Developing smart solutions to boost tourism

Tuesday, 2018-01-16 10:14:14
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Visitors at the Temple of Literature. (Credit: NDO)
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NDO – Vietnam’s tourism sector posted a record number of 12.9 million international arrivals in 2017, an increase of 29.1% from 2016. Visitors from China rose by 48.6%; the Republic of Korea, 56.4%; Russia, 32.3%; and African countries, 25.6%.

The strong growth in the number of domestic and foreign visitors helped the accommodation and food service activities industry to earn a turnover of VND494.7 trillion (US$21.77 billion) last year, up 11.9% annually. Total revenue from tourism activities is estimated at VND35.9 trillion (US$1.58 billion) for the year, 10.4% higher than 2016.

Localities that recorded remarkable growth in tourism revenue included Nghe An (22.7%), Hai Phong (18.3%), Khanh Hoa (16.5%), Lam Dong (14.2%), Ho Chi Minh City (10.3%) and Hanoi (8.2%).

The encouraging results were generated from a wide range of policies and measures deployed by the hospitality sector in order to lure visitors and its effort to promote Vietnamese tourism to key markets including Australia, Japan, Europe, and ASEAN.

In addition to continuing to provide visa exemptions for citizens from five western European countries, in 2017, Vietnam also granted electronic visas (e-visas) to citizens of six more nations including Australia, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, India, the Netherlands and New Zealand, alongside the 40 countries that are already permitted.

Recently, an audio guide system was officially put into operation across 14 sites at the Temple of Literature in Hanoi following a two-year trial run. The system is available in eight languages: Vietnamese, English, French, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Thai and Chinese.

By putting on their headphones, which are connected via handheld devices, and selecting the targeted language, visitors will be provided with information on the site and its cultural and historical values. The information was thoroughly revised by cultural researchers and experts and the service is now priced at VND30,000 (US$1.3) per person.

A new way-finding and sign guideline system designed by French experts were also put into operation on the occasion.

The improvements aim to help make the Temple of Literature reach a wider range of foreign tourists, better serving visitors and further advertising the site’s values.

The grant of e-visas, the launch of the audio guide service, and other smart solutions in general have opened a new way to boost the tourism sector, since they have helped the sector to meet the increasing demand of visitors and take advantage of opportunities brought about by the international integration process and the 4th industrial revolution.