Developing Smart Tourism in 4.0 Industrial Age: The Case of
Nguyen Thi Thoi
FPT University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Keywords: Travel App, Smart Travel, Industry 4.0, Self-Sufficient Travel.
Abstract: Smart travel is a result of 4.0 Era. In Vietnam, the applications of modern technology in the field of tourism
industry are being applied by many traveling businesses. Although new in this field, smart travel has achieved
certain achievements. Nowadays, the use of smart devices such as smartphones, Ipads, laptops to use online
websites, smart apps on CHplay app - Android and App store - Apple to follow, book services, plan a self-
sufficient tour are being chosen by more tourists for their convenience and time savings. The fourth industrial
revolution has had a strong impact on the tourism industry on a global scale in general, and Vietnam in
particular. Currently, the tourism industry is orientating and developing smart tourism models to provide the
best services to tourists, travelers, tourism businesses and tourism authorities. This research points out the
benefits of smart tourism applied in the context of Vietnam country, then, the paper aslo offers a few solutions
to develop this type of tourism in the 4.0 era.
Industrial Revolution 4.0 creates a new face for
Vietnam's tourism. Not only introduce to foreign
visitors an image of Vietnam silver sea gold forest but
also connecting cultures around the world,
developing the country's economy. Currently, most of
the countries in the world are using tourism for
economic development (Huang et al., 2017). In
Vietnam, tourism is considered the most optimal
solution in the problem of international economic
integration in the industrial revolution 4.0. The new
era has brought a huge source of income for the
country's economy. However, the development path
of our country's tourism industry still faces many
difficulties and challenges. With the advantages of
geographical, economic and political location,
Vietnam is considered a potential land for tourism
development (Ozdemir et al., 2019).
2.1 Definition of Smart Tourism in the
4.0 Era
Smart Travel is considered as a new tourist trend, it
differs from traditional tours. Smart travel focuses on
your personal interests (Pencarelli, 2020). Not just
about convenience. Smart travel in the 4.0 era as the
most optimal solution for travel costs. Smart travel
here is means that tourists are more active in
calculating and planning specifically for self-
sufficient travel in a smart way and achieve the
maximum experience while the costs are minimal.
Tourism has a combination of technology elements of
travel-enabled applications such as intelligent
management software (Oztemel and Gursev, 2020).
For example, automatic explanation utility, online
tour guide management software, online booking
software, hotel navigation and search software,
entertainment area, and smart tourism is a new
tourism product in Vietnam developed on the basis of
applying achievements of advanced science and
technology and modern technology Ozdemir et al.,
Nguyen, T.
Developing Smart Tourism in 4.0 Industrial Age: The Case of Vietnam.
DOI: 10.5220/0010592804890493
In Proceedings of the International Scientific and Practical Conference on Sustainable Development of Regional Infrastructure (ISSDRI 2021), pages 489-493
ISBN: 978-989-758-519-7
2021 by SCITEPRESS Science and Technology Publications, Lda. All rights reserved
2.2 Research History
Smart tourism is developed based on the application
of modern science and technology achievements,
especially multimedia communication technology, to
meet the diverse needs of tourists create the best
value, benefits, and services for travel businesses
together with tourism and community authorities
(Huang et al., 2017). The term "smart tourism" has
only appeared in Vietnam in the past few years, but is
mentioned a lot in the fourth industrial revolution
(Oztemel and Gursev, 2020). Based on the
achievements that smart tourism has brought to the
home country, the Party, State and Government of
Vietnam are very interested in and issued many legal
documents with the aim of meeting socio-economic
development and applying modern technology to
develop tourism (Pencarelli, 2020). The application
of prerequisite policies to clear and pave the way
creates conditions for a solid legal foundation for
innovation and development of smart tourism (Huang
et al., 2017).
It can be said that smart travel consists of three
main components (Hoi, 2020). The first is a smart
destination. It is an innovative tourism destination,
built on advanced technology infrastructure, ensuring
the sustainable development of tourism areas,
accessible to everyone, and facilitating the future.
visitor interaction and integration into the
surroundings, increase the quality of the experience
in the destination, improve the quality of life of the
people (Pencarelli, 2020). The second is the
experience of intelligence. These are seen as
technology-mediated travel experiences and
enhanced information exchange through
personalization, contextual awareness and real-time
tracking. The third is business intelligence ecosystem.
That is a complex business ecosystem that creates and
supports the exchange of tourism resources combined
with tourism experience (Ye et al., 2020).
Participants of this model are also smart travellers.
They not only consume, but also share and create
experiences, and take on a managerial and
supervisory role to ensure the perfection of their next
journey and other travellers Ozdemir et al., 2019).
2.3 The Advantages and Disadvantages
of Smart Travel in 4.0 Era
2.3.1 Advantages
There are many advantages and benefits that smart
travel brings with the nature of a “smoke-free
industry”, the first benefit tourists are most interested
in when traveling is travel cost. The e-commerce
industry is helping the tourism industry have more
opportunities to effectively promote and expand the
market, creating more attractive new tourism
products Ozdemir et al., 2019). Tourists will easily
grasp promotions for travel companies, hotels,
airlines, ships, and cars when there are special
discounts during holidays or summer, tourist
companies will regularly post on websites, fan pages
of forums such as Facebook, Instagram, etc. helping
tourists save 10% - 20% of the cost (Oztemel and
Gursev, 2020).
