One Year On
It’s been considerably twelve months. We’ve had to say goodbye to some of our nearest and dearest members of the Khiri family. The family has been with us for far longer than I have, not only in Vietnam but also across the Khiri countries. I’ll be honest; it’s been hard. Morale has been low at times. The seemingly never-ending case numbers rising in all of our target markets and the feeling of groundhog day has impacted us all. In contrast, we’ve been fortunate here in Vietnam.
Vietnam has handled this pandemic in its usual manner. Tough, no-nonsense, unfaltering, community-driven, proud, and formidable. I do believe that there aren’t many other countries in the world that I would instead have spent this challenging time. For most of the past twelve months, living in Saigon, you wouldn’t have even noticed there was anything untoward going on. Life goes on; the economy appears as one of the region’s best performings. When tourism only contributes to 8% of GDP, you are less reliant on those international visitors. Nevertheless isn’t to say that people haven’t been impacted. Travel to Hoi An, Hue, Danang, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, Ha Long Bay. The impact is clear and visible. We only hope that this rest gives us the chance to rebuild more sustainably. A few months ago, I went snorkeling off the Cham Islands coast, visible from Hoi An’s beaches. The coral was incredible. Flashes of color as we swam in the late afternoon and the setting sun bounced off them. Fish, everywhere! Correlate to my similar trip three years ago when the only color we saw was a couple of purple starfish. There is hope, there are noticeable changes, attitudes towards how Vietnamese people want their country to manage tourism, and it’s positive!
We may have had to reduce the team, but we are still here, alive and kicking! We’ve had a few team days out. Bowling got locked in one of those escape rooms together for an hour and even went ax throwing! We’ve made sure to keep in touch with our guides as often as possible. They’ve mostly been able to find work elsewhere, awaiting your return. Vietnam is the most entrepreneurial place I’ve ever lived. You know if you’ve been here that there are people everywhere, selling anything you could imagine!
“We’ll get through this.”
Something I hear all the time from locals who are either in or used to be in the travel industry. We’re talking to our partners, our “Personalities” and our competitors. We’re all in this together. We see some great collaborations appearing that we hope will move tourism forward, leaving only a positive impact on this beautiful country when everything starts again. Shared successes are always incredible, but sharing this suffering has brought the industry together.
We’re ready to press the “go” button, chomping at the bit to see your guests here again, and when we do welcome them back, I do not doubt that Vietnam and the Vietnamese people will be welcoming you with open arms.
If you’d like to know more about Vietnam & how we see travel developing here post-Covid, or have some new inquiries! please drop me an email at [email protected]