Ho Chi Minh City’s travel society set up to promote cooperation
Ho Chi Minh City's travel society under the Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Association made debut last Friday in a ceremony in the southern coast city of Vung Tau, with an aim to promote cooperation among tour operators and improve services.
The new grouping, with the name of Ho Chi Minh City Society of Travel Agents (HSTA), will call on members to jointly build new tourism products, train tour guides, and bolster tourism promotion, said Vo Anh Tai, director of Saigontourist Travel Service Co.
Tai was elected chairman of the new 70-member society, while Lai Huu Phuong, director of Ben Thanh Tourist Travel Service Center, was named deputy chairman.
Initially, members will work together in arranging tours for individual tourists, as travel firms when operating separately find it difficult to cater to small groups of travelers. However, society members will sit back together to establish special teams to better coordinate joint efforts, Tai said.
"... Later on we will establish trade clubs such as the marketing club and the product clubs to materialize what have been agreed," he told the Daily.
The society gathers under its umbrella both State-owned and private companies, including such big names as Apex Vietnam, Ben Thanh Tourist, Fiditourist, Vietravel, and Saigon Transport Co., many of which taking high positions in the list of top ten travel firms of Vietnam for years.
They also agreed that Ho Chi Minh City is a travel hub so companies should also work with partners from provinces to make attractive products for both domestic and international tourists.
The strong bond among local firms will also create stronger power for members in cooperation with other local and overseas partners, said deputy chairman Lai Huu Phuong.
"If we have strong relationship we will have a better stance in working with partners, and stronger position in cooperation with them," Phuong said.
At the inaugural meeting, members also discussed measures to jointly settle problems facing the tourism industry such as the shortage of hotel rooms, a lack of tour guides, and undercutting among local firms.
The society will also combine with tourism schools to train and retrain tour guides, and bigger companies will help smaller ones in training.