Travel Travel

13/10/2018 - 12:22

Building Hue into a smart destination

Hue aims to become a smart destination in the next few years, with the support of technology and a smart “ecosystem”.

Tourists coming to Hue

Advantages in attracting guests

Experiences from some provinces show that the application of technology in tourism can improve and enhance the convenience, interactivity, as well as the immersion for the people and visitors. Another effect coming from the building of e-government in combination with building a smart ecosystem for tourism is that it helps government agencies to better manage and administer the society, thereby contributing to improving the welfare of the community, as well as creating a smart, immersive, friendly and sustainable destination for tourists.

Mr. Le Huu Minh, Acting Director of the Tourism Department, said that in Hue, the application of technology in the tourism sector is still quite limited. Searching information to make schedules in advance for the trip to Hue is still difficult for visitors. This process is mostly done via websites and people who have come to Hue. There are only a few businesses with smart software to help their customer. This is not enough to provide significant support to the tourism industry.

According to the leaders of the tourism sector, if Hue does not begin to integrate technology applications right now, then a backwardness in tourism is predictable. To an attractive destination, aside from good products and services, providing convenience, comfort and information supports to customers is also an advantage in competition.

Building a smart tourism ecosystem

Recently, the provincial People's Committee introduced the "Development of smart urban services in the province to 2020 with orientation to 2025" project. In particular, tourism is a priority area for development with the goal of making tourism a key economic sector of the province.

According to Mr. Le Huu Minh, in order to concretize the objectives of the People's Committee, the Department of Tourism is developing the "Smart Tourism" project, with building a "smart tourism ecosystem" as the most important aspect, centered on the people and tourists. The smart tourism ecosystem ensures essential functions and services for the people and tourists, such as transport, visiting monuments must have convenient transportation systems, infrastructure, adequate service for tourism products...

In the smart tourism ecosystem, the tourism sector focuses on building an information system to support visitors in searching, as well as consulting tour recommendations for the planning phase before coming to Hue. This will be an artificial intelligence software that works independently, being able to automatically answer questions or handle various situations of the tourists.

According to Mr. Le Huu Minh, another equally important thing is the smart application for tour search and support tourists in making decisions for visiting Hue. The tourism sector will develop a smart tour search engine (AI Tour Advisor) integrated on the Hue promotion tourism website.

The basic functions of the AI Tour Advisor will be providing tour information for visitors to simplify the difficulties in organizing, scheduling and calculating tour costs; complying with visitors’ needs and criteria, such as types of tourism, number of adults and children, the maximum expected budget, tour timetable, desired destinations, type of expected tourism (adventure, family, relax ...), or types of accommodations (hotel, homestay, resort, ...). From there, advices will be tailored specifically for each type of visitor; helping the visitors build their tours more comfortable and reasonable.

One branch in the smart tourism ecosystem is build a smart accommodation system. In keeping with the current trends, large hotel corporations choose to apply modern technology to create exciting experiences, improve customers’ satisfaction, and increase business efficiency for the hotel. With such system, the customers can use smart phones to unlock the rooms, control televisions and other electronic devices in their rooms; Tablet PCs become lively menus and customers can order food online, TV becomes a "big computer" to work or surf the web...

The smart tourism ecosystem promises to contribute to the goal of providing smart travel services to tourists, improving management capacity, managing and serving citizens and businesses better. The biggest problem is the human resources to concretize the smart tourism system as well as long-term operation, which should be addressed immediately.

Story and photo: Duc Quang