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The wisdom of the combined strength of three cords is a universal theme reflected in the folklore of many nations and cultures. The three fold bond represents the principles of harmony and balance in a world of duality. In early 2006, Nguyen Dinh An (Andy), Nguyen Ngoc Quyet and Bui Van Chi, decided to pool their experiences, skills and resources to establish a new and unique travel and tour company; Asiana Travel Mate.
Vietnam's tourism industry had been growing at an unprecedented rate, from just half a million visitors in 1993 to 4.5 million visitors by the year 2008, reflecting Vietnam's growing popularity as a destination of choice in the Asia Pacific. However, much of its growth was relatively uncontrolled with many small players acting as agents rather than operators which often left a negative gap in customer expectations of the delivery of services promised. In this scenario, the founders were determined to build a credible company committed to the principles of responsible travel and a culture of sharing.
Andy says, "Responsible travel is about traveling and operating in a way that addresses our concerns for the environmental, cultural and social impacts of tourism: to retain the integrity of sensitive ecosystems, to maintain the traditions and natural character of communities our travelers interact with and generally to preserve the natural and cultural heritage for which visitors come to Vietnam, besides our responsibility to leave a positive legacy for future generations."
Chi adds, "We endeavor to benefit both travelers and local communities in a sustainable manner which has been our commitment since the company's inception. Today, in the face of global environmental degradation, social and economic upheaval and transitions, our commitment is stronger than ever. We have developed a clear set of criteria and practices from the grassroots up to demonstrate our corporate and personal ethic of responsible travel and of sharing the benefits of tourism with local communities. We expect that our travelers will share this ethic with us."
Quyet adds another dimension to the ethic of responsible travel and sharing; "Internally, our responsibility extends to our relationships with our staff, strategic partners, suppliers and vendors... to empower them to grow with us with an equitable share of the rewards, towards a common vision and ultimately to mutually deliver our promises to our customers consistently. "
In 2006, Asiana Travel Mate's first office was set up in the bustling tourist centre of Ho Chi Minh City. In that year, Vietnam recorded 3.8 million tourist arrivals and the company quickly began securing a significant market share based on the quality of its customized services and commitment to its travelers. In late 2007 the company extended its reach with an office in the capital city of Hanoi that spurred its growth further.
In 2009, despite the global recession, the travel and tourism industry contributed an estimated 13% of the GDP to the Vietnamese economy. However its impact on the tourism industry weeded out many travel and tour operators while Asiana Travel Mate maintained its revenue levels in-spite of a drop in the number of travelers. Quyet says of the global crisis "A time of crisis brightens people and companies of true integrity, capabilities and values while it exposes & terminates those to the contrary."
The company recognized opportunities to consolidate and even expand its operations and quickly adapted its strategies in the face of the cumulative effects of the global recession. Inflation hovered at 30% and increased fuel prices resulted in higher operational costs but hotels were promoting reduced rates that would benefit independent travelers; the core of Asiana's Travel Mate's customer base.
The company also acquired control of two premier cruise ships in Halong Bay, the Valentine and the Calypso and formed strategic partnerships to improve the quality of its services, logistical and cost efficiencies. An office was opened in the Hue, Central Vietnam as well as in Laos and Cambodia, extending the company's presence beyond Vietnam.
Firmly built on the foundation of a commitment to responsible travel and a culture of sharing, besides the leverage of its substantial customer base and solid financial standing, the company has built its capacity to operate throughout Indochina with a diverse range of customized itineraries, routes and destinations. Asiana Travel Mate enjoys the endorsements of its travelers and has handled over 40,000 travelers since its inception. With Vietnam's travel and tourism sector projected to have the world's sixth-highest growth rate in the next decade, Asiana Travel Mate is poised to offer its travelers even better value for money, quality of services and facilities in customized, personalized tours throughout Indochina ... in the spirit of responsible travel and the culture of sharing.
Visit : http://www.asianatravelmate.com