Figure 1: Ha Long Bay in the North of Vietnam.
In each tourist destination, there is an ideal time
for services, natural scenery like Ha Long Bay
(Figure 1), weather, etc. Tourists just need to have
smart applications like Skyscanner to help find flights
or find hotels via by comparing airlines,
hotels and giving suitable suggestions for tourists
such as tourists choosing Sapa highland as the
destination (Figure 2), the best time for the natural
scenery will be at the end of the year. However, with
the above time considered the peak season of tourism,
ticket prices and room rates will increase and the
application of the above methods will be used by
tourists and make they feel more satisfied and
confident with their trip Ozdemir et al., 2019).
Figure 2: Sapa Highland of Vietnam.
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Secondly, for travel agencies in charge of travel,
technology applications will increase efficiency for
management to create a form of "smart travel
management", businesses apply. Applying
technology, increasing the value of business activities
to create a "smart travel business", tourists apply
modern technology to support tourism activities to
create "smart tourists", a tourist destination applying
advanced technology creates" smart travel destination
to form “smart tourist city", "smart resort", here the
level of "smart" will depend on the scale, nature and
level of technology applied (Hoi, 2020).
2.3.2 Disadvantages
In addition to the positive aspects, the advantages that
the smart travel industry brings, there are still minor
shortcomings as there are now too many businesses
selling self-sufficient tours or informal travel
applications blooming day by day (Ye et al., 2020).
Advertising tricks to promote the truth. It has a
significant impact on the tourism industry, especially
travel businesses and reputable tourism applications
causing a current situation of distrust from tourists.
On the other hand, when travellers subscribe to a
travel app, they force travellers to share their location.
It will lead to travellers feeling like they are being
watched and personal information easily exposed
(Sari, 2018).
The research method is done through data used in the
topic collected from the statistical reports of
Vietnamese organizations such as the General
Department of Tourism, the General Statistics Office,
the Ministry of Culture and Sports - tourism and other
prestigious newspaper sites named Internet.
Based on the total tourism revenue statistics of the
organization of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and
Tourism, the Vietnam National Administration of
Tourism gave the following results (Table 1):
Table 1: Total revenue from tourists for the period of 2016
– 2018.
Year Total revenue from tourists
(Vietnam trillion dongs)
Growth (%)
2018 637.000 17,7
2017 541.000 29,7
2016 417.27 17,5
Compared to 2016 with the total revenue from
tourists was 417.27 trillion VND, by 2018 the total
revenue from tourists was 637,000 trillion VND,
increasing to 219.27 trillion VN.
But in terms of the number of international visitors
to Vietnam in March 2020 wet reached 449,923
arrivals, a decrease of 63.8% compared to February
2020 and a decrease of 68.1% compared to the same
period in 2019 according to statistics (table 2):
Table 2: International arrivals to Vietnam in the first 3 months of 2020.
Target Estimated March
2020 (arrivals)
3 months of
March compared
to the previous
month (%)
March 2020
compared to
March 2019 (%)
3 months 2020 over
the same period last
year (%)
Total 449.923 3.686.779 36,2 31,9 81,9
Generally, in the first 3 months of 2020, it is
estimated at 3,686,779 arrivals, down 18.1%
compared to the same period in 2019 due to the
influence of Covid19 (Table 2).
4.1 Approach for Developing Smart
Tourism in Vietnam
In the field of tourism promotion and marketing, we
expand the space, time and travel market. The
development of the Internet makes space and time
much more closer, creating a flat world, people all
over the world, only needs an internet connection to
be able to access and explore all the history
monuments, famous tourist attractions around the
world. This is an important push that has generated
travel demand for all people and is a golden
opportunity to expand the tourism market.
What we should do is to reduce advertising and
marketing costs if in the past, to promote and develop
destinations, it took a lot of time and had to pay a
large amount of money for advertising on television,
newspapers and radio; distributing leaflets,
brochures, maps, tour descriptions and prices per tour
are now through the application of smart websites
(such as Web30s, Smart Live Chart, Smart Marketing
Developing Smart Tourism in 4.0 Industrial Age: The Case of Vietnam
Tool) and virtual switchboards (all these software are
all running in the cloud environment) the cost of
advertising, marketing and time spent on it has been
greatly reduced. This is a great advantage brought by
Industry 4.0 (Nagy et al.,2018).
4.2 The impact of Industry 4.0 on
Tourism Development
Digitalization of tourism databases digitization of
tourism databases such as introduction of human and
natural tourism resources, tourist destination maps,
restaurants, hotels and systems The transportation
system of each locality, each country is being widely
deployed, bringing benefits to the managers, tourism
businesses and tourists all over the world (Sari, 2018).
