Travel Sustainable badge for Heritage Cruises Binh Chuan Cat Ba Archipelago, Booking.com lists seven sustainable properties in Vietnam worth visiting for your next trip
With the gradual return of traveling comes a shift in behavior among travelers from around the world. According to Booking.com’s 2022 Sustainable Travel Report*, an encouraging 87% of Vietnamese travelers say they have stayed in a sustainable accommodation over the past year, and they are encouraged to do so again soon.
Nearly half (42%) of Vietnamese travelers mentioned that they prefer to stay in a sustainable accommodation as it helps reduce their impact on the environment, and more than a third (34%) believe sustainable properties treat the community better.
Encouraging travelers to practice sustainability as they go back to travel, Booking.com lists some of the top properties awarded with a Travel Sustainable Badge, recognizing the sustainable practices of these accommodations. Explore these unique accommodations and experience the beauty of staying in a property that practices sustainability which benefits the local communities, and the environment!
Topas Ecolodge – Sapa
Topas Ecolodge is a boutique resort situated atop a beautiful hillside deep in the mountains of Hoang Lien National Park, Sapa, Northern Vietnam. Nominated as one of the best places to stay if you care about the Earth by National Geographic, Topas Ecolodge provides the perfect setting to indulge in guilt-free modern convenience all while protecting the surrounding environment and local cultures.
The sustainable property offers 41 rustic mountain bungalows designed out of local white granite in a minimalistic chalet-style, providing all comforts while giving way for the magnificent and raw natural beauty of Vietnam to take the center stage.
From its first day of operations, Topas Ecolodge has been working with DANIDA (Denmark’s development cooperation, under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) to become a showcase of sustainable tourism in remote areas. Apart from built-in facilities and their different sustainable practices, Topas Ecolodge also supports the community by spreading awareness and educational support to their staff as well as local residents.
Heritage Cruises Cat Ba Archipelago
With over two decades of expertise in the cruise and luxury tourism industry, Heritage Cruises Cat Ba Archipelago is the first heritage and boutique cruise company to operate sustainably in both Ha Long Bay and Nha Trang of Vietnam. Each cruise ship is a one-of-a-kind vessel which brings on the inspirational art, tradition and culture of the local region.
The vessel is built using sustainable material and designed in a way that would maximize natural light and airflow to reduce the need for air conditioning. Apart from that, there is no plastic used on the cruise and the cruise’s staff frequently clean up the trekking trails, island and beach areas to ensure the pristine beaches and coves in their operating areas.
Banyan Tree Lang Co – Hue
Located in Central Vietnam, Banyan Tree Lăng Cô is a multi-awarded property that offers an escape to a paradise of luxurious all-pool villas nestled between the azure waters of the East Sea and the Truong Son mountain range.
The resort provides tourists with a luxurious hideaway, while being close to destinations that promise cultural and historical exploration such as the three UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Hoi An Ancient Town, the Imperial Citadel of Hue and My Son Sanctuary.
Sustainability and social responsibility have always been at the heart of the Banyan Tree brand. Apart from vernacular architectural styles and locally-sourced materials, the property employs an efficient energy and waste management system and maintains a supply chain of partners who share matching values.
Four Seasons Resort the Nam Hai – Hoi An
With an idyllic location on Vietnam’s culturally rich central coast, the Nam Hai offers a portal to three extraordinary UNESCO World Heritage sites and a breezy respite on the country’s most celebrated beach. You’ll have a chance to reconnect with your loved ones through various activities – whether you take to the East Sea by kayak, explore the glory of imperial Hue or simply savor quiet moments in your own tranquil villa.
Since it was founded in 1960, the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts embraces the Golden Rule – a simple idea that the company should treat others the way it would want to be treated. Today, this vision is deeply embedded in the company’s culture and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) programs that proactively seek to preserve and regenerate the beautiful places in which the company operates.
Deeming sustainability as a serious commitment and business strategy, the Four Seasons Resorts has been a member of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance (SHA) since 2012, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) Sustainability Committee – the largest hotel association in the US, and the Corporate Eco Forum (CEF), an invitation-only membership group for large companies.
Six Senses Con Dao – Con Dao Island
Six Senses is among the first luxurious and sustainable villas and resorts in Vietnam and has since then played an active and daily role in improving the ecological impact and carbon footprint of the resort and spa.
Offering an exclusive island hideaway resort amidst a pristine marine and national park, Six Senses Con Dao consists of 50 sea-view villas built from wood and eco-friendly materials with large windows for catching natural light, equipped with solar energy system to save electricity.
To protect the green turtle on the island, Six Senses Con Dao has been launching an ambitious project in cooperation with Con Dao National Park authority to help optimize egg laying for green turtles and decrease the mortality rate of turtle hatching. The project includes a safe incubation to protect the turtle’s eggs from threats. If you are lucky enough, you can get to watch mama turtles laying eggs right on the resort premises.
The sustainable efforts of Six Senses Con Dao were recognized by the National Geographic Traveler as one of the world’s top eco-friendly resorts. In September 2022, the resort was voted the No.1 resort hotel in Southeast Asia by Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards.
Komorebi An Son – Da Lat
Da Lat is known as the land of dreamy and romantic souls because of its atmosphere and green natural scenery. The city also attracts visitors for its beautifully decorated cafes and homestays hidden in the hills throughout the city, where there’s a place for anyone to watch nature and slowly enjoy the beauty of life, a luxury that is hard to find in metropolitan areas.
Sustainable tourism, therefore, is a way to preserve and keep the inherent beauty of Da Lat intact for ourselves and future trips. Komorebi An Son, a sustainable property recognized by Booking.com, offers a diverse selection of rooms for the dreamers. Equipped with a shared kitchen that is full of appliances for cooking enthusiasts, one can enjoy relaxing in the garden of this hill villa, or visit nearby attractions such as Truc Lam Pagoda, Yersin Park, Palace 3.
Sala Grand TuyHoa – Phu Yen
Phu Yen is a central coastal province in the South Central Coast region, where the untouched beach and poetic natural scenery can immediately steal one’s mind away.
Located in Tuy Hoa, a few steps from Tuy Hoa Beach, Sala Grand TuyHoa Hotel – a Sustainable Property recognized by Booking.com – provides accommodation with a restaurant, free bikes and an outdoor swimming pool. The hotel is equipped with water-efficient toilets and showers, provides the option to opt out daily room cleaning or towels changing, and prioritize locally sourced food supply.
One spectacular attraction among many that Phu Yen offers is Ghenh Da Dia. The attraction has a unique and one-of-a-kind structure. From a distant look, one can see the basalt rock folds up like a giant honeycomb, creating a mysterious and strange beauty that is like nowhere else on earth.
