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ASEAN digital skills workshop boosts green tourism in Vietnam

  • VNAT Workshop 2
  • Mr. Ha Van Sieu - VNAT’s Vice Chairman
  • Mr. Nguyen Thanh Binh, Vice Permanent Chairman of People's Committee of Thua Thien Hue Province

VNAT hosts ASEAN workshop in Vietnam, focusing on digital skills for sustainable tourism, amid regional tourism recovery efforts.

At Silk Path Hotel (Hue City), Vietnam National Authority of Tourism (VNAT) coordinated with ASEAN – Japan Center, Thua Thien Hue Province and ADB organized the workshop “Digital Skills for Green Tourism Enterprises: Training of Trainers” for delegates of ASEAN countries.

The event was held to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Friendship and Cooperation between ASEAN and Japan in order to share experiences and equip stakeholders in the tourism industry with knowledge on destination management and promotion, green and sustainable tourism development.

Remarking at the opening ceremony, Mr. Ha Van Sieu – VNAT’s Vice Chairman informed that the latest UNWTO data shows that international tourism is on track to recover almost 90% of pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year, with many destinations reaching or even exceeding pre-pandemic arrivals and receipts.

However, it is lagging behind as Asia and the Pacific reached only 62% of pre-pandemic levels from January to September due to slower reopening to international travel.

Recalling the statistics from last year, 2022, ASEAN Member States welcomed 43 international tourist arrivals, recovering by only 30% compared to pre-crisis levels.

ASEAN countries have jointly made efforts to overcome this challenging time by issuing timely guidance and policy recommendations not only for national tourism organisations but also for industry stakeholders. Nonetheless, as forecasted by some tourism experts, the full recovery of our region may come in 2024 and onward.

Vietnam was the first country in ASEAN to fully open its borders for tourism without any restrictions regarding COVID-19 since March 2023. Over the last two years, the tourism sector has received many favorable policies to the recovery process and support tourism enterprises and employees.

In the first 11 months of 2023, Vietnam welcomed 11.2 million international visitor arrivals, recovering 69% compared to the same period in 2019. This is a remarkable result, demonstrating the efforts of all tourism stakeholders to revitalise the sector and its contribution to the country’s economic development and the improvement of people’s well-being.

VNAT’s Vice Chairman affirmed that one of the emerging trends in our sector post-pandemic is the growing concern for sustainable and resilient tourism. In order to recover and develop the tourism industry in this new era, we need to recognise and rethink tourism in a more sustainable direction, paying more attention to green growth, digital transformation, destination management, and human resource development. Besides, it is also crucial to support and build capacity for tourism enterprises to be stronger and more resilient, as the majority of tourism enterprises are micro, small, and medium-sized, making them vulnerable to future crises.

Therefore, the Training for Trainers with the theme ‘Digital Skills for Green Tourism Enterprises’ for tackling one of the biggest concerns in our sector and bringing experienced and suitable master trainers here to share the practical knowledge and skills needed to promote the adoption of digital skills, as well as to guide tourism enterprises on how to use digital solutions to become more competitive, innovative, and resilient.

Commenting on the role of digital transformation in tourism, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Binh, Vice Permanent Chairman of People’s Committee of Thua Thien Hue Province said, against the background of international integration, and high competition, digital transformation is one of the most important contents, a key factor for Vietnamese businesses to develop. Digital transformation, especially digital skills, is one of the pre-eminent goals of service tourism businesses. It will create a mutual platform for them to share, to connect, and gradually possibly to provide diverse, high-quality and effective services for tourists.

So that this workshop will help to improve digital skills and digital marketing for governmental officials as well as tourism enterprises, eventually creating business presence on the digital market, expanding opportunities to reach and attract customers from the Internet, promoting tourism in the new normal in the post-COVID-19 era. Within the framework of this workshop, it will promote mutual understanding, strengthen solidarity and friendship between countries, contributing to raising awareness of the common identity of the ASEAN community.

The Workshop “Digital Skills for Green Tourism Enterprises: Training of Trainers” takes place until December the 8th, 2023 with main contents such as methods to become good trainers, digital marketing and social networks, search engines, online travel agencies… Delegates from ASEAN countries will share experiences on digital solutions, digital transformation in tourism, and participate in famtrip to tourist destinations in Hue. At the end of the course, delegates do the exercise on Building a training program on digital solutions for green tourism businesses in a certain destination.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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