Hanoi (VNA) - Every day, the whole world witnesses a strong explosion of technology platforms penetrating the travel industry, making the appearance and nature of this industry change dramatically. Experts say that online tourism is an important turning point of the smokeless industry.

Over the past 10 years, tourism businesses have started to apply information technology to activities such as automatic booking or building tourism databases.

As one of the technology experts with many creative ideas, Mr. Tuan Ha, CEO of Vinalink has shared his enthusiasm around the online travel story in Vietnam.

Time of online travel hinh anh 1Today's customers often have a habit of searching for information online before every actual trip. (Photo: Xuan Mai / Vietnam +)

"The battle" of electronic wallets

- How do you assess the importance of online tourism in attracting tourists and increasing revenue of this industry in Vietnam today?

Mr. Tuan Ha: Online business in Vietnam's tourism industry has grown very strongly, raking a revenue of 3.5 billion USD out of total 9 billion USD of e-commerce nationwide in 2018.

This 30 percent propotion is really a huge profit which tourism businesses, especially foreign ones, have seen long ago and approached Vietnam market like Agoda.

20 years ago, tourism in Vietnam had done online already, not waiting until now. However, in the past few years, tourism activities have gone online very quickly. It is expected that by 2025 the turnover from online tourism will make up 50 percent of the total revenue of the tourism industry

- In the final of the contest for tourism technology start-ups, representatives of many travel platforms shared that payment technology in Vietnam is causing many difficulties for them. Is that really true, sir?

Mr. Tuan Ha: Exactly. In fact, online payment in Vietnam is quite good. Previously, online payment in Vietnam was only Australia's Onepay. We now have Moca, Momo, Zalopay, Viettelpay, or even VnPay also apply payment via electronic wallets.

There will be the "war" of wallets in the future. However, the weakest point of online payment in the country is that banks have not yet connected to the wallets.

In the future, people will pay with an electronic wallet, not a card. Like China, they only use their mobile phones and the Wechat app to pay for all services. Alipay, Paypal are also popular payment systems in foreign countries. Therefore, the future in Vietnam will be the "war" of the wallet.

Currently, POS systems, wallet systems are linked, connected to the card system and will get better in the future.

The weakest point of online payment in Vietnam today is that banks have not yet connected to wallets. For example, when Moca is connected to Vietcombank, it will not be able to connect with other banking systems.

Time of online travel hinh anh 2Aogoda is one of the world's premier and thriving online booking platforms

Travel in artificial intelligence, big data era

- In addition to the restrictions on payment, what do you think are the limitations of online tourism in Vietnam today, and how to overcome that weakness to make a boom?

Mr. Tuan Ha: At present, Vietnamese enterprises still do not have much habit of using technology. Even "inbound" businesses still follow the traditional form of running ads to attract customers such as sending emails, using fanpage, running websites.

Let me make it easier for you to imagine. When overseas visitors have a need to travel or have travel habits this season, our system must identify them to "push" information proactively rather than running random ads for anyone interested in seeing it.

Our conversation with each other like this but Google, Facebook knows what we are all talking about. When you open Facebook you will see a series of ads related to the content of the conversation.

Google ads now called GDN [Google Display Network - ads via images, text, flash - appears on the system of partner websites of Google] is also linked by user behavior, not randomly.

Even if you open Smart TV, see what content on YouTube, google knows and appears ads according to that subject line in Mobile. Or if you use Chrome, which website you visit, how your habits work, etc. are tracked by Google to record. That's Google using AI (artificial intelligence), cross-device tracking (Cross-Device Tracking) to record user behaviors.

Google ads now called GDN [Google Display Network - ads via images, text, flash - appears on the system of partner websites of Google] is also linked by user behavior, not randomly.

In the future, the applications of the fourth industrial revolution will be used a lot, the solutions to apply them in Vietnam are not available, or very poor.

Moreover, most of them use foreign technology which is both expensive and difficult to use.

Recently, the Vietnamese tourism industry has "shaked hands" with one of the largest platforms in the world, Tiktok, to launch a campaign to promote Vietnam's tourism online.

For example, I am currently using a 500 USD/month platform application to build my own big data, which already has artificial intelligence and automation.

I also pay an additional 50 USD/month to buy a connection solution, i.e. this solution will help me connect all sources such as visit cards, emails, phones on the big data system. Often Vietnamese businesses rarely accept to spend 50USD/month just to do this, even many businesses do not yet know about that technology, but often hire people to enter data manually.

- Thank you for your sharing./.