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Google offers support to tourism SMEs

Released at: 08:57, 26/04/2017

Google offers support to tourism SMEs

Photo: Khanh Chi

Tech giant holds conference on development solutions for tourism businesses.

by Hong Nhung

Smartphone adoption in Vietnam is now at 72 per cent and the same as in the US, but a far higher proportion of Vietnamese travelers use smartphones to research hotels and travel than people in the US do, according to Google’s 2016 Consumer Barometer report.

The proportion of people using smartphones for researching hotels in Vietnam stands at 48 per cent, much higher than the US’s 18 per cent, while 42 per cent research overland travel compared to 25 per cent, and 37 per cent research flights against 18 per cent in the US.

“The key to current and future success for travel businesses lies in getting mobile right,” Ms. Ha Lam Tu Quynh, Head of PR & Communications at Google Asia Pacific, told a recent conference on “Solutions for the Development of Vietnamese Tourism Businesses” in Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnam welcomed 10 million tourists last year, a 26 per cent increase from 2015, and the industry contributed 6.6 per cent of GDP, with the target for 2017 being 10 per cent of GDP. The conference heard tips and tools to help over 30 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Vietnam’s travel industry win on mobile.

“Mobile has transformed the way we live our lives,” Google noted in the report. “It’s speed and convenience has changed everything from shopping to entertainment. Mobile has also changed the way we travel. Tourism in the past used to mean paper maps and hefty guide books, but now you can carry all the information you need in your smartphone, not to mention all the stages of booking flights and hotels before you step on the plane.”

In the mobile world, time is money so slow sites or apps lead visitors to head elsewhere. A study by DoubleClick revealed the stark finding that 53 per cent of consumers will abandon a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load.

Businesses can also receive good support from Google via consultancy sessions with accredited Google Developer experts or discounts from Google’s special deals with market-leading website designers.

Mr. Trinh Quang Chung, Head of Google Industry, said “every Vietnamese business is an online business now, because that’s where consumers are spending an increasing amount of their time. For any travel business looking to attract consumers in mobile-first Asia, not being present on mobile, or offering a slow and inconvenient experience means giving competitors who are set up well an immediate advantage. Mobile helps Vietnamese small businesses find customers across oceans without needing to hop on a plane themselves - which is why we’re offering a range of tools and programs to help Vietnamese businesses make the most of mobile.”

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