Tourism & Digital Transformation

EditoThe new era of tourism development

By Jessica Nguyen on November 01,2018 03:18 PM

Tourism & Digital Transformation

Photos: Quang Phuc

Tourism & Digital Transformation

“Accompanying Vietnam’s tourism industry in the process of regional and international integration, The Guide Awards have been held through the ups and downs of the economy in general and the tourism industry in particular. The Guide Awards provide a professional playground and opportunities for businesses operating in the field of tourism to meet, exchange and connect. The awards also provide timely recognition and honor the remarkable achievements of units and enterprises that have made great efforts and positive contributions to the development of Vietnam’s tourism industry.”

Professor Dao Nguyen Cat,
Editor-in-Chief, Vietnam Economic Times

As the weather turns gentler, with honey sunlight and cool breezes, it’s time for The Guide Awards to be organized once again, with the participation of more than 200 representatives from tourism enterprises around the country, government leaders, speakers, and friends. For the first time the awards ceremony was held at the new and luxurious Lotte Hanoi Hotel.

Every year The Guide Awards have grown and been accepted throughout the country as a key factor in communicating the quality of Vietnam’s tourism and hospitality industry. “The aim of The Guide Awards is to popularize and promote Vietnamese tourism, facilitate exchange and the sharing of opportunities among organizations, individuals and localities, and encourage enterprises to improve their product quality and diversify their services,” Ambassador Nguyen Phu Binh, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Vietnam Economic Times, said at the awards ceremony.

The number of international visitors to Vietnam, he went on, has continued to rise over the last two years thanks to strong communication and the increasing trend towards applying “digital transformation” in tourism, which is in place due to the major contributions of enterprises in the tourism industry. For this reason, The Guide Awards honored the outstanding achievements of enterprises and individuals in Vietnam’s tourism sector, with 110 enterprises recognized for their outstanding achievements over recent years, contributing to the beauty of Vietnam and its people.

Tourism & Digital Transformation

As always, the 19th The Guide Awards introduced outstanding and impressive travel brands and service providers voted as winners by readers and the Editorial Board of Vietnam Economic Times. The Guide Awards this year honored 110 brands in four categories: “Hotels & Serviced Apartments”, “Resorts”, “Restaurants & Services”, and “Tours & Transportation”, with 36 hotels, two serviced apartments, 31 resorts (of four and five stars), 16 restaurants, and 20 travel agents and travel service providers winning awards. In particular, five enterprises won “The Guide Awards 2018 Special Choice” award for their extraordinary performance: Vietnam Airlines, Arezai Can Tho Resort, Paradise Cruises, The Golden Bridge, and The Clover at Ngoc Thuy French restaurant.

There were also ten winners of “Green Lotus” awards, which honor “green and clean” resorts that have daily activities and events to protect the environment: An Lam Retreats Ninh Van Bay, Anantara Quy Nhon Villas, Emeralda Ninh Binh Resort, Flamingo Dai Lai Resort, Furama Resort Danang, KOI Resort & Spa Hoi An, MerPele Hon Tam Resort, Nam Nghi Phu Quoc Island, Silk Sense Hoi An River Resort, and the five-star Vinpearl Resorts & Villas chain. Five “Top-notch Hotels” were also honored: Four Points by Sheraton Danang, JW Marriott Hanoi, Lotte Hotel Hanoi, The Reverie Saigon Hotel, and Lotte Legend Saigon.

Held on the sidelines of The Guide Awards 2018, the “Virtual Reality Experience” program helped audience members explore travel destinations through interactive technology, directed by the ADT Group technical team. Participants also enjoyed an exhibition displaying and promoting images of tourism enterprises.

Tourism & Digital Transformation

Industry 4.0 has had a tremendous impact on life all over the world and on most industries and especially on the tourism sector. However, besides the positive impact of new technology, the revolution still makes some people believe that modern technology has “killed the emotions” of travelers. Tourism, they say, is a type of “smile and emotion” industry that brings people closer together, but once technology is applied in services, travelers longer have “real” communication. The reality, though, is that Industry 4.0 is deeply involved in the tourism value chain and seems to inspire more travelers and encourage them to travel more often.

Some 88 per cent of Vietnamese travelers search for travel information online, according to a 2017 survey by local market researchers Q&Me. Thirty-five per cent of these do it regularly. The number of searches with the keyword “travel” has tripled in the last five years, mostly for reviews on destinations, hotels and restaurants, according to Google Trends.

Another report from Grant Thornton Vietnam showed that travel bookings on websites like booking.com, vntrip.vn, and agoda.com represented 20.7 per cent of all booking channels in 2017 in Vietnam.

Tourism & Digital Transformation

Many hotels are now more active in wooing travelers and online booking rates have increased, with 67.3 per cent of four- and five-star hotels in Vietnam willing to apply high-technology to provide better services and be competitive.

To emphasize tourism development in the digital age and the trend towards “smart travel” and to acknowledge World Tourism Day 2018 and its theme “Travel and Digital Transformation”, The Guide Awards ceremony this year featured a discussion on “Digital Transformation in Tourism Development”. “Technology is affecting tourism habits, or, more precisely, changing the habits of visitors,” said Mr. Ha Van Sieu, Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Tourism Administration. “Applying Industry 4.0 technology is clearly an opportunity for Vietnam’s tourism industry to make breakthroughs so it can achieve the goals set by the government.”

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