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HomeCEO SeriesWhy This M'sian-Owned Travel Startup Only Focuses On SEA's Hidden Gem: Vietnam

Why This M'sian-Owned Travel Startup Only Focuses On SEA's Hidden Gem: Vietnam is a travel platform founded by Malaysian Kingston Lai and partner Kelvin Wu in August 2018.It only focuses on Vietnam, offering hotel deals, localised experiences such as dining options, escapades, and tours, and also offer travel essentials such as SIM cards, visa letters, and chartered transport.

In the overall scheme of things, the process of planning for and going on a holiday is probably easier than it’s ever been. The countless online travel apps and platforms have seen to it there’s no shortage of options when it comes to booking a flight, securing a hotel to stay at, or finding a place on a tour group.

Crux of it—the players in the travel game are many, and you can be sure that it’s competitive as you can imagine.

Despite this, fledgling travel platform are still striving to make a place for themselves in the travel game. Founded by Seremban local Kingston Lai along with partner Kelvin Wu, only began operations in August 2018 but are already making moves to crack the ripe Southeast Asian market.

Their strategy? A pure focus on Vietnam.

To shed more light, are headquartered in Ho Chi Minh and completely only cater to those looking to take a vacation in Vietnam.

More specifically, what they do is provide local activity options for vacationers—city tours, dining options, fun escapades—and also help them secure essentials such as local SIM cards, visa letters, and airport transfers to get their holiday started on the right foot.

Why this particular focus on Vietnam, though?

“Vietnam has lost of stunning sceneries and attractions waiting to be unearthed by travellers, not just the major cities,” Kingston explained. “From family-friendly sightseeing tours in the cities to foraying into the mysterious unknown in the under-the-radar destinations, there’s something for everyone to discover in Vietnam.”

“For the sunshine and beach, Phu Quoc offers crystal-clear waters and water activity. For spectacular natural scenery, Hanoi has many options within a two-hour drive,” he added. “Hoi An offers rich historical and cultural heritage, and you can always visit Ho Chi Minh City for its cool urban vibe.”

But in order to go beyond just providing options, it’s also important that they’re quality options, and Kingston said that does its best to make its offerings as bang for buck as possible. How?

“We have a team from Vietnam who always gets first-hand information from the market about the opening of new hotels or restaurants, about the locals’ favourite spots,” Kingston said. “We’re always ready to share these insider into to the public via our blog and our social media platforms.”

He also explained that in addition to providing one-of-a-kind experiences, also makes sure their prices are competitive and transparent, and their customer service as responsive as possible.

“The pricing is straightforward with no hidden fees or surcharge, and if there are any questions about our experiences and bookings, our customer service team endeavours to respond within 24 hours in the utmost helpful and professional manner,” Kingston said.

“We also welcome feedback from our customers after their trips and always invite them to give us reviews on our website for every experience.”

How has this translated into bottom-line figures?

Despite being relatively new, already have a network of more than 60 Vietnamese tour providers with over 100 curated experiences on their platform.

And even more encouraging is the fact that they’re already taking in bookings in the region of around 1,500 per month, with the number of clients on an upward trend and expected to hit even higher during peak seasons such as the upcoming Chinese New Year season.

In months to come, also hope to continue building their customer base and remain relevant as a travel platform, and they hope to do this by partnering with more prominent tourism bodies in Vietnam.

“As we’re still quite new in the industry, I’d say our biggest challenge is to be known as a trustworthy platform for all things Vietnam,” Kingston said. “We’re partnering with Vietnamese tourism boards in different cities and with Vietnam Airlines to organise different campaigns to promote ourselves and Vietnamese tourism in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia.”

He also added that it was their goal to continue adding numbers to their list of experiences while keeping their prices attractive, with the aim being to become the first name on the list when people think about a holiday in Vietnam.

As of now, already offer experiences in ten of Vietnam’s most popular locations including Ho Chi Minh, Halong Bay, Da Nang, and Mekong Delta, but in the near future hope to introduce options in places such as Sa Pa, Dalat, and Mui Ne.

And also, they plan to release their mobile to make bookings on their platform way more accessible.

Check out on their official website.

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