A good year for Vietnam with exciting events in 2020
Vietnam continues to have some of the most robust tourism growth in the region. As a result, another exciting year comes to an end for Khiri Travel Vietnam. Not limited only to tourism, the entire Vietnamese economy continues to have significant growth each year. From January to September 2019, tourist arrivals to Vietnam rose by 11 percent. The tourism growth rate has slowed down compared to previous years; it still remains much higher than the global average of approximately 4%.
With a strong year, Nick Wade has been promoted to the General Manager of Vietnam. Consequently, the vacant role of Assistant GM has been filled with the appointment of Olivier Garessus. Based in Saigon, Nia Klatte has also joined our team as the sustainability coordinator for Khiri Group and the director of Khiri Reach. Helping us with our operational processes, Ms. Trang Nguyen has joined the team as the new Travel Experiences Manager.
As we have created dozens of new experiences over the past few years, our team wanted to focus on running those tours more smoothly and further refining them this year. Our guides and employees in Hanoi and Hoi An completed training from the Childsafe Movement: the organization focuses on protecting children and at-risk youth worldwide by promoting responsible tourism. Moreover, in order to support our agents as destination experts every step of the way, we are proud that most of our employees were able to go on FAM Trips for at least one week for training purposes.
Furthermore, we created additional tours across the country such as Lang Co immersion and exploring the Go Noi Village: both adventures go off-the-beaten-path to places that are rarely touched upon in most itineraries in Vietnam. These journeys highlight the kind of experiences that we want to offer to clients while ensuring that we support local communities and operate in a sustainable manner.
In a similar fashion, twenty-five Khiri members from Hanoi, Hoi An, and Saigon went on a company trip and stayed at the Victoria Mui Ne: they coordinated with a local hotel in an Ocean Cleanup event.
Supporting the company’s mission to help the local community, Khiri collaborated with our parent company YAANA Ventures in October. With everyone’s support, we raised a total of 25,000 USD for Operation Smile and Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation. During the three days, participants from various countries gathered together and cycled for a good cause, covering 125km between Ha Long Bay and Yen Tu mountain.
The team also participated in the Plastic Fishing Experience at Saigon: tackling and raising awareness about the plastic waste being dumped into the Saigon river which remains at high concentrations.
With help from our valued agents, we continued supporting Endangered Primate Rescue Center (EPRC) in the Cuc Phuong National Park through a donation for four langurs named Mung Beo, Hau, Lolem, and Lucky. The following pictures show the lovely Mung Beo and Lolem.
The path to increased sustainability in the Vietnamese tourism industry is a major concern for us: sustainability is something we cannot accomplish alone. Through the IMPACT organization, which Khiri Travel co-founded, we have teamed up with key decision-makers within the travel and hospitality industry. Together we discussed various sustainability initiatives: such as, setting up new refill stations across the country with the Refill My Bottle campaign and organizing sustainability workshops for hotels in August. As we encourage cooperation between industry peers, we will continue preserving Vietnam’s natural beauty.
Finishing the year strong in December, we were fortunate to continue being Travelife certified at the highest level: our teams passed two audits held in Hanoi and Saigon. This certification ensures that all of Khiri Travel Vietnam’s processes at every level along our supply chain operate within internationally-recognized sustainability standards.
Glimpse of what’s to come in 2020:
In the upcoming year, more flights along with new Vietnamese airlines are going to connect Vietnam, further making the country more accessible to our clients. As the inaugural F1 Grandprix in Hanoi kicks off, this will be the most anticipated event in 2020. Taking place during the first week of April, the entire week will be packed with exciting events as the city celebrates being elevated to the global stage.
Aside from motorsports, football fever continues. As one of the most popular sports in Vietnam, the country is still participating in the World Cup Qualifiers. Travelers can expect each game to draw huge crowds flooding the streets of Hanoi and Saigon.
With increased demand, many exciting new properties await us in 2020. As they open their doors and accommodate the growing number of discerning travelers, these are the hotels that we are most looking forward to next year:
Bai San Ho: This hotel is managed by Zannier, the same hotel group that managed Phum Baitang in Siem Reap. Located in Phu Yen, close to Quy Nhon, 200km south of Hoi An and 200km north of Nha Trang, Bãi San Hô will open in the second half of 2020.
Tui Blue Hoi An: With a launch date of March 2020, TUI Blue will open its door just in time for the high season. It is going to be the first TUI Blue hotel in Asia with many more in the pipeline.
Mandarin Oriental Saigon: Vietnam’s first Mandarin Oriental will give Saigon an additional option for high-end travelers. Situated in a bustling location on the famous walking street of Nguyen, Hue.
Fusion Resort Quang Binh: As a wellness-inspired resort and hotel chain, Fusion is set to open another property along the oceanfront in Bao Ninh Beach, Dong Hoi, Quang Binh Province. It will be next to the gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Phong Nha. Guests can conveniently explore Ke Bang National Park with Son Doong, one of the world’s largest cave. Khiri Travel also recommends utilizing the new seaplane options that fly to Dong Hoi.
Without a doubt, Vietnam keeps growing and surprising its guests, and so will the Khiri Vietnam team! For 2020, the year of the metal rat according to the lunar calendar, we are going to show our clients all the different facets of our exciting country.