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Boosting Vietnam's tourism sector through digital transformation

10 minute read
Much of Vietnam's economy depends on revenues from the tourism sector, which has suffered heavy losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Especially after the significant decrease in the number of international flights, It decreased by 80% in October 2020 compared to the same time period of the previous year. Although international aviation rates have recently begun to rebound, Vietnam may need to find innovative solutions to revive its tourism economy in order to return to what it was before the pandemic.
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Vietnam has recently adopted several new programs to develop rural and cultural tourism by employing various technological innovations. Through this direction, it aims to transform its tourism sector into a leading economy, Attracts visitors, and improves the income of rural people, and preserves cultural identity, By offering virtual tours and establishing a digital database of Vietnam's natural and cultural resources.

Much of Vietnam's economy depends on revenues from the tourism sector, which has suffered heavy losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Especially after the significant decrease in the number of international flights, It decreased by 80% in October 2020 compared to the same time period of the previous year. Although international aviation rates have recently begun to rebound, Vietnam may need to find innovative solutions to revive its tourism economy in order to return to what it was before the pandemic. To achieve this endeavor, the Vietnamese government has focused on promoting rural and cultural tourism through the adoption of digital solutions. These efforts were in line with Vietnam's vision to become one of the top 50 countries in the IT Development Index by 2025. It hopes to advance the digital economy to increase its representation in the country's GDP from 5% to more than 30% by 2030.

Rural or agricultural tourism is an important part of Vietnam's local economy. Across the country, About 365 rural tourism sites are spread, With more than 2,000 villages featuring traditional crafts that usually attract tourists. Accordingly, In 2021, the government launched a program entitled "Modernization of Rural Development". It aims to develop the rural tourism sector according to a plan that extends until 2025 and depends on facilitating the digital transformation in the countryside.

To employ technology in the development of the tourism sector, The Vietnamese government has adopted several digital projects and initiatives aimed at promoting rural tourism, It was promoted online in a collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. The government has launched electronic products to attract tourists, such as virtual tours of Vietnam's distinctive natural sites; last year, the first tour was launched in the northwest. It included a set of 360-degree virtual reality images showing the tourist attractions in the province of "Mook Chau". It is the national tourist site whose service facilities provide stunning views to visitors.

Local authorities are also developing a digital map that collects data on rural areas that attract tourists and service providers in those areas. But digital transformation actors have found that many rural tourism business owners face challenges that hinder the opportunity to expand rural tourism. Many lack the necessary digital skills. They can also face difficulty accessing digital services due to poor infrastructure, especially in remote areas. These challenges are important issues that need to be addressed expeditiously before Vietnam's vision for the rural tourism sector can be realized.

In conjunction with these endeavours, The Vietnamese government is also promoting the country's cultural heritage through digital solutions, The National Museum of Vietnam has launched a number of new virtual displays to attract visitors while maintaining social distancing measures. The museum's management has worked for years to implement digitization to preserve cultural heritage, She recently presented a three-dimensional virtual interactive presentation of national treasures. At the National Museum of History, The Volunteer Club conducted research to launch a virtual tour through the museum that includes historical information narrative accompanied by digital technologies, In addition to offering hundreds of free online educational lectures, Some of these educational programs are gradually becoming established models for teaching through social media applications.

A national database of the civilizational and cultural material wealth of the 54 ethnic groups in Viet Nam will also be established. accompanied by its own fees, This is to achieve the target of 50% of traditional artisanal villages participating in the rural tourism value chain by 2025.

According to observers, Several challenges still face Vietnam, which will have to work further to reach the desired status as a digital powerhouse, The country's semi-annual reports of economic performance revealed the need to develop a workforce with digital skills and the ability to keep up. Complemented by a local private sector in a dynamic and flexible business environment that attracts investments and provides favorable conditions for small businesses to be part of the digital economy, In addition to ensuring good and secure access to information, This means modernizing infrastructure and encouraging the application of digital technology. To overcome these challenges, You can first take advantage of the famous technical institutions to qualify and prepare cadres, The government should also launch initiatives to attract digital talent around the world.

E-tourism has begun to bear fruit, Over the past year, Sundong Cave in Kuang Province is rated as one of the best natural virtual trips. Most importantly, the application of this technology in museums allows the needs of visitors to be met in light of the new reality imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. It also offers new perspectives and experiences, More than 5,000 students benefited from free lessons, including expatriate Vietnamese children.

The digital transformation is expected to attract more visitors. And easy to prepare for their trips, It will also improve service delivery and understanding of customer behavior. While the effective development of rural tourism will contribute to transforming Vietnam's economy into a leading sector that promotes the construction of a sustainable rural area with a new style, It will help to create new jobs, improve incomes and change the rural economic structure, Besides preserving traditional cultural values and protecting the environment.

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