Tourism, logistics software market tipped
The Thai market for tourism and logistics software is expected to grow at twice the rate of the overall software market this year, with factors such as logistics-hub development, e-commerce, mobility and the 4G network being the main drivers.
Meanwhile, the Software Industry Promotion Agency (Sipa) has reported that most small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) still have the potential to utilise software that would improve their productivity and efficiency.
Somboon Sukheviriya, president of Comanche International – a Thai software company – said the tourism software market in Thailand has this year been experiencing twice the growth rate of the total software industry, as local companies are well-positioned to develop localised products to support domestic demand, as well as to provide after-sales service to businesses.
Moreover, locally developed software is around 30-40 per cent cheaper then international products.
As a result of these factors, local tourism software has by far the majority share of the Thai market, at around 70 per cent, he added.
Somboon said measures taken to support the tourism sector would also drive business usage of tourism software aimed at improving productivity and the sector’s supply chain.
“Most SMEs do not utilise software to support their business process by improving their productivity to support customers, who increasingly get the services they need via online channels. There is therefore high potential for local software firms to provide tourism software to help these operators. Software as a service [SaaS] has good growth potential for the near future,” Comanche’s chief said.
Wichit Saiklao, managing director of DX Innovation, a Thai logistics-software development company, said local software development designed for the logistics industry could also cash in on high growth potential in light of the rising e-commerce trend, with more and more consumers shopping online.
Operators need their logistics to be finely tuned to demand, so that they do not have to carry too much inventory at any given time, he said.
In addition, Thailand’s designs on being the logistics hub of the region, coupled with mobile users – executives in terms of making business decisions on the go, and customers ordering products and services online – are factors driving the usage of logistics software in the domestic market.
“I think suppliers or businesses that provide collaborative services will be an important part of the logistics industry, helping companies increase productivity and supporting the competition trend in the digital era.
“Moreover, logistics software is able to provide real-time information for a business and its customers alike.
A business can utilise data for analytical purposes, so that it can provide flexibility for logistics services and business on demand,” the MD said.
Meanwhile, Sipa’s vice president, Suwimol Taewasillachaikul, said her agency had conducted a survey among 800 small and medium-sized businesses on the usage of hospitality, tourism and logistics software to support their operations.
The survey found that most of the respondents lacked the necessary information-technology experts to support their business.
Meanwhile, there is also a lack of awareness of the benefits of utilising IT to support their business, particularly among restaurant and land-transportation operators, she said.
Around 79 per cent of the tourism firms surveyed utilise software packages to run their business, but only 4.7 per cent utilise outsourcing to develop software to support their operations.
In the logistics sector, around 78 per cent of respondents use software packages, while 16 per cent utilise outsourcing software or hire a local software company to develop a program to support their business.
Suwimol said there was therefore still much room for local developers to provide software to support tourism and logistics industries.
Sipa also has a policy to encourage and leverage tourism and logistics businesses to utilise IT and software, in order to improve their productivity and the efficiency of their businesses as a whole.
Jirawan Boonperm, chairperson of the executive board of Sipa, said the agency was pleased to declare the success of a mission to promote and support the potential of Thai software and digital-content operators in the “Registration and certification for Thai software and digital-content operators” project, which aims to support operators by ensuring acceptance and confidence about using Thai software.
The project included the organisation of contest forums countrywide in search of business organisations using software to enhance their competitiveness and reduce costs via increased efficiency.
Focus-group activities received opinion from Thai software and digital-content operators, while there was a public-relations roadshow in Bangkok and the regions, including stops in Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen and Phuket, she said.
“During the eight-month project period [to date], more than 200 interested businesses have participated, already meeting the first-year target of 200 registered operators.
Companies or business organisations willing to purchase software can conveniently source and verify software distributors and service providers with complete information relevant to company or user demand,” she explained.
Moreover, the project supports and encourages the application of technology to various industries, builds a cooperation network between software service providers and entrepreneurs, as well as expanding the market base for the Thai software industry to compete globally, Jirawan added.