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Da Nang, Vietnam Chatbot Improves Tourism Experience

Da Nang, a tourism hub in the central region, has become the second city in Southeast Asia to deploy chatbot tech in tourism. In an attempt to increase the variety of tourist self-service tools and information channels, the municipal Tourism Department coordinated with a private artificial intelligence (AI) developer to create and pilot Chatbot Danang Fantasticity, the first automatic tourism information search and support channel via text message conversation in Vietnam.

During its six-month trial, the chatbot was updated with relevant information about famous destinations, events, weather, ATM locations, and hotlines, among others, according to the Da Nang Tourism Promotion Centre. The newly added Event Countdown is one of Danang FantastiCity Chatbot’s notable features. The function helps tourists avoid missing out on any ongoing or future events in the city and can even plan routes to the destinations.

By registering with an email or phone number, tourists can receive e-coupon bar codes with price promotions. A wide range of attraction sites, tourist activities, and entertainment outlets around the city offer e-coupons via the chatbot. The technology can also communicate with international tourists as it offers English for all its information categories. In the future, the chatbot will be available in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese.

Given the benefits from AI apps, experts believe that Vietnam’s tourism sector should promote the widespread use of AI by building an AI development process and continually applying it to measure its compatibility with the set targets. It is necessary to connect with the suppliers of relevant products and services to create a complete chatbot ecosystem for tourism, a media report has said. An industry expert has recommended enterprises step up comprehensive change in the tourism sector, foster connections in the industry, and create a dynamic digital environment by boosting IT reform.

A virtual space introducing tourist destinations of the central province of Thua Thien-Hue was launched last month, aiming to optimise digital transformation to boost the industry’s recovery from the pandemic and encourage economic growth. According to the Director of the provincial Department of Tourism, Tran Huu Thuy Giang, this is a step for the province to catch up with the fourth industrial revolution. It will also connect Thua Thien-Hue with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to promote its tourism products, services, and destinations to foreign visitors while helping Vietnamese firms partner with leading telecommunication and IT companies.

As OpenGov Asia reported, Giang said the province hopes to organise the space annually, providing a chance for localities across the province and local travel firms to connect with their customers. Visitors can access the Thua Thien-Hue virtual tourism space at the official website and portal for images of destinations, festivals, and specialities as well as tourism activities of the province in a 3D format. The department and its technology partner have supported travel firms to register to join the virtual tourism space and interact with customers. So far, more than 90 localities and businesses have registered to take part in the space. Officials will continue to develop the space into a tourism platform that enables visitors to book tours and hotels for their trips.

Like e-commerce and retail, customers in the tourism and hotel industry now prefer to book tours through websites and portals. In fact, according to a survey on tourism demand and trends amid COVID-19 by the Vietnam Tourism Advisory Board (TAB), 40% of the respondents preferred online tour booking, and only 12-15% chose the traditional booking method via travel firms.

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