|VR technology brings tourists a panoramic view of Hue Royal Citadel. (Photo: vntrip360.com)
Through the newly launched VNGuide app and the website VnTrip360.com, tourists can enjoy virtual trips to beauty spots in Vietnam such as Quan Su Pagoda, Tran Quoc Pagoda (Hanoi) and the Cu Chi Tunnels (Ho Chi Minh City).
And, more destinations in the country are going to be digitalised to provide different experiences for travellers and help introduce Vietnamese tourism to the world.
Jason Lusk, director of the Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST), consultant to the Asian Development Bank, said it was a great step forward for innovation in the Vietnamese tourism industry.
“The Fourth Industrial Revolution brings many opportunities for Vietnam’s travel tech start-ups as well as the chance for Vietnamese tourism to boom,” he said.
Ha Van Sieu, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam National Tourism Administration (VNAT), said Industry 4.0 impacted all fields, including tourism.
“It’s a time for us to review the process of using technology in the tourism industry,” he said.
Beside digitalising destinations with VR technology, travel enterprises are also using apps to manage hotels, resorts and customer experiences.
Nguyen Chi Thanh, director of Toan Dung Media Company, the developer of VNGuide app, said it was time to make the term “smart tourism” popular.
“With 3D scanning technology, we can give tourists an overview of the destinations before they arrive, they can zoom in and out of the sites, and discover every corner,” he said.
“We have some difficulties such as the high cost of 3D technology and a lack of human resources to manage this technology.”
Thanh suggested that managers should be trained on VR technology so they can instruct travellers how to use the devices.
On the day, VNAT also launched a contest for start-ups in tourism development.
The initiatives should focus on accommodation, restaurants and transport.
The contest will run until June to seek ideas on how to use technology to develop tourism.
The VITM 2019 is the largest of its kind, attracting 720 businesses and tourism promotion agencies from 27 countries and territories worldwide as well as 47 Vietnamese cities and provinces. In particular, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Peru joined the event for the first time.
The event is expected to draw up to 85,000 visitors. Notably, exhibitors will sell over 100,000 low-cost air fares and about 18,000 affordable package tours.
Forums themed “Green tourism”, “Vietnam’s outbound tourism: Opportunities and challenges”, and a seminar on Vietnam’s tourism amid the fourth industrial revolution are also scheduled to take place at the VITM 2019.
Vietnam is striving to welcome at least 18 million foreign tourists and serve over 85 million domestic holidaymakers, earning more than 700 trillion VND (30 billion USD) in revenue this year.