The strong impacts of the fourth industrial revolution and the high and continuous growth of Vietnam's tourism industry in recent years are becoming the motivation for many young people to start-up with smart tourism products on technology platforms. The models promise to bring many breakthroughs in connectivity, market expansion and competitiveness for Vietnam tourism.
|BedLinker, the first B2B e-commerce platform for hotels and resorts in Vietnam, received the top prize at the competition.
Recently, at the contest “Innovative start-up enterprises in applying information technology to develop tourism" co-organised by the Vietnam General Department of Tourism, Han River Start-up Incubator Centre, nine best projects were chosen to participate in the final round. These are all projects with advanced technology applications, bringing practical, creative and breakthrough content.
Among them, BedLinker, the first B2B e-commerce platform for hotels and resorts in Vietnam, received the top prize at the competition.
BedLinker.com, an open e-commerce trading platform helps directly connect travel companies and many hotels and resorts, to easily check and book accommodation with accommodation facilities, it has already been implemented and received convincing success. Launched in mid-2017, the project was officially launched to the market, BedLinker.com has connected about 600 agents and travel companies in Vietnam market with the revenue in the first six months of 2019 at about US$150,000. Currently, BedLinker.com is working with foreign partners in terms of technology to be able to automatically connect and introduce Vietnamese tourism products to foreign exchanges, thereby attracting more international visitors to Vietnam.
Besides BedLinker.com, there is Tubudd - a technology platform helps connect visitors with local people wherever they go, with moderate spending and exploring the destination from a native perspective.
Supporting visitors in other ways, the Liberzy project provides intelligent tools to help travelers create and share their own travel maps, forming social networks for travelers to easily interact with others. Meanwhile, the Goeatme platform helps visitors discover delicious places to eat with artificial intelligence, helping to add to the experience; LodyHelp platform provides local services such as dining, car rental, laundry and sports to foreign visitors, who are arriving in Vietnam to travel, work or live short or long term from three months or more.
It can be said that tourism starting-up applying new technologies in the context of Industry 4.0 is a trend with a lot of potential and quite a strong development over the recent years. Most applications are made by young people who are technologically savvy and sensitive to new travel trends. Some startups in this field such as Triip.me, VNTrips and Tripi have been successful in utilizing the benefits of technology to develop innovative products, meeting the actual changes in consumption, the selected services of modern travelers, thereby blowing new winds for the country's tourism industry.
However, that does not mean tourism starting-up applying new technologies in the context of Industry 4.0 is a flat, easy road. In fact, there are many projects that, basing on their feasible ideas, are built but cannot come along for many reasons. According to Dao Quang Thuan, founder and CEO of BedLinker.com, the biggest pressure is how to have the resources to develop a technology startup the fastest because just being little slower, could mean other competition will surpass them. What makes the product successful is the idea, calling for capital, identifying customer segments. While young startups often do not have much experience.
Director of the Han River Start-up Incubator Centre Dinh Quan said that applying information technology to start-ups in the field of tourism is developing in many big cities. However, in general, tourism enterprises still encounter some obstacles. The first obstacle lies in entrepreneurship education.
Our universities have not yet made entrepreneurship education into a regular education programme, so novices are still thinking with outdated methods, lack of access to new thinking and new tools. Therefore the business models have less creativity. In addition, the current investors have not dared to invest much in the stage of bringing ideas into business models and products. In order to effectively exploit start-up resources in the field of tourism, it is necessary to connect resources to support young people. That is the connection between the school, the state and enterprises and investors to create a dynamic and effective entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Besides, according to experts, when beginning start-up projects, young people also need to often receive feedback to change and improve their products. In addition to ideas, capital and technology, young entrepreneurs need to know how to manage and develop sustainable their business.
According to Deputy Director General of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, Ha Van Sieu, in order to implement the overall project on application of information technology in the field of tourism in 2018-2020 period, going onto 2025, issued by the Government in late November, 2018, the tourism industry has implemented many things, especially building data to digitize tourism resources. It is a premise for many new applications to be born and motivating young people to tourism starting-up applying new technologies in the context of Industry 4.0, thereby creating added value for tourism products and tourist destinations in Vietnam. The emergence of applications and technology platforms in the field of tourism stemming from practical demands over the past time, being positive signs to enhance the competitiveness of Vietnam's tourism, and bringing the best experiences to tourists.