Travel Travel

17/10/2017 - 09:44

Hue tourism and opportunities in the Era of Integration

Integration is becoming a crucial factor of development. With this trend, Hue tourism needs a long-term strategy for this "open" period.

Students from Hue Tourism College on a field trip.

Traveling in 4.0 era

The whole world is entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, also known as “4.0 era” as of recently. The revolution in technology is dominating all aspects of life, and tourism is not outside of its influence. Most travelers are familiar with terms such as selfie, livestream, etc., especially for the young generation as most of them have smartphones, technology products that are inseparable from the people of the 4.0 generation. Also, thanks to the 4.0 revolution, tourist destinations are able to reach out to visitors in a much easier and even more widespread way.

Online booking via websites is a new trend now, gradually replacing phone or agency booking. Mr. Nguyen Huu Binh, Chairman of Hue Lodging Association, said that online reservation has yet to overthrow traditional methods, but those booking online are still real tourists. The review from these guests has a great influence. Other tourists will base on those reviews to choose their destination and accommodation. With this trend, if a business does not do well, it will be automatically removed from the competition in this era of technological development.

Mr. Truong Thanh Minh, Director of Hue Tourism Promotion Center, said that online booking trend is becoming more and more popular. Travel agencies, having anticipated that promoting on online travel sites would be effective, have contacted top online booking sites such as tripadvisor, agoda, traveloka, trivago ... to gain cooperation in promotion of destinations, especially accommodation services. This September, they will be having a negotiation with tripadvisor.

The form in tourism promotion has also changed. Instead of using prints, promoting via websites, social networks is more preferred. Mr. Le Huu Minh, acting director of the Department of Tourism (DoT), acknowledged the technology boom as a favorable condition for promotion. That was the reason for the creation of their Facebook page. In order to attract and increase interactivity, they organized contests for the online community to participate in and share. DoT also associated with Thai bloggers to make videos about Hue for promotion in the Thai market. Recently, a group of Korean actors and singers have come to shoot films for Korean tourists.

Applying new technologies to the tourism sector is getting more focus and is showing a lot of positive effects. Mr. Truong Thanh Minh said that the convenience of electronic visa must also be considered. In other areas, Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) is building a software to manage the number of visitors for every locality and business. This is an effort in managing tourists coming to the country with more precision and thereby helping determine on a suitable direction for development.

Not long ago, a Korean tour guide, while giving a presentation in the Citadel, was mistaken for a Chinese working illegally as a tour guide. This information quickly spread onto social networks and created many negative comments. Fortunately, it was corrected just in time. That incident served as a piece of evidence for the two sides of the information boom. It is important to manage information efficiently and to have suitable sanctions.

Opportunities and Challenges

Integration is inevitable, and the opportunities that come with it will be extremely great if Hue prepares well for that integration. The ASEAN Economic Community has been established. Nowadays, ASEAN tourism has set a common standard for six occupations: reception, room services, kitchen, food services, travel agency and tour operator, with a total of 32 titles. The general vocational training curriculum has also been established. This integration will create opportunities for ASEAN workers to transfer and find suitable working environments, despite geographical and national differences.

Hue has many prestigious tourism training schools. However, there are still worries that even insiders have to acknowledge, that is the lack of labors as well as skills related to the industry in Hue. Mr. Vu Hoai Phuong, director of Hue Tourism College, claimed that their skills are competitive, but foreign language is the weakness of Hue’s workforce. The school is utilizing resources, especially foreign volunteers to help provide English language training; setting up foreign language clubs. "In addition to innovation, teaching methods have become vital to training institutions. We are piloting a standard training program from Australia. In the next few years when the program is able to run smoothly, it will be applied to the whole school," Mr. Phuong shared.

Hue is located on the East-West Economic Corridor. The construction of inter-regional and inter-national tours should be more promoted. The leaders of Hue tourism said that in addition to air routes, in the future, they will also actively call for businesses to design suitable tours using land transportation through Laos, Thailand and vice versa, such as motorcycle, bicycle tours, combined with sightseeing.

Quality of services in this integration period is highly compulsory. According to Mr. Minh, with the efforts of the whole province, the work of improving the quality and "renewing" the products of heritage and culture tourism has been concentrated. At the same time, Hue tourism has been expanding its tourism products associated with the lagoons, eco-friendly tours to streams and waterfalls, leisure tourism and community tourism on the basis of developing a green and environmentally sustainable tourism. In addition, many large, potential investors and brands such as Banyan Tree (Laguna), Vingroup, Bitexco, BRG, Kim Long Nam, etc. are investing in building strategic projects, creating unique products such as golf courses, luxury resort services to attract and diversify Hue tourism products.

Integrating means developing, and Hue has many advantages in this integration period. Hopefully, Hue can make good use of the opportunities and will develop faster.

Story and photo: Duc Quang