Planning for one’s sustainable trip has been made easier with Booking.com’s Travel Sustainable badge – a credible, globally relevant sustainability measure that will provide highly coveted information to travellers all over the world looking to make more sustainable travel choices. The Travel Sustainable badge and an overview of individual property sustainability efforts are visible to travellers on property pages across the Booking.com app and website globally.
Sự khác biệt, độc đáo ở văn hóa, con người, cảnh quan thiên nhiên và ẩm thực là tài nguyên, thế mạnh cho du lịch Việt Nam phát triển một cách bền vững. Với nhiều doanh nghiệp du lịch, đây cũng chính là nguồn lực để họ khai thác, tiếp tục vươn lên mạnh mẽ, đóng góp cho sự phục hồi của du lịch và kinh tế đất nước.
Nhân dịp đầu năm mới 2022, ông Phạm Hà, Chủ tịch Hội đồng quản trị, kiêm CEO Tập đoàn Lux Group chuyên đầu tư, kiến tạo, kinh doanh những sản phẩm, dịch vụ du lịch siêu sang tại Việt Nam đã có những chia sẻ về vấn đề này.
Là doanh nghiệp lữ hành có thế mạnh đón du khách quốc tế đến Việt Nam và đưa người Việt Nam đi du lịch nước ngoài, sứ mệnh quảng bá văn hóa Việt Nam của Lux Group được ông triển khai ra sao?
Lux Group tự hào về văn hóa, di sản, lịch sử của Việt Nam và chúng tôi coi đó là sứ mệnh của người làm du lịch cho khách quốc tế đến và người Việt Nam đi du lịch. Đồng thời, chúng tôi dùng “sức mạnh mềm” văn hóa làm nguồn lực đầu vào cho phát triển kinh tế.
Chúng tôi có một hệ sinh thái bao gồm vận chuyển, lữ hành, du thuyền với hai thương hiệu Emperor Cruises và Heritage Cruises hoạt động tại những vùng vịnh biển đẹp như vịnh Nha Trang, Hạ Long, Bái Tử Long, Lan Hạ. Sắp tới, chúng tôi đưa thương hiệu Emperor Cruises Legend Phú Quốc vào kinh doanh tại Phú Quốc. Lấy cảm hứng từ bài thơ “Tây Tiến” của nhà thơ Quang Dũng, chúng tôi xây dựng khu nghỉ núi Secret Hideaways Pù Luông, Thanh Hóa. Tất cả những thương hiệu này đều giầu cảm xúc, những câu chuyện văn hóa và lịch sử Việt Nam để giới thiệu cho du khách quốc tế.
Trong chiến lược phát triển ngành công nghiệp văn hóa của đất nước, theo ông ngành du lịch có vai trò như thế nào trong việc quảng bá, xuất khẩu văn hóa?
Tôi đi nhiều nơi trên thế giới thì thấy rằng Việt Nam chúng ta có nhiều lợi thế cạnh tranh trong kỷ nguyên 4.0. Ba lĩnh vực chúng ta có thể đi tắt đón đầu và phát triển nhanh chóng vì nhiều tiềm năng và có sự khác biệt độc đáo là du lịch, nông nghiệp và công nghệ thông tin. Du lịch Việt Nam phát triển mạnh mẽ trong thời gian qua và khẳng định là một ngành kinh tế, đóng góp khoảng 10% GDP và tạo ra hơn 2 triệu việc làm trực tiếp và gián tiếp, góp phần xuất khẩu tại chỗ, quảng bá văn hóa di sản, con người đất nước Việt Nam.
So với các nước Đông Nam Á như Thái Lan hay Malaysia, Việt Nam khác biệt, độc đáo ở văn hóa, con người, cảnh quan thiên nhiên và ẩm thực. Đây là tài nguyên và thế mạnh rất lớn để phát triển du lịch Việt Nam một cách bền vững. Với thế mạnh này, Việt Nam cần cụ thể hóa việc coi du lịch là một ngành kinh tế thực sự, phát huy giá trị tài nguyên du lịch, định vị lại thương hiệu du lịch quốc gia như du lịch di sản hay du lịch biển.
Đồng thời, tập trung vào sự thỏa mãn của du khách; tăng chất hơn là lượng, từng bước tháo gỡ những nút thắt như thể chế chính sách, đào tạo nguồn nhân lực có chất lượng, tạo nhiều trải nghiệm du lịch mới lạ, hấp dẫn cho du khách đến dễ dàng hơn để họ đến vui hơn và tiêu tiền nhiều hơn và xúc tiến du lịch sao cho hiệu quả hơn.
Là một doanh nhân rất yêu văn hóa, ông có đam mê sưu tầm tranh, viết sách, bình thơ…. Điều này đã giúp gì cho ông trong việc chèo lái doanh nghiệp trong những thời điểm đầy sóng gió?
Tôi làm trong nghề hạnh phúc. Sứ mệnh cá nhân của tôi là mang lại hạnh phúc (deliveringhappiness) cho cá nhân, gia đình, đồng nghiệp, tổ chức và cộng đồng bằng “5P”, trong tiếng Anh là Passion, Purpose, People, Planet và Prosperity (làm vì đam mê, có mục tiêu rõ ràng, làm vì con người, hành tinh tốt đẹp hơn, xanh hơn, đẹp hơn và vì sự thịnh vượng mỗi cá nhân, của doanh nghiệp và cộng đồng).
Cuộc đời là hàm tổng của các lựa chọn, tôi chọn du lịch và đó là nghề hạnh phúc, tôi mang lại hạnh phúc, chạm vào cảm xúc với những sản phẩm trải nghiệm mình làm ra. Tôi cũng hơi nghệ sĩ trong một doanh nhân nên đâu đấy cũng là những tác phẩm du thuyền nhưng mỗi chiếc là một độc bản giữa thiên nhiên, một câu chuyện hay phản ánh câu chuyện của cuộc đời tôi, giấc mơ thủa nhỏ thành hiện thực.
Tôi diễm phúc cảm được nghệ thuật, biết yêu cái đẹp và sáng tạo ra những tạo tác từ yêu thương và đưa những yếu tố văn hóa và nghệ thuật dân tộc, những câu chuyện lịch sử vào sản phẩm du lịch trải nghiệm. Đó cũng là sự khác biệt độc đáo mà tôi tâm huyết đặt vào mỗi dự án tôi làm.
Được biết, ông rất ngưỡng mộ tinh thần kinh doanh của doanh nhân Bạch Thái Bưởi, vậy trong giai đoạn đầy thách thức hiện nay, tinh thần này đang tiếp lửa như thế nào cho ông?
