The new tourism promotion website, www.vietnam.travel, was recently launched by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

Hanoi (VNA) – With a growing number of Internet users in the country, Vietnam has begun to apply information technology (IT) to develop online tourism, which is also a current global trend.

More than 50 million Vietnamese people, or 53 percent of the country’s population, are using the Internet, higher than the averages for the Asia-Pacific region (46.64 percent) and the world (48.2 percent), according to the Authority of Information Security under the Ministry of Information and Communications.

However, the Vietnam E-commerce Association said that strong international brand names are dominating Vietnam’s online tourism market with a market share of about 80 percent.

Le Tuan Anh, Deputy Director of the International Cooperation Department under the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), said there are about 10 e-platforms for tourism in the country, including ivivu.com, mytour.vn, chudu24.com, gotadi.com, and tripi.vn. However, these sites only serve about 20 percent of the total online tourism demand.

Meanwhile, a survey of foreign tourists last year showed that up to 71 percent of visitors had searched for information about Vietnamese destinations on the Internet, and 64 percent had booked and bought services for their trip online.

Tourism insiders said that in order to turn tourism into a key industry, many solutions must be carried out simultaneously, including developing online tourism. They said online tourism will create the best possible conditions for visitors to enjoy their trips, as well as boosting business-to-business and business-to-customer connectivity.

VNAT General Director Nguyen Van Tuan said that IT application is not only an inevitable trend but can also work as a breakthrough to improve the competitiveness of the Vietnamese tourism market. The IT application in the sector will be geared towards the Fourth Industry Revolution so as to further digitalise tourism management and better meet the needs of holidaymakers, local people, and travel companies, he said.

In July, VNAT officially opened a new tourism promotion website (www.vietnam.travel) with a view to enhancing e-marketing and Vietnam’s tourism promotion capacity.

Nguyen Tien Dat, deputy director of travel company TransViet, said his firm has launched a mobile app which can help users search and book tours quickly without having to arrive in person to its offices. This app also helps the company learn more about the demands of holidaymakers and recommend suitable tours for them.

Standing Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association Vu The Binh said that in order to develop online tourism, management agencies, all-level authorities, and travel firms in particular, must work together.

Additionally, domestic companies often face technological problems, and so they also need to cooperate better with technology enterprises so as to remove such hindrances and boost online tourism.–VNA