VN travel startups see ‘light at the end of the tunnel’
Small in size and easily adaptable, startups in the tourism industry have found ways to do well during COVID-19, while many others are still up against a wall.
* Tran Ngoc Manh, founder and CEO of Manmo, an app for searching and booking affordable rooms (guest house, hotel, homestay) for trekkers, said Covid-19 has seriously affected the tourism market.
The IT engineer decided to shift the company’s focus to serving tourists and people who are stuck in cities and provinces because of the travel restriction policy in the pandemic.
“If the trips last several days, travelers will be willing to book luxury hotels. But if they have to stay for months and don’t know when they can go back home, they will choose affordable rooms,” he explained.
Covid-19, to some extent, has given Manmo more opportunities to approach clients. “The accommodation service providers which previously did not care about us have found us a lifebuoy in the pandemic,” Manh said.
Manh and his co-workers have created a set of solutions for accommodation establishments. Manmo Search acts as a searching tool like Google. Users can access the company’s website to find suitable accommodations.
|Small in size and easily adaptable, startups in the tourism industry have found ways to do well during COVID-19, while many others are still up against a wall.|
Manmo Marketing, the service package which provides hotel management software, camera services and ads running on Manmo Search and on Facebook and Google, is also an important source of revenue for the startup.
He said that 0.1 percent of 30,000 accommodation establishments in the Manmo system that sign contracts on upgrading their branding would be enough for the company to earn money and maintain staff.
* Vu Thi Thai An returned to Vietnam from the UK in 2017 and joined the tourism industry. At that time, the number of tourists in Vietnam had increased by 20-30 percent per annum and the number of foreign travelers not following tours
by 15-30 percent.
“This is the right time for Tubudd to appear in Vietnam,” said the CEO and founder of Tubudd, the platform which connects tourists and local tour guides.
In the crisis, the revenue of travel firms plunged. But An still can see the light at the end of tunnel.
She created products and services suitable to new groups of clients appearing when the inbound market was closed and international tourists could not enter Vietnam.
Tubudd shifted its focus to three types of clients – international travelers who cannot leave Vietnam because of the pandemic, foreigners living and working in Vietnam, and domestic travelers.
The new products Tubudd has launched include visa extension, searching for accommodations for leasing, interpretation services, and assistance in traveling and communication.
Travel linkages between regions in the country are vital to realise the tourism potential of localities and contribute to efforts to rejuvenate the tourism industry, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has said.
HCM City will organise a series of tourism, cultural and sports events this year as part of efforts to revive its tourism sector, which has been badly disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a plan released by its People’s Committee.