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The Guide Awards 2018 focuses on digital transformation

Released at: 14:33, 22/10/2018

The Guide Awards 2018 focuses on digital transformation

Photo: Le Diem

The Guide Awards 2018 honored 110 tourism brands on October 19.

by Le Diem

The ceremony for the 19th The Guide Awards 2018 were held in Hanoi on October 19 and highlighted the importance of applying and investing in digital technology in the tourism sector, which is considered key to improving the quality and competitiveness of the sector in Vietnam.

Organized by Vietnam Economic Times, the ceremony welcomed the attendance of Mr. Ngo Van Tuan, Vice Chairman of the Central Economic Commission, Mr. Ha Van Sieu, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), Mr. Nguyen Anh Dung, Deputy Director of the Hanoi Department of Tourism, Mr. Mac Quoc Anh, Vice Chairman and Secretary General of the Hanoi Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Association, and over 200 representatives from leading local and international brands operating in Vietnam’s tourism sector.  

According to a government decree on developing tourism as a spearhead economic sector by 2020, technology and digital transformation possess an important role, as Mr. Nguyen Phu Binh, former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, told the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Vietnam Economic Times on stage. “To catch up with global trends and promote the country’s potential in developing tourism, applying digital technology in operations is critical,” he said at the ceremony. “It presents both opportunities and challenges of enterprises in the tourism sector. The awards this year provide a venue for policymakers and tourism enterprises to meet and to seek Industry 4.0 solutions for Vietnam’s tourism sector.”

With the theme “Tourism and Digital Transformation”, The Guide Awards 2018 honored 110 enterprises for their remarkable contributions to Vietnam’s tourism sector in 2018, particularly those with key investments and breakthroughs in applying technology. Winners were in four main categories: Hotels & Serviced Apartments, Resorts, Restaurants & Services, and Tours & Transportation.

The awards also gave visitors the chance to experience a virtual tour and discover popular destinations in Vietnam through Industry 4.0.

Another highlight was a discussion on tourism and digital transformation, with new software and applications used in products and services by travel operators and hoteliers being introduced, in particular virtual tours based on 360-degree photographic technology, which allow people to visit and gain a 360-degree view of a destination. Speakers also discussed investment in applying technology in Vietnam’s tourism sector at the moment and the opportunity of taking advantage of Industry 4.0 to provide more creative tourism products.

In the first nine months of 2018, Vietnam welcomed nearly 12 million international arrivals and 62.2 million domestic tourists, up 22.9 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively, over the same period of 2017, according to VNAT. Total tourism revenue reached VND451.2 trillion ($19.5 billion), up 20 per cent.

Seventy-five per cent of international tourists coming to Vietnam found destination information on the internet, according to VNAT, while some 88 per cent of Vietnamese tourists looked up travel information on the internet, according to a 2017 survey by Q&Me, a Vietnamese market researcher. Among these, 35 per cent did so regularly. The key word “travel” has been searched by Vietnamese three times more often in the last five years, mostly regarding reviews on destinations, hotels, and restaurants, according to Google Trends.

Since its launch in 1999, The Guide Awards have become one of the most prestigious travel awards in the country and is sponsored by VNAT, the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations, and Vietnam Economic Science. It aims to be a bridge connecting policymakers and enterprises in the tourism sector in promoting Vietnam’s tourism and introducing Vietnam to international tourists.

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