Cụ Bạch Thái Bưởi là một nhà tư sản dân tộc tiêu biểu kinh doanh thành công và sự ngưỡng mộ của nhiều người Việt, để lại nhiều bài học đáng học hỏi cho nhiều thế hệ doanh nhân. Có thể nói cụ Bạch Thái Bưởi (1874-1932) là một trong những doanh nhân thế hệ đầu tiên của Việt Nam mà tôi gọi là “kinh doanh thời 1.0”, cuối thế kỷ 19 và đầu thế kỷ 20. Cụ là hiện thân của tinh thần dám khởi nghiệp, dám tận dụng thời cơ, dám trao quền, dám tiếp thu tân thư, dám vận dụng tinh thần yêu nước, dám cạnh tranh đến cùng, dám sáng tạo, dám mở rộng thị trường, dám làm lại từ đầu. Tư tưởng xuyên suốt trong văn hóa kinh doanh là dân quốc phú cường giành lại độc lập.
Thành công như cụ xưa nay hiếm, đặc biệt lại là kinh doanh thành công trong nghịch cảnh, muôn vàn khó khăn, đất nước bị người Pháp nắm quyền và người Hoa nhiều tiền kinh doanh chèn ép. Từ thực tế đó càng thấy tài lãnh đạo của cụ với những phẩm chất truyền cảm hứng. Cụ Bạch Thái Bưởi kinh doanh đa lĩnh vực, nhiều công ty, chi nhánh, hoạt động nhiều nơi, theo mô hình mà ngày nay người ta gọi là một tập đoàn kinh tế. Đặc biệt, ngay từ thời 1.0 đó, cụ Bạch Thái Bưởi đã có những phẩm chất lãnh đạo tuyệt vời. Trong đó, tôi đã học được 10 phẩm chất của cụ. Lãnh đạo là nghệ thuật gây ảnh hưởng. Lãnh đạo là phụng sự, tập trung, đam mê, trao quyền, tự tin, chính trực, sắc bén, quyết đoán, luôn tiếp thu cái mới, sáng tạo.
Cụ Bạch Thái Bưởi thành công còn vì đã thực hiện nghiêm túc 10 tôn chỉ trên thương trường, như thương phẩm, thương hội, tín thực, kiên tâm, nghị lực, trọng nghề, thương học, giao thiệp, tiết kiệm và coi trọng hàng nội hoá. Những giá trị và bài học kinh doanh còn nguyên giá trị để soi rọi và vận dụng cho cuộc cách mạng 4.0 hiện nay để quản trị doanh nghiệp hiệu quả và kinh doanh thành công trên thương trường.
Một trong những ân huệ của cuộc đời tôi là được kết nối với gia đình cụ Bạch Thái Bưởi, được nghiên cứu về cuộc đời và sự nghiệp của cụ, đặc biệt là những bài học kinh doanh thành công, thuật lãnh đạo và những phẩm chất của một người lãnh đạo xuất chúng.
Văn hóa được coi là sức mạnh nội sinh của doanh nghiệp cũng như nền kinh tế nhất là trong bối cảnh không ngừng biến động. Ông đã xây dựng văn hóa doanh nghiệp cho Lux Group như thế nào?
Trước tiên phải hiểu là văn hóa doanh nghiệp là niềm tin vào tổ chức, tư duy và thái độ của nhân viên về công việc họ đang làm, người mà họ đang phục vụ và với chính ban lãnh đạo, chủ doanh nghiệp. Triết lý kinh doanh của Lux Group là phụng sự, và thành công bằng sự tử tế. Lãnh đạo yêu quý, hiểu và giúp đỡ cấp dưới và nhân viên phục vụ khách hàng từ tâm với mong muốn họ sẽ hài lòng.
Lux Group luôn xây dựng tinh thần khởi nghiệp ngay cả khi đã lớn. Chúng tôi luôn đi tiên phong như kinh doanh du thuyền đầu tiên tại vịnh Nha Trang, vịnh Bái Tử Long và sắp tới là thành phố đảo Phú Quốc. Lux Group đi vào thị trường ngách, tìm lối nhỏ vào nhà sang và chúng tôi xây dựng văn hóa doanh nghiệp ngay từ ngày đầu thành lập, định hướng rõ ràng tầm nhìn, giá trị cốt lõi.
Trong một thế giới đầy biến động, ông chia sẻ gì về trách nhiệm của doanh nghiệp, doanh nhân đối với phát triển du lịch bền vững?
Bền vững là phải nhắm tới chất hơn lượng. Chúng ta không nhất thiết đặt mục tiêu số lượng khách năm sau phải cao hơn năm trước mà hãy thoả mãn họ, coi họ là trung tâm xem khách thích gì, muốn gì, không thích gì để cải thiện ngay. Với số hoá các hoạt động thì việc này không khó và cần sớm triển khai và Tổng cục Du lịch là đơn vị đóng vai trò dẫn dắt, chủ động, hiệu quả trong các hoạt động tạo sản phẩm du lịch và xúc tiến.
Từ góc độ doanh nghiệp, chúng tôi xác định, du lịch bền vững và có trách nhiệm cần dựa vào 6 trụ cột chính là: Bảo vệ nguồn môi trường sinh thái tự nhiên, trách nhiệm văn hoá xã hội, tạo việc làm tốt cho người dân địa phương, góp phần phát triển kinh tế, khách hàng thoả mãn, doanh nghiệp có lợi nhuận. Theo đó, chúng tôi định nghĩa du lịch bền vững là phải bảo vệ môi trường sinh thái tự nhiên, cùng nhau tạo ra nơi đẹp hơn cho người dân sinh sống và tạo ra nơi đẹp hơn để du khách tới thăm quan trải nghiệm; bảo đảm văn hoá xã hội, gìn giữ, bảo tồn và phát huy di sản, văn hoá, phong tục tập quán địa phương.
Cùng với nội lực của doanh nhân Việt, nhà nước cần có quyết sách nào để ngành du lịch hồi phục, phát triển trong năm 2022 và giai đoạn tới?
Hậu Covid- 19, cơ hội cho các doanh nghiệp lớn nhỏ là như nhau, tầm quốc gia cũng vậy. Đối với du lịch Việt Nam, chúng ta nên lấy mỏ vàng văn hoá, di sản làm trung tâm, định vị du lịch di sản là thương hiệu du lịch quốc gia. Để Việt Nam thành quốc gia về du lịch trong khu vực, chúng ta cần phải có chính sách cho du lịch và vì du lịch; visa, hạ tầng cơ sở, phát triển nguồn nhân lực, phát triển sản phẩm đặc trưng, mạnh, xúc tiến hiệu quả. Không thực hiện được xúc tiến hiệu quả thì thuê chuyên gia, định vị lại thương hiệu và nhận diện du lịch quốc gia.
