FRI, FEBRUARY 26, 2021
Consulting the Tourism Council of Bhutan on Digitalization of Bhutanese tourism industry
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Consulting the Tourism Council of Bhutan on Digitalization of Bhutanese tourism industry
  • weekly, walkintoKorea
  • 승인 2021.02.03 12:45
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- Project funded by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
- The implementing team from Sejong University's Tourism Industry Data Analysis Lab (TIDAL) includes Dr. Seul Ki Lee, Ms. Gongju Jung, Dr. Ian Sutherland, Dr. Kiattipoom Kiatkawsin
(From left to right) Dr. Seul Ki Lee, Ms. Gongju Jung, Dr. Ian Sutherland, Dr. Kiattipoom Kiatkawsin 

Bhutan is a country rich with natural and cultural resources, and the Royal Government of Bhutan has been determined to ensure the uniqueness and richness of its tourism resources are not deteriorated by the effort of tourism. Hence, the introduction of the ‘high value, low volume’ model.

Tiger’s Nest Temple, Bhutan (source: Bhutan.travel)

1. Booking process

The current tour booking process involves five steps that require e-mail exchanges between tour operators and prospective tourists. Therefore, the TIDAL consultancy team was tasked with digitalizing Bhutan’s current tour booking system.

The current tour booking process caused the current tourism flow into Bhutan to be slow and confusing. Consequently, many tourists have been deterred from visiting Bhutan due to the requirements and processes of obtaining the visa.

After a thorough analysis of the current situation, the TIDAL team presented a new tourism flow for Bhutan. The new flow will be based on a new interface, called the TCB hub, that allows tourists to browse and book tours directly without the need to e-mail tour operators directly. The TCB hub will not only help enhance the speed between choosing and finalizing the visa process but also the accuracy. Moreover, the hub will also generate more data for interested parties to learn more about tourist preferences and behaviors.

2. Payment methods

The TIDAL has also leveraged smart service technologies already in operation in Korea. Such as the WonPay system that will bring mobile and electronic payment options to more stores across the country.

Moreover, the Zeropay Payment System has also been recommended. The advantage of Zeropay is the lack of processing fees usually associated with the credit card or other electronic forms of payment because the government bears the costs of operation instead of the private sectors or the consumers.

3. Smart service for immigration process and data management

Another Korean smart tour service recommended for Bhutan is the Mobile Passport System. This mobile app will be available to all inbound tourists, and the app will contain all necessary information of the tourists such as visa number, passport number, and more. The system will help speed up the duty-free clearance and immigration process.

The TCB hub will also be able to help generate different types of data and richer data than what was possible before. The data flow through the hub can be categorized into three types, for government organizations, for private sectors, and for tourists.