Tourism sector urged to use digital tech

Update: May, 30/2017 - 11:00
Vũng Rô Bay, one of the favourite tourism destinations in Phú Yên Province. Experts say enterprises in the tourism sector should use digital platforms to attract tourists. Photo: timeoutvietnam
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — Enterprises in the tourism sector have been encouraged to use digital platforms as the use of smartphones, laptops and the number of internet users in the country has dramatically increased.

Lưu Tiến Thuận from Cần Thơ University said that more than 46 per cent of 120 people surveyed in Cần Thơ city said they used smartphones to search online information about tourism services when planning a trip.

Thuận spoke at a scientific conference on IT application in tourism held last week by the School of Tourism at the University of Economics HCM City.

Since travellers often access informative tourism websites, Google and blogs, tourism companies should improve their online services.  

He said that surveys sampling a larger population of respondents should be carried out to discern important trends in Việt Nam.

Dr Lê Ngọc Thạnh, of the School of Business Information Systems at University of Economics HCM City, said the use of social networking data to identify customers’ attitudes toward brands, products, services and events had become increasingly dominant in business decision-making process.

Sentiment analysis, also called opinion mining, is a field of study that extracts opinions and sentiments from natural language text using computational methods.

It can assist in search engines, recommendation systems and market research, Thạnh said.

In the domain of tourism, there are many tourism online platforms, including online review websites, hotel and tour booking channels, tourism forums and tourist social networks, he said.

“Mining opinion automatically using reviews from these online platforms is not only useful for customers seeking advice, but also essential for tourism agencies to understand their customers and improve their services,” he added.

Nguyễn Đức Trí from the University of Economics Hồ Chí Minh City told Việt Nam News that unlike the past, more and more people were using online tourism services, including booking hotels and restaurants for their trips.

Việt Nam has seen growth in tourism apps for smartphones, he said, adding that marketing on apps should also be used. 

The S-wifiVn Company, for instance, provides wifi marketing. When smartphone users access S-wifi, advertisements on tourism services appear.

The number of domestic and foreign tourists increases year by year, according to the Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism.

Last year, more than 10 million foreign tourists came to the country, an increase of 26 per cent compared to 2015.

The number of domestic tourists last year totalled 62 million, a rise of 8.8 per cent against 2015. — VNS