Mặt khác, nên coi Covid-19 là dịp tốt để nhìn nhận lại quản lý du lịch theo hướng phục vụ để 100% khách đến rồi yêu Việt Nam, muốn quay lại nhiều lần, thay vì một đi không trở lại như trước kia. Với tiềm năng du lịch biển đảo, ẩm thực, văn hoá, thiên nhiên và con người, du lịch Việt Nam sẽ đứng đầu Đông Nam Á và châu Á nếu khơi thông cơ chế, chính sách triển kinh tế du lịch, chất lượng nguồn nhân lực; có nhiều sản phẩm du lịch trải nghiệm với hàm lượng chất xám và phải định vị được thương hiệu du lịch quốc gia, xúc tiến hiệu quả trong và ngoài nước.
Xin cảm ơn ông!
One of the biggest, most adventurous, and most pioneering innovations in Vietnam is Lux Cruises, because of our million-dollar art collection on board. Many people think that sun, heat, wind, natural light, humidity, and sea salt can damage the paintings, but in fact the opposite is the case since the humidity is always 50% on the yacht, and the average temperature is around 72 degrees F or 22 degrees C, the ideal temperature of museums when they want to preserve their paintings well.
Loving beauty is enjoyable, but creating beauty is art. Paintings beautify and brighten up the decor space on the yacht. When hanging the paintings, we must be sure to avoid shaking them, but they must be easy to remove in case of fire. Special care must be taken in case of stains, with periodical maintenance by experts, and the most precious paintings are covered. The paintings are not only beautiful, but even more, the paintings of painter Pham Luc tell the story of war and peace, traditional culture, heritage, and the development of Vietnamese society through each period, which is where their true value lies. This is a unique privilege that only passengers of Heritage Binh Chuan can enjoy.
Our owner collected the fine art because of his passion for painting. Pham Ha has spent 25 years collecting paintings with his love of heritage and telling the story of Vietnam’s intangible spirit through art. The story of Vietnamese art is also the history of modern Vietnam. “He is like the person chosen to succeed the king of ships, Bach Thai Buoi.”, writes the Dream Story of the Five Continents, “He pursues his passion for yachts, and builds yachts to display his paintings for visitors to enjoy.” After all, only the most memorable stories, the paintings, are the most valuable asset on a yacht. The older the painting, the more valuable it is. www.heritagecruises.com
Located near Ha Long Bay, Lan Ha Bay boasts a stunning landscape as a paradise on earth with many floating fishing villages, thousands of years of culture, imposing limestone mountains, adventurous experiences in the forest as well as the crystal sea. Lan Ha Bay has just been listed as one of the most beautiful bays in the world.
Sitting on the south and east coast of Cat Ba Town, the 300-or-so karst islands and limestone outcrops of Lan Ha are just as beautiful as those of Halong Bay but feel more isolated and untouched. “Geologically, Lan Ha is an extension of Ha Long Bay but sits in a different province”, the Lonely Planet once wrote.
From Hanoi, it takes visitors only 90 minutes to Pha Got, Hai Phong to start the discovery journey by yacht instead of 180 minutes to reach Ha Long Bay the traditional way. You can also go to the center of Cat Ba island via cable car system, which has recently been inaugurated.
Here are 10 things no one tells you about Lan Ha Bay and the boat tour to discover a masterpiece of nature:
1. Lan Ha Bay has just been listed as one of the most beautiful in the world
According to Thanh Nien newspaper, Lan Ha bay is rated as one of the most beautiful bays of Vietnam and the world. It has about 400 large and small limestone islands which are close together and wildly beautiful in many interesting shapes. One of the most favorable tours to Lan Ha Bay is a boat tour, which will provide you a closer view of the islands than that of Ha Long Bay. The bay has 139 small, pristine sandy beaches, lying between two blocks of mountains with the clear blue sea to the bottom. They are safe and extremely ideal beaches.
2. Lan Ha Bay belongs to Cat Ba archipelago, which includes more than 400 large and small islands
Cat Ba archipelago belongs to Hai Phong city. Cat Ba Island is the largest of its kind in the Cat Ba archipelago and the second largest in Vietnam, just behind Phu Quoc Island.
3. In order to visit Lan Ha Bay, visitors can depart from two main piers, namely Pha Got and Ben Beo
The world-famous magazine Travel and Leisure recommends visitors take the Heritage Binh Chuan Cruise to explore Cat Ba.
Pha Got is the place where luxury boats with 4 and 5-star rankings gather. Ben Beo is the place where smaller boats gather, suitable for small groups of visitors and families. Travel and Leisure also recommends travelers to take Heritage Binh Chuan Cruise to explore Cat Ba if traveling with family and children.
7. The number of natural beaches in Lan Ha Bay is immeasurable at low tide
Tourists can freely stop their boats anywhere and swim. The pristine beautiful beaches recommended are Ba Trai Dao, Cay Bang beach, Pineapple Beach, and Monkey Island.
8. On a few small islands in Lan Ha Bay, there are resorts to meet the needs of tourists who want to stay overnight.
The quality of service is quite good and the beautiful beaches make these resorts quite impressive. Guests can choose to combine a yacht experience with a resort or a hotel on Cat Ba Island to have an experience on the island and on a cruise if they have enough time.
9. Viet Hai fishing village located next to Lan Ha Bay is a must-go destination
This is an ancient village, surrounded by highly protected, primeval forests. Tourists can cycle or take an electric car to visit this village. There are also some homestays there to serve those who want to stay overnight.
10. Tourists can combine visiting Lan Ha Bay with Cat Ba National Park, explore Ngu Lam peak, Quan Y cave, Trung Trang cave, local markets, fishing ports, and the old Van Van fish sauce factory on Cat Ba island.
(Hanoi, June 14, 2022) For the first time, the historic cruise ship Heritage Binh Chuan received the most prestigious award, TripAdvisor 2022 Travelers’ Choice Awards “Best of The Best”.
On the largest website in the world, Trip Advisor has just announced that Heritage Binh Chuan cruise (www.heritagecruises.com ) has received the prestigious TripAdvisor 2022 Travelers’ Choice award, based on thousands of comments and reviews of travelers and guests from all over the world. Heritage Cruises is one of the top cruise ships in Vietnam to receive this prestigious award.
Travelers’ Choice Awards https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g293924-d15122257-Reviews-Heritage_Cruises-Hanoi.html is TripAdvisor’s highest award. Based on millions of comments and opinions from travelers worldwide about hotels, destinations, landmarks, brands, and products, this annual award honors the “best of the best” on the criteria of service, quality, and customer satisfaction.
“Each year, we aggregate all the reviews, ratings, and archives shared by travelers globally — and use that information to find out the best locations. All will be honored by Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best.” “Tripadvisor awards Travelers’ Choice awards to accommodations, attractions, and restaurants that consistently receive great reviews from travelers and are ranked in the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.”