Regarding the business of travel services, online
sales and online payment, e-commerce, online
business, including travel business, is now a trend of
the times. Industry 4.0 helps travel businesses to
deploy travel services to all people in need around the
world with the least cost, most time saving and
highest revenue (Huang et al., 2017).
Next is reducing labour force, time, costs,
reducing tourism service costs. The application of
modern technology has significantly reduced the
workforce, shortened the working time, sharply
reduced costs, and led to a decrease in the cost of
tourism services (Chung et al., 2017). Thanks to
online buying and selling, travel businesses can
associate, cooperate, share difficulties and profits, sell
goods to large numbers of customers, with little cost
and time so they can be much better relating to
pricing, discount, and even “shock” discounts on
travel services. The Internet has made it easy for
travel businesses to connect tours, destinations,
increase the number of tourists and increase tourism
business efficiency, turning tourism into an industry
with a continuously operating machine at full
capacity (Nagy et al., 2018).
Developing new tourism products with the current
status of industry 4.0 creates more and more new,
diversified and attractive tourism products. Industry
4.0, especially virtual technology allows the
reproduction of historical events, ancient cultural
spaces, majestic natural landscapes so that visitors
can experience and immerse in it, creating feeling like
real tourist spots (Yoo et al., 2017). Visitors who have
the opportunity to visit the Hollywood movie capital
can see all the virtual technology effects, irresistible
attraction of this famous tourist destination.
Improving service quality when applying Industry
4.0 with outstanding technological advantages, it
allows visitors to feel with all senses (hearing, taste,
smell, touch, perception, etc.); the visitors'
satisfaction will greatly increase. Therefore, Industry
4.0 not only reduces costs but also increases the
quality of tourism services in the field of training of
human resources in industrial tourism 4.0 which is
being widely applied in all areas of life, including the
tourism industry (Hoi, 2020). Therefore, tourism
training institutions - the machine of the tourism
industry also need to undergo drastic transformations
to adapt to the development of technology. Issues that
need to be renewed are to renew training programs
and textbooks, increase the duration of practice,
practical internships in enterprises. Improving and
updating the qualifications and technology of
teachers. Apply new technology in teaching theory
and practice. Students need to be trained in soft skills,
new technology application skills, communication
skills and foreign language skills in business activities
(Sari, 2018).
4.3 Current Smart Travel Application
Technology has become an indispensable part of life
in any way, and travel is no exception (Oztemel and
Gursev, 2020). In particular, smart devices and
applications will be tools to support tourism activities
such as navigation software (Google maps, Here
maps, etc.), hotel search through websites such as
(Agoda, trivago, etc.), online booking software such
as bus ticket, plane, train, etc. (,, (Figure 3). We can easily find related
information such as where to go, what to do, what to
eat, what to play through websites such as Facebook,
Qzone, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter (Hoi, 2020).
Figure 3: Smart navigation application.
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Today, there are also many companies applying
smart travel to travel business to help diversify
customers. Tourists do not need to go to companies to
book tours directly, do not need to go in groups or
groups with limited time (Chung et al., 2017). Only
just by one click, tourists have had their own personal
preference travel, self-sufficient but it does not take
too much time to think and can plan the cost of the
journey by themselves, for example,,
Rome2Rio, Google Trips, and TripAdvisor.
Currently, Vietnam is promoting the development of
smart tourism to make it a key economic sector by
taking a variety of ways. In particular, the promotion
of technology application, implementation of
measures to stimulate tourism demand, training
human resources are the policies that are gradually
being implemented (Hoi, 2020). Investment in
information technology development can create
opportunities for travel businesses to develop
applications. Building smart tourism helps promote
tourism areas, increase visitor access and interaction,
and convenient payment to diversify types, products
and services to attract domestic and foreign tourist’s
country (Ye et al., 2020).
In order to develop tourism into a spearhead
economic sector, it is necessary to synchronously
implement many solutions, of which there must be
solutions to promote the application of modern
science and technology Ozdemir et al., 2019). The
State has a policy to encourage and support the
application of modern science and technology to
tourism management and development.
Smart tourism development in the 4.0 era creates
important knowledge in the operation and
management of smart travel, and provides deeper
insights into how information and communication
technology can be used to reforming strategies,
enhancing travel experiences and co-creating new
modern tourism experiences. In the future, along with
new technologies and digital transformation that
impact the dynamic transformation of processes in
society, new opportunities in smart travel strategy
development. Therefore, information and
communication technology infrastructure plays a
decisive role in the success of tourism businesses and
applications as well as increasing the competitiveness
of travel businesses. With the traditional tourism
industry dependent on services (travel agencies,
restaurants, and hotels), instead it is the smart tourist
experience empowered by technology, in which
technology plays an important role in all stages of the
travel process. Besides, modern technology is also a
medium to co-create travel experiences. The
development of smart applications for smart travel is
also a strategy and dynamic cooperation among
stakeholders to ensure innovation and sustainability
of smart tourism development in Great 4.0.
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Developing Smart Tourism in 4.0 Industrial Age: The Case of Vietnam