors firms must focus on to safeguard their users. He suggested some technological solutions to that end, including blockchain and anonymity.

"Those solutions act as a shield against threats when data passes through systems," he added.

Nguyễn Quyết Tâm, chairman and CEO of the VietISO, attributed the slow-paced digitalisation of tourism to the absence of a common database for all tourism firms.

Without such a database, it is difficult to make reliable reports on the sector and give accurate forecasts.

Hà Văn Siêu, another deputy general director of the VNAT, shared this view. He underscored the close cooperation between central and local tourism authorities, the establishment of a national database, and the creation of a digital platform for firms and tourists as the three pillars of the digital transition in tourism. — VNS