The most luxurious cruise in Vietnam has many cultural features, bringing with it the stories of cultural and historical heritage, fine art, architecture, fashion, and the quintessence of Vietnamese cuisine. The yacht is newly built based on the Binh Chuan ship built by the ship king Bach Thai Buoi, the first Vietnamese to launch a ship from Hai Phong to Saigon. From the point of departure 100 years ago, today’s Heritage Cruises Binh Chuan takes travelers on a journey to discover Lan Ha Bay in style, a vast sea area with hundreds of islands, lagoons, and beaches, large and small, an experience recognized by the world. Channel 14 describes it “as beautiful as a dream” and Leonardo DiCaprio praises the ‘paradise’ beauty of Lan Ha Bay.
About the award, TripAdvisor wrote: “This year, TripAdvsior made the most of every trip—big or small. We have become neighborhood explorers, masters of the outdoors, and adventurers who have gone where no one has been and done things no one has ever done. Through all the reviews, recommendations, and stories, we’ve helped each other around the world. It is you who decide where to award the Traveler’s Choice Best of the Best: the flesh-and-blood travelers who have come, tried, and shared your experiences. These are the best places in the world according to the wonderful community of travelers everywhere.”
On the cruise, travelers can discover the authenticity of Lan Ha Bay, Binh Chuan Heritage Cruise will bring travelers into a traditional cultural space, the glorious legend of the intangible heritage, and enjoy the beauty of the natural heritage of Vietnam. Heritage Binh Chuan Cruise will bring the most authentic experiences with a minimum of 40 guests and a maximum of 60 passengers on a magnificent and sophisticated cruise operating in the Gulf of Tonkin. Savored travelers will immerse into the culture, history, art, and people of Vietnam when cruising on a unique cruise amidst natural wonders. On this heritage cruise, travel connoisseurs can go upstream of history and culture to learn the business story of “Vietnam’s king of ships” Bach Thai Buoi and the life of the “Vietnamese Picasso“, Pham Luc, through a rich collection of 100 of his works collected and introduced by the owner Pham Ha in various locations.
“We have been operating continuously for 2 years and serving 12000 passengers per year, and because of Covid 19, one of the most popular and favorite cruises in the Gulf of Tonkin has created the trend of “Vietnamese people going on a cruise vacation”. The entire team and I, personally, are very proud of the 100-year heritage brand Heritage Binh Chuan. We are honored to receive the TripAdvisor 2022 Travelers’ Choice award after 3 years of operating on Lan Ha Bay, a port city in Hai Phong. We thank the travelers who have traveled with us and contributed to their choice of the best yacht in 2022.” Founder and CEO Pham Ha said:
“We are proud to be the pioneer in heritage tourism and experience in the luxury cruise business, combining adventure in Vietnam’s most beautiful bays such as Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba Islands on an ocean liner. The 4-day and 3-night tour allows visitors to explore, dream, discover, relax, experience, and immerse themselves in the natural heritage of this bay. We are proud of our passionate, enthusiastic team that always focuses on customer satisfaction and claims the right of 100% customer satisfaction. It’s great that for the first time we have received this prestigious award as voted for by our own customers on the world’s largest social network, TripAdvisor. We are more confident to expand the brand to Quy Nhon, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc in Kien Giang province, and Cat Ba archipelago in Hai Phong city, for unique yachting experiences in the coming year.”
Cruising is all about places, experiences, and memories. After 3 years of operation, Heritage Cruises has continuously received many prestigious awards in Vietnam and the world such as The Guide Awards, Booking.com, Vietnam National Administration of Tourism’s best cruise ship, TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence 2020 and most recently, the best small charter yacht in Vietnam awarded by the US Luxury Lifestyle Awards 2021, and Travel and Leisure presents this boutique cruise as a masterpiece of natural wonder for families to visit and experience exploring the most beautiful bay in the world in Vietnam. www.heritagecruises.com
Like boutique hotels, boutique cruises are characterized by their intimate atmosphere and idiosyncratic style. They distinguish themselves from larger chain cruises by offering personalized attention and stylish, themed accommodation.
Small is beautiful and chic
A burgeoning niche industry revolves around small vessels – a wide-ranging group that includes yachts, rugged expedition ships, riverboats and classic sailing schooners – where passenger counts top out at closer to 200, rather than 2,000 or more.
Beyond offering a cozier atmosphere, the small size of these ships creates a completely different experience, both onshore and on board. Smaller ships allow easy access to remote, less-visited ports that the larger vessels just can’t get to, leading to refreshingly unique itineraries.
Unique, Experiential and Personal
Boutique cruises like Heritage Cruises make it their business to get their guests to secluded locations, where they can enjoy activities like biking, walking, boating, kayaking or snorkeling.
On board, the crowd-free experience is predictably more intimate and sociable. You can expect more personalized service from the crew and are much more likely to get to know your fellow passengers, as you regularly see the same faces on deck and in the lounges, a bonus if you like to make new friends while traveling.
Expect destination-driven itineraries that are enhanced by creative programs and hosted excursions, often led by historians, naturalists and other knowledgeable pros such as photographers, an Iron Chef, naturalists, art guides, and wellness experts…
Top Ten Characteristics
Today’s travelers’ never-ending search for something “new and different” inspired the evolution of boutique hotels and cruises. But what exactly is a boutique cruise?
While there is no strict definition of a boutique cruise, the genre does tend to have some common features. Here are top ten characteristics of boutique cruises such as Heritage Cruises: Size, Individuality, Design, Character, Culture, Service, Gastronomy, Clientele, Sense of a place, Authenticity.
Size – Boutique cruises are typically small, with 10 to 100 cabins. They are intimate in scale, creating the ambiance of being a personal guest in a private floating home away from home, rather than just a cruise passenger. They often have communal “social spaces” where guests can interact.
Individuality –They are often operated independently and are not affiliated with a major cruise chain. The ships have a distinctive vibe and never have the “cookie cutter” feel of being one in a series. Their experiences are personal, authentic and unique. The staff remember your name and make your journey a truly memorable one.
Design – The architecture and interior design of a boutique cruise is as unique and special as its operations, always high end and often combining historic detail with chic elegance. The lines may be sleek and contemporary or quaint and homey – or even an artistic amalgamation. The guest cabins have private balconies, panoramic windows and are individually styled using upscale fabrics and with exclusive amenities.
Character – Boutique cruises usually have a quirky personality. They are fun and funky, trendy and offbeat. Their sense of humor might be exhibited through the design and creative guest offerings. Each day is an adventure.
Culture – As an extension of the unique personality of each ship, boutique cruises often celebrate local flavor by incorporating locally-sourced materials and reflecting the location’s heritage through color and art. Themed boutique cruises build the entire guest experience around a particular subject, such as fine art, fashion or sport.
