High-tech tourism services attract more travelers

Update: 09:26 | 18/12/2018
Tourism centers in the central region of Vietnam have been using technologies to attract more travelers, believing that ‘technological tourism’ will be the future of the industry.
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When the APEC Summit took place in Da Nang last year, the city’s tourism department put ran a chatbot system on Facebook and Skype platforms, which helped travelers seek information about beautiful landscapes, hotels, restaurants and means of transport.

After six months of trial operation, ‘Da Nang Fantasticity’, the chatbot, became operational in April.

Mr. Nguyen Xuan Binh, deputy director of the Da Nang Tourism Department, said that Da Nang, together with Singapore, are two cities in Southeast Asia that first applied chatbot technology to serve people and travelers.

During the trial operation, nearly 10,000 travelers from 12 countries and territories used the chabot.

The chatbot app was developed by Hekate AI, a Vietnamese 3-year-old startup, with three founders born in the 1990s.

high tech tourism services attract more travelers
High-tech tourism services attract more travelers. (Photo: VIR)

The app is using a computing cloud platform with intelligent processing unit installed on cloud infrastructure, and the interface was integrated into chat apps on smart internet-connected devices, or installed on web pages.

In 2016, Sumi, Hekate AI’s first ‘virtual character’ using chatbot technology, was presented before the public and attracted nearly 1 million conversations. Nguyen Van Minh Duc, one of three founders, said users can download Hekate apps to create specific chabots of their own to save their specific purposes, and connect with Messenger for use. Chatbot becomes more clever if it can communicate with more people.

Da Nang is also using Danang FantastiCity, an app developed by Fiuzu based on the trip planning website justgola.com.

In 2016, Danang FantastiCity 1.0 version was introduced and in the first year of operation, there were more than 7,500 downloads for Android and iOS.

The 2.0 version came out one year later, in 2017 with many outstanding features. It provides "countdown timer" utility that lists events and detailed information about each event to happen Da Nang; and "e-coupon" with many promotion packages for accommodation, dining, relaxing in Vietnamese, English, Korean and Chinese languages.

According to Le Huu Minh, acting director of the Thua Thien-Hue Tourism Department, the province is moving ahead with ‘smart tourism’ project with a focus on the building of a smart ecosystem.

The project was implemented after the provincial people’s committee released the plan on developing smart urban area services by 2020, capitalized at VND325 billion.

In Hoi An ancient town, an app on bicycle sharing is going to make a debut. This is part of the 178,000 Euro project on developing bicycle transport and a program on free or low-cost bicycle sharing funded by the German government.

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(Source: VIR)