Service – Highly personalized service is a hallmark of boutique cruises. The cruise director will welcome you in person and the staff will know your name on the first day of your stay. Bespoke luxury amenities are provided, such as an extensive pillow menu and luxury toiletries, as well as offering sumptuous spa services.
Gastronomy – Boutique cruises craft unique dining experiences, not just menus. Their restaurants and bars tend to be smart and trendy, serving locally-sourced, high-quality cuisine, making these dining and drinking spots popular with locals as well as guests.
Clientele – The types of travelers who are attracted to boutique cruises are as individual as the cruises themselves and tend to be just as sophisticated. Guests from Millennials to Baby Boomers who enjoy creative design, quirky character, and personal service will be right at home on a boutique cruise.
Sense of a place – Operating in the historic Gulf of Tonkin, capturing the quintessence of north Vietnam, combining it with the nostalgia of 1930s Indochina and the heritage ships of Bach Thai Buoi, Heritage Cruises has been designed for a journey of discovery, a sanctuary where travelers can feel a sense of place and create their own memories.
Authenticity – A devotion to simplicity, heritage, boutique and product authenticity. Cruising is all about destinations, experiences and memories. Our ambition is lofty: to provide a spectacular experience based on elements of exclusivity, comfort, elegance and style. As well as a passionate team, we have incredible partners who will help ensure your Heritage Cruises experience is rich in memories.
Heritage Cruises categorizes its ships not only using stars but also by character, quality, style and the overall special experience, which together ensure that our cruises have a story to tell.
Originating from China, Feng Shui has a 3000-year history and Vietnam, like many other Asian countries, continues to practice it in daily life, in its architecture and interior design. Our heritage-inspired cruise ship, Heritage Cruises, has been created with the balance of ying and yang in mind, with the five elements of Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth on board harmonizing with the surrounding environment.
Feng Shui affects our health, relationships, quality of life and, of course, experiences when we travel. Cruising is all about you and your experiences. We have designed our cruise and accommodation with the best practices of Feng Shui in mind for your greater comfort, restorative sleep and a memorable experience while you are staying with us.
All our suites are designed using Feng Shui principles including the lighting, neutral colors, no TV, and the bed facing the ocean, respecting the free flow of Chi in the suite. You can see the ocean from every corner of your suite and we create a warm and pleasant ambiance for you to create your own memories. We even have a tree in each suite, there to bring good fortune.
Here are the top ten elements we include in the suites to conform with Feng Shui rules and to heighten your senses.
1. Design with a purpose
Our suites have been thoughtfully designed for our guests with safety, authenticity, sincerity, protection and great comfort in mind. All 20 suites are located on the main and upper decks, far from engine noise, public and social areas and with easy access to all the exit areas both in the rear and at the front of the ship. The main stairs are at the heart of the ship benefiting from both natural light and fresh air.
2. Neutral colors and warm space
We use Indochine style heritage-inspired designs in neutral colors, using natural materials which create a warm, elegant, pleasant ambiance for our high-end guests. We ensure we give our clients the ultimate in luxury and sophistication with our extraordinary on-board facilities.
3. Feng Shui bed position
There is space above and around the bed to balance the Dragon and the Tiger (the white tiger represents female energy). With a classic colonial-style bed and wooden headboard, the bed is placed to avoid straight lines and positioned to fully enjoy the floor-to-ceiling windows and bring you energy.
4. The free flow of vitality.
Clutter in a bedroom hinders the free flow of Chi and the flow of air and vitality. Our suites are decorated minimally so that objects do not disturb the vitality, but are very neat, simple, and elegant, in a distinctive boutique style.
5. Tree in the suite – the wood element
The suite has a small tree which is the wood element of Feng Shui, together with an Indochine colonial-style bed with wooden headboard, lamp table, sofa, and smart luggage rack.
6. Slow pace of life
Each suite is designed with absolute privacy in mind, giving you the space to appreciate life and enjoy the wonderful views. There is no TV in the suite, so you can truly escape surrounded by the natural wonders of the bay. Indeed, you will be able to capture every romantic moment as every second counts while you are on board.
7. Connecting with nature
We use sustainable materials and neutral colors to enhance your mood and create the perfect ambiance for you and your companion, so that you can connect with nature as well as appreciate the culture, arts, people, food and heritage.
8. The language of art
You can enjoy wonderful works of art with different themes on the Red River Delta, the ocean and heritage by one of the most famous artists in the country, Pham Luc. You will also learn about the early 20th-century pioneer, Bach Thai Buoi, the King of the Ocean and River Cruises, who inspired our team to follow in his footsteps and to apply ethical business practices in everything we do, ensuring you a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
9. Natural light
We understand the importance of illumination, and the suites have been tastefully designed to benefit from natural light and air circulation. With your own private balcony, you can spend time outdoors or stay in the comfort of your suite.
10. Make it simple
Simplicity is the ultimate in sophistication and luxury in the design of our suites. We avoid sharp-angled and reflective objects, ceiling fans, and vanity units which can become cluttered.
Here are 31 reasons why you should choose Heritage Cruises, the most unique cruise compared to the 500 other boats here.
1. Cruise and celebrate 100 years of history and heritage on the first boutique style cruise in Vietnam.
2. The first four-season swimming pool in Vietnam, the largest in the Gulf of Tonkin, integrated with jacuzzi, using electrolysis to clean the water, which is good for your health.
3. The largest and first swimming pool bar in Vietnam, an ideal place to enjoy cocktails and watch the sunset.
4. Contemplate the first designed ship gallery, the largest floating art exhibition in Vietnam and Asia.
5. 100 stories and experiences on the cruise ship, on the shore, and on and under the water.
6. Enjoy a SUP experience and try the first transparent kayak in Halong Bay and Cat Ba Archipelago.
7. The cruise serves the quintessence of Northern cuisine, unique egg coffee, and fine dining with musicians playing in the background.
8. Large bedroom and bathroom in all suites, plus panoramic views all in accord with feng shui. All rooms have no TV, see nature passing by through the window. With the constantly changing landscape it’s the largest TV in the Gulf of Tonkin.
9. The largest wine cellar in the Gulf of Tonkin with a wide selection of fine wines
10. 1000 luxurious check-in spaces, virtual living and ecstatic beauty.
11. The cruise ship has the most public and social space among the 500 boats and ships in Halong Bay and Cat Ba Archipelago.
12. The largest ship in the Gulf of Tonkin with the fewest rooms, excellent safety, plus environmentally friendly, with the most unique architecture in Vietnam.
13. A cruise built from the passion, mind, vision, and talent of the investor, as well as of the luxury experts, and built from the customer’s perspective, satisfying the aesthetic taste of the elite.
14. We don’t just sell a cabin, but the whole experience, story and cruising dream of the king of ships in Vietnam: Bach Thai Buoi.
15. Sundeck space, swimming pool, reception room, and the best panorama restaurant for the most luxurious wedding party in the Bay.
16. The most ideal cruise in the Gulf of Tonkin for luxury MICE and wedding events.
17. These cruises have the most worthy culinary experience in the Gulf of Tonkin.
18. The cruise has an art lobby space, skylight, Indochine stairs and vintage style, the largest and most beautiful lobby space among yachts on the Gulf of Tonkin.
19. The cruise has both a basement for living and space for service staff.
20. The cruise ship has a 1:1 employee-to-guest ratio for the first time in the Gulf of Tonkin.
21. This cruise has the first high-speed cruise experience for the thrill of adventure when traveling and exploring in the Gulf of Tonkin. Two speedboats, external engines, the strongest and fastest moving in the Gulf of Tonkin.
22. Experience the first 4-day expeditions in the Gulf of Tonkin.
23. The library named Bach Thai Buoi has the most cultural and historical books in the Gulf of Tonkin.
24. The most kid-friendly cruise with 30 board games. The first yacht to be pet-friendly for dogs and cats.
25. The first cruise to have a centralized air conditioning system, instead of a separate air conditioner for each room. There is a heater and the room always has fresh air and a good private balcony, it’s always cool and relaxing for passengers.
26. Heritage Binh Chuan Cruise offers creative services such as breakfast in bed, couples floating breakfast at the pool, or romantic fine dining with candles and private accomodation in the wine cellar or outdoor lounge.
27. We provide room service 24/7 free.
28. Two spa rooms with sauna service, free sauna for self-service guests to experience 24 hours a day.
29. In Particular, we designed two pavilions on the sundeck for admiring the dawn, sunrise, and sunset, completely private and romantic for couples.
30. Free afternoon tea at Song Hong Lounge, with music. Guests can even play piano and guitar for themselves.
31. You also have the choice of doing nothing, just resting, relaxing, exploring, dreaming and discovering in your own way as a world class travel connoisseur.Go to hear, see, touch, smell, taste, and experience more. This means that the body gets to live and the anxious mind and passionate heart finally have the opportunity to be jubilant and excited.
It is full of new feelings, unforgettable impressions of landscapes, people, stories, and unexpected encounters. The breadth of human life never ceases to amaze.
As a famous tourist destination, Cat Ba Archipelago, including Lan Ha Bay with its 400 islands and 150 beaches, converges on 5 national and international titles: Scenic Landscape – Special National Heritage, World Biosphere Reserve, National Park, Marine Conservation Area, and National Park. It is one of the most beautiful bays in the world.
Explore, dream, discover, enjoy, relax, experience, and immerse yourself in heritage right away, learn more at www.heritagecruises.com
My name is Huong Pham, operations manager of Lux Cruises (Emperor Cruises and Heritage Cruises) in Hanoi. I would like to confirm for you that our Dcar Limousine will come and pick you up ataround 8:00 to 8:30 am at your given hotel address.
Mr. Tuan Nguyen will be your chauffeur driver for the comfortable journey from Hanoi to Halong Bay and the return (his cell phone number is 0944 768 833). This is a shared van for 9 guests so he may pick up some other passengers before heading to highway 5B to Halong Bay in Quang Ninh Province to the East of Hanoi. Upon arrival at the Tuan Chau harbor in Halong Bay, our cruise manager will be ready to welcome you aboard the cruise.
I would like to give you some brief information about the road journey. It takes about 2 and a half hours to get to Halong Bay from Hanoi on highway 5B for a distance of 180km from the destination. Halfway there, Mr. Tuan Nguyen will stop at the rest stop for refreshments. You will spend about 15 minutes there and you can get refreshments or take a bathroom break before getting back into the van.
At around 11:00 am, we will arrive at our Lux Cruises Lounge at slot number 28 in Tuan Chau International Passengers Port, and you will be met and greeted at our Lounge for refreshments before being transferred by our speedboat to reach the Heritage Cruises Binh Chuan or Emperor Cruises from 12 to 12:30pm . On board, fresh welcome drinks will be served, and the cruise manager will give you safety information, instructions, and the full itinerary for your cruise trip. Lunch will be served at around 1:00 to 1:30 pm.
In our van, for your comfort, we offer you complimentary wifi, water, wet tissues and an umbrella. For your entertainment, we have music, magazines and books. Mr. Tuan Nguyen will drive at an average of 80km per hour, and the air conditioning is set to a comfortable temperature by default. Feel free to ask him to adjust it to your preference.
During the journey from Hanoi to Halong Bay, if you have any questions or if you want to change the drop off hotel address in Hanoi, don’t hesitate to ask Mr. Tuan – he can speak a little bit of English. You can call me at +84-886-039-009 around the clock if you need further assistance or information.
Once again, thank you very much for choosing our Lux Cruises and traveling with us today, and our team and I wish you a safe and pleasant road journey to the paradise that is Halong and Lan Ha Bays.
Enjoy your transfer and cruising experience!
Xin cảm ơn!
Mr. Pham Ha founded Lux Group with a modest capital of 1,000 USD. From his own strength, his optimistic spirit and profound philosophy, he has turned Lux Group into a large corporation focusing on luxury tourism with Luxury Travel and two brands Emperor Cruises and Heritage Cruises. Destination Review had a talk with him to listen to the thoughts and values this “captain” wants to spread.
Mr. Pham Ha founded Lux Group with a modest capital of 1,000 USD. From his own strength, his optimistic spirit and profound philosophy, he has turned Lux Group into a large corporation focusing on luxury tourism with Luxury Travel and two brands Emperor Cruises and Heritage Cruises. Destination Review had a talk with him to listen to the thoughts and values this “captain” wants to spread.
Lux Group and I focus on bringing special experiences and emotions to our customers. As the experiences in each place vary, we have to create different products.
The Emperor Cruises brand was founded with inspiration from Bao Dai King, who owned countless palaces across Vietnam, so the Emperor brand focuses on the royal-life experiences, offering guests comprehensive first-class luxury services. Emperor Nha Trang, for example, has itineraries for 60 guests like Day Cruise with activities such as diving, swimming and visiting the fishing village, or the Sunset cruise with activities like watching the sunset, enjoying dinner and cocktail party on the cruise. Emperor Bai Tu Long in Ha Long, on the other hand, offers 1- to 3-night stay on the yacht.
For those travelers who accept to pay more handsomely to get all-inclusive services onboard from wine and food to spa, Emperor offers unique experiences to satisfy travelers in this top high-end segment. It is also suitable for travelers who would like the highest level of privacy, personalization and authenticity in their experiences.
As for Heritage, it leans towards expressing Vietnamese cultural, historical, artistic and social values and is inspired by the “King of Ship” Bach Thai Buoi. Heritage has a boutique concept and targets the 4-5-star segment, which helps it reach a wider range of customers compared to Emperor. Heritage has 20 rooms and can accommodate up to 60 guests. The Heritage Cruises Binh Chuan Cruise was also built to commemorate Bach Thai Buoi as indicated by its name “Binh Chuan”, one of his old ships. There is a bronze statue of him and 100 paintings commemorating the 100th anniversary of Binh Chuan first sailing onboard. In addition, we also collect and display ancient postcards of the original ship. With Heritage Cruises Binh Chuan, voyagers can enjoy a heritage space on board while “floating” among the natural heritage of Cat Ba Bay.
The division into many products makes it possible for us to meet demands from many segments in different markets. In addition, the two cruise brands exhibit different values and offer different experiences.
To answer this, it can first start with my great love for artworks and collecting paintings has been a hobby of mine. Vietnamese Fine Arts contributes to the art world with lacquer paintings and silk paintings, which are also the main types of Pham Luc’s paintings. He is the artist whose artwork I adore and collect with very special sack paintings to describe the Vietnam War.
From this hobby, I realized that paintings and art in general can be the great assets of the country as they reflect national culture and history. Through paintings, we can understand more about the past and the present, the war, the heritage as well as the life of the Vietnamese people. They are all great features to introduce both Vietnamese and foreign visitors to our art, history and culture and that is why I choose to include these heritage values on my cruises.
Besides paintings, the cruise also presents traditional Vietnamese costumes in the 30s, from royal attires to traditional ao dai. All of the above when converged on the Heritage Cruise Binh Chuan creates a “floating” cultural touch in the middle of the bay.
Visitors have a lot of time in their voyage, so they can experience and also learn more about the stories with ethnic values behind those very experiences. Instead of choosing to build the majestic Western-style ships, Heritage Cruises Binh Chuan chooses a true story to explore and express Vietnamese values of art, history, culture, cuisine. This can be considered a continuation of patriotism from Bach Thai Buoi. Since Heritage Cruises Binh Chuan was deployed, many customers have rated their satisfaction level of 6-7 stars on 7-star scale, which marks a remarkable recognition for a product created by Lux Group.
In general, it can be said that tourism and travel has changed my whole life. I have worked in various fields but since I worked in tourism, I am truly happy. I realize that travel is my biggest passion and as I am happy with what I am doing, I can spread it to the entire Lux Group and to the member companies as well. All our teams see customer experience and satisfaction as their ultimate goal in work. Passion is also highlighted in Lux Group’s 5P guiding principles, which are Passion, Purpose, People, Planet and Profit.
In my opinion, in the tourism and service industry, making customers happy can lead to self-happiness, so I call this a happy career. If you want to be happy, you must do it from the bottom of your heart, make it the way you wish to experience, towards the customer and put the customer’s needs first. Therefore, the core value I orient to my team is always “delivering happiness”.
Only by perceiving customers as the biggest “boss” that keeps business running and helps the business pay for its employees, all of my teams are customer-centric, working for customers, and thus, contributing to Lux Group’s success over the past 15 years. After years of experience, “delivering happiness” has always been and will always be the company’s core value.
I think that to be a leader is also to serve: serve your people, your team and your customers to create the company’s revenue. With the same mindset, we can easily and harmoniously join hands in creating new generations of businesspeople who share the same thought. To me, “delivering happiness” means to deliver happiness for myself first, then for my employees, for my customers, for social communities and finally for company profits.
Before Covid, Lux Group mainly focused on inbound tourists. The global outbreak meant there were no longer international visitors, so the company quickly turned to domestic travelers, targeting the luxury customers of the domestic market. Conversion is a difficult decision as we have to retrain our employees to recaptivate the new target customers to understand them. Only after understanding them can we serve them better. It took us about a month to implement all the new changes after considering carefully between the two options – to close down or to adapt. Fortunately, everyone agreed to adapt to serve the domestic market. And once the decision has been made, everyone was very proactive in learning, training, and holding daily briefing sessions to create new products based on customer profiles and their consumption habits.
In addition, most of the company’s activities are digitalized, making it possible for our employees to work from home, and for us to manage more easily. Thanks to digital transformation, we could collect data, analyze customer sentiments and predict travel trends so as to offer suitable products to meet customers’ expectations.
When the social quarantine ended on April 30, we decided to immediately implement new plans for constrained travel demand in the Vietnam travel market. Therefore, as soon as the product was launched, people welcomed it very enthusiastically, helping us to recognize the signs of success as soon as we redefined the target market. In May, we launched 5,000 vouchers and they were sold out within 15 days. Moreover, Heritage Cruises Binh Chuan is also one of the busiest cruises that voyaged almost non-stop since April 30. This is another signal to help us realize that we are on the right path to recover, to develop and to generate stable cash flow.
In fact, thanks to Covid, we have realized that the Vietnamese domestic market has great potential with a rapid growing population of nearly 100 million people and increasing strength in consumption. 2020 marked the year Vietnamese got to know about luxury cruise trips for the first time, a part of which resulted from our incentives targeting Vietnamese tourists. What we did bears some resemblance to the motto of Bach Thai Buoi, which is Vietnamese travel within Vietnam and use Vietnamese service providers. Just like foreign visitors, many Vietnamese also want to explore the beautiful islands and bays of Vietnam such as Ha Long Bay, Cat Ba Bay or Nha Trang Bay while attending interesting activities on the cruise. Thereby, we changed our direction to domestic middle to high-end customers last year and received certain successes.
From now on, I have decided to focus more on Vietnam high-end travel market and set up an office for domestic and outbound markets. To summarize, Lux Group will both retain the original target market and expand to other potential markets, which means approaching the inbound market along with the domestic market and outbound market. I think this will be a promising orientation and will invest wholeheartedly in the future.
Lux Group and I have planned to deploy the new project on Pu Luong. Pu Luong is a wonderful destination located in the middle of terraced fields, which are highly likely to attract both domestic and foreign tourists. Our team plans to launch a 35-room boutique resort to take advantage of nature and indigenous culture to target wellness travelers.
Regarding the cruises, the Emperor Cruises brand plans to add another 150-seat cruise to Nha Trang in 2021 and to bring more ships to Phu Quoc by 2022. With Heritage, we are currently inspecting and developing another ship named Bach Thai Buoi, which is expected to come into operation in 2022, following the success of Heritage Cruises Binh Chuan.
My deepest desire for the company is to conquer all rivers in the North and realize Heritage’s biggest mission: to sail along the coast of Vietnam – just like Bach Thai Buoi sailing from Hai Phong to Da Nang, Quy Nhon, Nha Trang and Saigon, then to Cambodia and other ports in Asian region. These are the upcoming plans and missions of Lux Group and Heritage Cruises brand.